In a recent interview with The Intercept, Edward Snowden offered some advice for what average citizens can do to reclaim their privacy. Because the sharing of information should be a conversation, not an enigma buried in a site’s ‘Terms of Service.’

1. This includes Signal, an easy-to-use app that encrypts your mobile phone messages, as long as the person you’re calling or texting also has the app installed. Developed by Open Whisper Systems, the app is available for both iOS and Android.

2. The next easy step is to enable two-factor authentication on your accounts. This way an attacker needs not only your password, but also a physical device, like your smartphone, to get the secondary code that opens your account.

3. A password manager, like KeePassX, will ensure your passwords are diversified across all accounts. So, if one account becomes compromised, they won’t all become compromised.

4. The next step is Tor — install it, use it. It looks very much like your browsing in Firefox, only your traffic will be bounced all across the globe, covering your physical location and identity (to a point). A nice side effect is Tor comes with a JavaScript blocker, which disables ads.

5. “Everybody should be running adblock software, if only from a safety perspective,” Snowden said.

By using these programs, people have already changed the conversation about security and privacy. Apple took note adding DuckDuckGo, the search engine that doesn’t track, as one of the available options on its Safari browser. Earlier this year at CES, a “personal privacy” section made its debut. Even DARPA is working to create services that “[enable] safe and predictable sharing of data in which privacy is preserved.” The ability to take control of your privacy has become more attainable than ever.

The trick is getting more people to adopt these programs (think of it like herd immunity). That’s how we’ll create lasting change.

“I think reform comes with many faces,” Snowden told the site. “There’s legal reform; there’s statutory reform more generally; there are the products and outcomes of judicial decisions.”

The sharing of information should be a conversation — not an enigma buried somewhere in the Terms of Service of a site.


Natalie has been writing professionally for about 6 years. After graduating from Ithaca College with a degree in Feature Writing, she snagged a job at where she had the opportunity to review all the latest consumer gadgets. Since then she has become a writer for hire, freelancing for various websites. In her spare time, you may find her riding her motorcycle, reading YA novels, hiking, or playing video games. Follow her on Twitter: @nat_schumaker

Photo Credit: ADAM BERRY / Stringer/ Getty



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  1. I always know I’m in for a treat when I go to look at someone’s computer and ask “Where’s your browser?” (I’m looking for Chrome or Firefox) 99% of the time they’ll say “it’s Yahoo” and they just click the “e”. People really should be licensed to access the internet.

  2. Edward Snowden’s recommendation 4: Installing the Tor browser, may prove to be troublesome, depending on your location. In Britain, I can’t get access to this browser. The page showing up, after searching with the help of friend Google, says “Connection has timed out” I can think of a reason why that happens of course.

    There’s an alternative for the Tor browser, although it doesn’t involve hiding all your acitivites online.
    It does,however, involve an adblocker. And the review is positive. It’s in this link:

    The settings and configuration of your account also determine your privacy, we still have some say in how we are present online, for what it’s worth and if what’s communicated about it is true. Play fair and use common sense to be safe on internet I suggest. The virtual world doesn’t deserve our worrying and sleepless nights 😉

      • Sean Gibbins, I’ve got no problem with finding the browser. Access is denied in the UK. “Connection to the page has timed out” is all the page shows up with. That’s the issue here. Thanks for trying to help!

  3. Edward Snowden, such a courageous lion! I always love to see his face, for its determination.
    This is relevant regarding the safety in the virtual world, allowing transparency and freedom of speech:

    TRANSCRIPT Video: Edward Snowden, Glenn Greenwald & David Miranda Call
    for Global Privacy Treaty October 01, 2015 Web Exclusive, source:

    This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

  4. I just wanted to let you know that Eddie Strange is posting a recording of you interviewing Corey Goode and Cobra. He claimed it was new and that it is in the public domain so he can use it and make money off of it. He is using the video on YouTube to discredit Corey Goode. He is calling him a con artist.


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