The Smart Girl's Guide to Privacy: A Privacy Guide for the Rest of Us Kindle Edition
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This book is easily understandable, with hard learned lessons used as examples of why one should secure their personal information. In addition, there are a plethora of listed tools and services that one could use to secure ones personal information as well as the methods and processes that one should use to do so.
This is one book I plan on handing out to family and friends who don't yet understand why securing their personal information is an important aspect of living in the modern age.
The book is full of great practical tips, such as covering your webcams, never signing into an account using someone else's computer or phone, locking your devices, conducting regular privacy "checkups", using anti-theft apps on your devices, not using a single service for everything you do online and sealing off from one another the Googles, Apples, Microsofts and Facebooks of the world.
Furthermore, the identity theft materials are detailed, providing step-by-step details of what you should do if you become a victim of this growing crime. The recurring case study about how Wired journalist Mat Honan was hacked is hair-raising and a riveting must read.
Readers will be impressed by the book's expose about 'people search' websites. Too few people realize just how easily their information finds its way to these sites, how damaging it can be and how difficult it is to remove the information. The book is right to highlight the dark side of these people search sites. Removing your information from them is not always difficult, but keeping it out certainly is.
No book on this topic is perfect. Tips on providing disinformation as a way to protect your privacy would have been good. Encrypting your computer's hard drive (and your device's storage media) or at least some of your digital items is important and I don't recall this topic being raised in the book. The dating chapter jumps around a bit covering a lot of material regarding leaving no online or offline tracks but does a decent enough job of explaining concepts that are not always easy.
But these few constructive criticisms are a trifle compared to all the other solid information and advice contained in the book. Elements that I thought were particularly excellent included the spectrum of how privacy gets breached, from family members with good intentions to die-hard thugs with criminal motivations as well as the handy stoplight system for categorizing personally identifying information. I also really liked the repeating theme about privacy being about finding, setting and keeping boundaries.
The book's opening paragraph says, "for many women, getting control of online privacy is confusing, overwhelming and stressful". I think that applies to everyone. I'm not sure some of the 'us versus them' elements in the book were entirely necessary, but that's an assessment best left to female readers. At one point the book says "I think we have a lot of male allies out there". Indeed, you do. I also recognize that in many ways it's a different Internet for women than for men and that women face much greater risks of harassment, stalking, doxing and other threats. I was also not aware that "female data sets are always worth more on the market than male ones". The book will certainly sensitize male readers to the undeniable fact that women face greater online risks to their privacy and security.
Overall, I can only say Bravo! on an excellent Internet privacy book, and not just for women. Very well written, precise use of language, excellently structured, full of practical and useful tips.
As you can probably tell, I think very highly of this book. And I think you will too. Highly recommended. 5 stars.
Disclosure: I am the author of Complete Guide to Internet Privacy, Anonymity & Security.