Re: paranoia about stuff watching me in my home.
I’m actually quite paranoid about this topic, but I’m also kind of bad about it. I don’t cover cameras or microphones (though I might do in the future), and I recently caved and began using Google Now with the “OK Google”, though it only works when the device is unlocked. I need to stop it, but I have some RSI, and typing on the phone is pretty bad for it, so I find the voice recognition to be very useful.
On the other side, I’m sort of an exhibitionist, and I kind of get a kick out of the idea of people secretly watching me naked. I doubt anyone else gets a kick out of the idea of watching me naked, but, eh, they are welcome to do so.
I don’t forward ports on my routers ever. They came without any ports open, and I haven’t changed that. The only way into my home network from the outside is through one server I have reversed tunneled to a VPS, and it’s only available on that server if you log in from localhost, so you’d have to have my private keys and are prepared to do a lot of SSH inception to get very far. I have to forward the port with the reverse tunnel on the VPS to the remote machine, and then ssh into that port. It’s kind of a pain/kind of awesome.
I do the same with web-based administrative interfaces for services, even on my LAN. You can only access them remotely through tunnels, the exception being the Emby server, but that’s on a different NAT than what I give guests, and I’m not sure there is a way to stop it. The one really insecure thing on my home network is my NFS share, which accepts any IP address and has no other protection. That’s on the same private NAT as the media server, though, plus security by obscurity. Only people who know what NFS is and are specifically looking for it (and get on my private NAT with a password of 40 random characters) are going to find it.
I do the majority of my communication with friends and family over Telegram. I have a Facebook account that I never use, and what I do post (like, on a less-than-monthly basis) is all public to avoid the delusion that there is such a thing as privacy on facebook. I read things from G+ and Twitter, but I post, like, once a year. I don’t SMS much and call even less. I do email (with Gmail, no less), but I never use it for anything I wouldn’t want to be in the public record… anymore… (yikes!)
I use Arch Linux exclusively on all my PCs, so I know what’s happening in the background because I enabled all the services myself, and I don’t have any game consoles since the PS2, so I’m safe there. I also dabble with Ubuntu occasionally, and I kinda mostly trust it also. I even leave the ads turned on.
So, I’m pretty good in general, but pretty bad when it comes to my phone, which is probably the worst thing of all. Luckily, I’m moving to Europe in a few days, and I’ll be out of phone service for a bit, so I’ll have a chance to re-evaluate my habits with regards to the phone. I can’t completely give up navigation, though. New city, terrible sense of direction, too lazy to read maps (and not great at it anyway). Google is probably the scariest company on the planet if you think about it for more than a few seconds, but their ability to present helpful data at the right time and tailored to my terrifyingly specific needs is soooooo useful. When they give me route information about somewhere I was actually heading or remind me to pay my bills on time, I’m both freaked out and thankful.
P.S. Caring about any form of sports-ball is so not geek-chic. Some of you people are in danger of loosing your l33t h4x0r cred! Repent and get ye a calculator watch!
edit: holy balls. This was going to be a “short post.”