Snowden says don't use Wifi, I explain why

Snowden says don't use Wifi, I explain why

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Language: English

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inspired by Snowden's new book I'm gonna be demonstrating a bunch of products on my channel to show you how to live the modern privacy conscious lifestyle and today I'm gonna be showing off this little thing that I just bought and I'll explain what it is in a second but I was inspired to purchase it after reading this tweet from Snowden I wouldn't use Wi-Fi at home because global maps of every wireless access points unique ID including yours are free and constantly updated I would use Ethernet yes
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Ethernet on a phone I would deny Network permissions to any app that doesn't need it using an app firewall it seems Wi-Fi is a privacy and security threat apparently because of these global maps of access points I didn't know anything about this so I did a bunch of research to learn more and it's kind of a rabbit hole so a huge shout out to all the people on Twitter and reddit who answered my comments upon Snowden's recommendation to use Ethernet I went out and put just a bunch of Ethernet cables and the first question I had was do I connect my device directly to the
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modem or do I connect it to the router still because it seemed that if I wasn't using the router for its Wi-Fi capabilities would I even need it at all this may be a really simple question for a lot of you so if it is feel free to skip ahead but for those of you who have not looked into this I'm going to explain briefly why this is a really important question it can also be a bit confusing because they sometimes even combine the router and the modem into a single device it turns out that although you can access the Internet by either putting the Ethernet directly into the modem or by putting it into the router
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first you absolutely need to put the ethernet cable into the router essentially your modem is not a security device it is a data transfer device and it is completely exposed to the Internet anyone poking your public IP address would have direct access to your computer's vulnerabilities like open ports or exploits etc and our devices often have these think about all of the bug updates that we get for the apps that we install on our phone saying that they're patching over some sort of exploit there so if you do connect directly to a modem you're completely
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relying on your computers own security measures to protect you whereas routers include firewalls that are a lot sophisticated and essentially provide a barrier between your device and the outside world discovering all this was super helpful but apparently had nothing to do with Snowden's tweet about these global maps of access points when my next bit of research I found out that maps like these exist let's zoom in this is wiggle dotnet but there are other sites that are similar every one of these purple dots is someone's Wi-Fi
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network including personal hotspots created on phones to tether other devices because Wi-Fi networks are broadcast using radio waves they can be read by anyone and maps like these can be created these Wi-Fi transmissions can also be checked to see if they have an open connection or not they can even be checked to see what devices are connected to each network you can also see what kind of device itself is transmitting the signal there are many public maps like this and they're constantly updated you zoom in more closely and you can read every Wi-Fi
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network name known as an SSID there are other IDs listed on here as well known as BSS IDs and I'll explain in a bit what they are on these databases you can also search across time to see where and when networks and devices have been available in the past so how do these maps get created wireless signals expand outwards in all directions from your access point people's phones and computers serve a Wi-Fi networks in the area constantly and automatically send data about the networks to Google for analysis your location is pinpointed in relation
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to all the Wi-Fi signals available around you they're figuring out which Wi-Fi networks you're in range of to determine exactly where you are and they're keeping a constantly updated database of every Wi-Fi access point in existence thanks to the data constantly being sent to them from our phones and this is when you're not even connected to any of these Wi-Fi networks now is a good time to explain the difference between an SSID and a be SSID it gets really complicated basically SSIDs as mentioned is the Wi-Fi network you create yourself so it might be Bob's
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Wi-Fi home or something like that now the SSID could change at any time you might rename it to Batcave the SSID may have changed but the actual device that is transmitting that network stays the same and that's called a be SSID it's also referred to a MAC address it gets pretty confusing but the important thing to remember is that an SSID is a network name that you can change at any time but the bssid is the ID given to your actual device and that always stays the same all of your wireless transmitting devices these include your wireless router or your
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phone when you turn on the tethering capabilities have one of these IDs a BSS ID and if we go back to this map will see that these device IDs are also on the map because SSIDs can change and be SSID stay the same sites like wiggle and Google catalog the network by the transmitter itself so the bssid that doesn't change and they have a permanent record of when that device has ever been seen and exactly where it was at the time now if you know someone's Wi-Fi network name you could search for them
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in these public databases and then find their actual devices ID also let's talk about this in the context of your phone now you may not know someone's phone hotspot name for example but if they're using an iPhone I find use a certain default in naming people's hub spots they create a network taking the name associated with the phone and then adding a iPhone for example so-and-so's iPhone you could take a guess at your friend dimitris hotspot name if he has an iPhone and he just went with the default settings search for Dimitri's
