Why you should be monitoring your habits with private, encrypted tools
Improve your habits with Loggit, securely.
In today's world, it seems like every aspect of our lives is digitized at an accelerated pace. Location data can be tracked by apps on your phone as you move from one place to another. Social media platforms keep track of what you like and who you interact with based on their algorithms. And any time we search online or use an app, the companies that provide those services have access to our browsing history and other digital data that they might use to target ads or sell information to third parties.
The convenience that comes with these digital services has made them increasingly essential for daily life. But at the same time, this proliferation has created a new risk for anyone who uses them: The more personal data we share, the more likely it is that cybercriminals will take advantage of those opportunities to hack us or access our accounts without permission; not to mention how the companies that keep that data use it.
With so much emphasis on cybersecurity in recent years, there are now even more tools available than ever before for individuals who want to take extra precautions with their online habits - and these are just the ones most people are aware of!
Here are seven things you need to know about private, encrypted tools if you want to protect yourself from hackers and safeguard your privacy when using digital services.
What is end-to-end encryption?
When you want to send an encrypted email or message to a friend, you've probably used a tool like Pretty Good Privacy (PGP). PGP is an easy-to-use tool that lets you encrypt your data when sending it to someone else.
This means that nobody else can read your messages, and only the intended recipient can decrypt them. And, just like regular encryption, it's incredibly difficult to crack.
In fact, it's so difficult that even governments and the most sophisticated hackers have had great difficulty decrypting them. This is why the US government has spent millions of dollars trying to crack PGP; but to no avail.
The benefits of end-to-end encryption are numerous and significant. Let's start with the most important: Privacy.
PGP protects your data from prying eyes by ensuring that only the receiver can unlock your message.
End-to-end encryption is often considered the most secure way to store data or communicate online.
Private messaging apps
There are dozens of messaging apps that offer end-to-end encryption. Some, like Signal and Threema, are designed specifically for secure communications.
Some other popular apps like WhatsApp and Telegram claim to be end-to-end encrypted, but that isn't exactly the case, so it's best to avoid them.
For email, specifically, you can use some popular providers like Proton Mail or Tutanota.
These apps are not just useful if you worry about being targeted by hackers or other malicious actors.
Even if you're not in a career that puts you in a high-risk category for online abuse, like politics or journalism, these apps offer increased privacy, which is a fundamental right.
VPNs and Password Managers
There are a number of reasons why you might want to use a virtual private network (VPN). For example, if you're worried about your digital footprint, or you want to keep your browsing and online activity anonymous.
A VPN securely connects you to a remote server, hiding your location from the website you're visiting and anyone else who might be tracking your device's signal. Remember you're passing along the trust on your ISP to the VPN provider, though.
Many VPNs also offer end-to-end encryption and no logging, meaning your data is inaccessible even if it's somehow intercepted by hackers or requested by law enforcement. A couple of popular and end-to-end encrypted VPN providers are Mullvad and Proton VPN.
To reduce the changes of one account hack exposing all your other accounts (which happens when you reuse your passwords), you should use a Password Manager.
Most widely-used password managers are not end-to-end encrypted, but a couple of popular ones that offer end-to-end encryption are Padloc and Bitwarden.
These let you create and manage different passwords for different accounts, making it harder for hackers to crack or abuse your identity if they get into one of your online accounts.
Habit and goal tracking tools
There are many advantages to wanting to track your habits and keep track of your goals, however, most of these tools are not end-to-end encrypted and will use and sell your habit and goal data to "upsell" different products.
Loggit can help you track and monitor your habits securely with end-to-end encryption. Other apps that are also end-to-end encrypted and helpful (though much more complex) are Lunatask and EteSync.
Whether you're concerned about your digital privacy or trying to complete specific goals that you are tracking, there are a number of tools that offer end-to-end encryption and protect your data from prying eyes.
Additionally, using a VPN or password manager can help protect your digital identity from third parties.
Finally, tracking your habits and tracking your goals shouldn't mean you have to give up that data or that part of your life to the highest bidder.