Everyone agrees that securing your data matters. It is essential to protect your private information – including social security number, credit, and bank information, driver’s license number, email accounts, and more.
However, what does it mean when someone takes securing their privacy to an extreme? Do you wonder why someone would encrypt their sent emails, use a Chinese phone, or an external hard drive? When does privacy change from ordinary and sensible, to excessive or concerning? Let’s explore the reasons why people go to great lengths to encrypt, hide, or keep data private.
Extreme Privacy Measures
You realize that someone you respect is accessing the dark web through Tor Browser, has a burner phone – a phone that can’t be spied on by the NSA (National Security Agency) as quickly – or seems to use an external hard drive. The reasons why people take these extra precautions are broad and varied.
For instance, if someone is using a Chinese made device, they might want to avoid the NSA’s watchful eye but instead, have Chinese malware preloaded in their phone.
The trouble with privacy is that it’s hard to know exactly why someone is going to so much trouble. The average person might use encrypted passwords but, outside of those who are heavily into tech and the web, won’t typically use the dark web.
Often, people take these additional privacy steps due to:
Maybe they have read about the trouble that happens when someone doesn’t secure their data or have experienced identity theft themselves. They could have an established business or financial life and don’t want to risk it being exposed.
Encrypted data can protect corporate secrets, government files, and personal information. A company might rely on their technical department to advise them on safety precautions for their business.
In this day and age, you can turn on the news or open a web page and read about a data hack or identity theft ruining someone’s life. Even if someone is at a low risk of their valuable data exposed, if they are a more paranoid personality type, they could feel especially concerned about their data. While buying a burner phone would be more of an oddity, basic privacy precautions are reasonable, within reason.
If your gut instinct is telling you that someone is cheating, you might be right. This is especially true if you discover that they have additional phones you didn’t know about, only use Tor Browser.
Use options like “secret” messages on Facebook, so they don’t risk information about their dalliances going to multiple devices. Cheaters are always watching over their shoulder, so they don’t get caught.
A portable hard drive can help keep data safe and give you extra space on your computer. However, if you are wondering why someone you share a computer with regularly uses an external hard drive, you might be onto something. They could be storing video files, pornographic images, or worse on that drive.
Drugs, Arms Dealings, and Human Trafficking
No one wants to discover that someone they trust has a criminal history on the dark web. One or two extreme privacy options might not mean much, but if someone goes to excessive lengths to hide what they do online, it is common sense to wonder why.
The above are just a few of the dangerous or damaging behaviors that someone might be hiding when they use Tor Browser or bring their portable hard drive with them everywhere.
If you aren’t sure how to catch someone in the act and don’t trust what they’re telling you, try an online Social Catfish search. Most everyone has a web trail that they aren’t fully aware of. At Social Catfish, you can scan images (reverse image search), names, phone numbers, usernames, and more. Don’t worry about what you can’t search; get started on what you can!