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iPhone then by narrowing down the locations you could eventually find his actual hotspot you can also see his be SSID so even if Dimitri changes his hotspot name we can still find him by looking up his actual device in this case his device is his phone now you have access to a permanent record of everywhere that Dimitri has used this phone as a hotspot in the past you could also see if this hotspot has been broadcast frequently from any particular location that location might be his work or it might be his home or it might be a
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bar that he frequents you could start to figure out patterns of his movement by watching his location on these databases you start to see how this is a major privacy concern and also a major security concern so now let's get back to why Ethernet cables are superior when you use Ethernet cables you're not broadcasting anything via radio waves they could be intercepted by people or devices nearby you also don't have an S sidee because you're not creating a wireless network your router doesn't need an SSID to tell your device where to connect because you plug it in and
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the cord tells it exactly where to connect there's no network to choose from you're just automatically connected to Ethernet and your internal ID again that's not transmitted wirelessly is just 1 2 3 whatever port you actually plug to the ethernet cable into on the router also there's no device identifier because there's no BSS ID that is broadcasting your mac ID because there's no wireless transmitter furthermore you can't get access to the list of the devices connected to that router unless you had physical access to the router
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yourself and were actually connected to it physically yourself so to summarize all of that and then we'll get back to explaining this little thing here creating and transmitting a Wi-Fi network is a really unsafe thing to do it creates a lot of security and privacy concerns it enables people to log your location at all times it's not something that Snowden in particular recommends also Wi-Fi drivers are usually pretty buggy have a lot of vulnerabilities and you don't want someone to be able to break into them because once they access your Wi-Fi network they have access to all of your
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devices as well so that brings me to this device here which is a lightning - Ethernet adapter you can also get USB see - Ethan at adapters basically whatever plug your phone takes this allows me to connect my phone directly to my router and that may seem super weird to a lot of you because we're so used to our phones being super portable we can take them anywhere the idea of it having hardline attached to something it's probably very foreign but I've been testing this product out for the past a week and I'm gonna let
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you know what I thought about it first impression it is a little clunky holding a phone and trying to use a phone that has a big cord coming out of it attached to the wall and it took me awhile to find a place in the house that was convenient to just kind of leave the phone so I wasn't taking it with me everywhere but then I got used to it pretty quick you have multiple inlets here so you could put in Ethernet you could also charge it at the same time that's super convenient because I'm someone who often leaves the house with my phone barely charged at all having this
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plugged in all the time in the past week I haven't left my house once without a fully charged device so that's a nice unanticipated positive externality of this this is far more reliable than Wi-Fi I have been plagued with Wi-Fi issues anyone who's watched any of my life streams know this this has been the most reliable internet connection I've ever had and having my phone in one place connected to this Ethernet cable meant that actually checked it less often and that led to increase the productivity so another unintended consequence if we're being
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honest about it this is not much different to a charger so if you're someone who has your phone sitting at home plugged into a charger at all times you should really consider getting one of these and just plugging it into Ethernet instead and turning off your Wi-Fi altogether for all of the enhanced privacy that it gives you I would definitely recommend it let's finish up with some hot tips number one never tether on your phone that is something that I have learnt through this rabbit hole research that I have been doing as soon as you just turn on your hotspot all the devices in range are going to
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log that send that information back to Google and wiggle they're gonna put it all on their website including your device name your exact location the time when that occurred you do not want people to look through these very public databases and be able to find your exact location at any given time it's just not worth it guys if you want to tether use a USB tether don't turn on your hotspot next tip if you do need to have a Wi-Fi connection realize that the SSID or the network name that you create could make it harder or easier for you to be found in these databases if your name is Jane
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Smith I would not recommend creating a wireless network name called Jane Smith home Wi-Fi follow-up from that if you do need to create a Wi-Fi network you can actually request that Google and wiggle not list your SSID on their website now there are details for exactly how to do that in the description below so hopefully this has been a little bit helpful in explaining why you might choose to go with an Ethernet hardwired connection rather than a Wi-Fi connection so that you can claim back some of your location data and give yourself just a little bit more privacy
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check out my links below for how to purchase these little adapters and thank you so much for watching don't forget to like share and subscribe [Music]

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