Wickr Tips:

Apr 8, 2015 · Unlisted

how to communicate privately and securely

April 2015

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Private communication

  • Only send secrets to people you trust
  • If possible, talk in code
  • Share an unimportant secret or video conversation the first time messaging a new contact to verify identity
  • Think twice about including your face in intimate photos you might want to send. You can use Wickr’s photo editing tools and stickers to protect your face or identifiable features like tattoos for safer sexting.

Social Sharing

  • Try to avoid posting personal information about yourself whenever possible. Knowing your full name, birth date and your birth location can be enough to steal your identity or “social-engineer” you. Most websites don’t need your data and have no right to ask you for it.
  • If you absolutely have to provide a website or an app with your personal information, give them a fake birth date, middle name, or birthplace. Create a misinformation campaign to throw off anyone collecting information on you.

  • If possible, do not accept online invitations to events or post information about your travels in real time.

Connecting to the Internet

  • When using public Wi-Fi always use VPN* (you can run Hotspot Shield or F-Secure Freedome VPN) and a proxy** like TOR Network. You can learn more about how TOR can help you anonymously surf the Web here:

Phone Security

  • Set a pin or passcode on your phone
  • Cover front-facing cameras on phones, tablets, computers and TVs with masking tape. This will prevent you from being watched by hackers who can remotely turn on your camera.
  • Plug headphone jacks on phones, tablets, computers and TVs to block them, when not in use. This will help to ensure that even if your phone or computer is hacked, your mic cannot be used to listen to you remotely.*

  • Set the Wickr auto lock feature to 1 minute so no one can open your Wickr app without knowing your password.
  • Turn the Wickr shredder on so it runs in the background. Set the shredder’s level to “high” to prevent all deleted files from being recovered.

  • Keep your phone with you at all times. A hardware level bug can be put on it. Do not trust a hotel safe, watch closely at airport security.
  • Reset to factory settings on your phone often (memorize your lock down steps beforehand).
  • Do not back up your phone to a computer or cloud (unless you are sure they are not compromised).

  • If possible, buy a prepaid SIM card on GSM phones

Mobile Apps

  • Check out the apps you are looking to download and their privacy rating at eff.org (“Who Has Your Back” Report).
  • Unless absolutely necessary, refrain from giving an app permission to know your location, access your photos, contacts, mic, etc. If you need to use the apps that require various permissions, turn their access off when not in use.

Tips to Avoid Tracking When Not In Use

  • To prevent mobile carriers or Google from tracking your every move, put your phone in airplane mode or take out the battery and place the phone in a faraday cage. Note that a faraday cage can block radio waves (GPS, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS), but cannot block human-generated sound like your voice.
  • Keep your RFID credit cards, keys and IDs at home or in a special faraday wallet/bag. It will block the radio waves transmitted by the frequency identification chips built into objects like your metro card or driver’s license.

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