Q&A Should a security geek go for privacy or security?

RoboMan

Level 32
Verified
Content Creator
Malware Tester
Jun 24, 2016
2,127
We often discuss about this in the forums. Product X is privacy-focused, doesn't track you, doesm't spy on you. Product Y is a data miner, but offers amazing security due to having enough funds.


For example: Mozilla Firefox (privacy) vs Google Chrome (security). Examples are vast, and I don't wanna go one by one.

Some of us prioritize security, go for the solid infrastructure and rely on a product's technology to make sure it's safer to use. On the other hand, some of us will prefer privacy, stay more "anonymous", recieving a less secure product and trying to harden it with our knowledge, policies, or tweaks/extensions.

The question: What do you prefer? Security or privacy? If you had to choose a product, offered by two different companies, one which focuses on privacy and one which focuses on security. You can't have both. What's your decision?
 

rain2reign

Level 1
Jun 21, 2020
29
I would personally look at the other options in both products available to see what would make the difference if you take both Privacy and Security out of the equation for moment. Privacy might be more customizable, which will attract more people willing to break things and want a more personalized interface as an example out of many possibilities. Where as the other would offer let's say more additional services (example Google with G-Docs and GMAIL). Either one would attract their own crowd.

I for one stuck with Firefox for the sheer reason that it was more customizable than Chromium browsers at the time and just copy-pasted the profile on every (re)install. Now the difference isn't really that big in that specific regard, especially considering that it still contains Google SafeBrowsing and Google sponsor to remain the default search engine.

But personally in the example given in the OP (see quote), I would probably choose Product X in this case, even though i would choose Security normally over privacy.
We often discuss about this in the forums. Product X is privacy-focused, doesn't track you, doesm't spy on you. Product Y is a data miner, but offers amazing security due to having enough funds.
Product X for the reason that i dont want any miners on my system when possible. But on the other hand if your Security sucks, it doesn't matter if you are privacy oriented at that point. You data still has the potential of leaking out (perhaps quicker or easier) otherwise.

In cases such as Firefox --to set an example-- you'd probably can "harden" it with dozens, hundreds, hell even a thousand tweaks, but that would only make you more unique. Thus that would defeat the entire purpose of the privacy mindset. Privacy is not necessarily anonymity. At that point your use-case changed and should use software that would suit those needs as it's core functionality/business...

It all depends on what you need or want to achieve.

Just my opinion of course. Though evidently i am somewhat biased. :p
 

SecurityNightmares

Level 32
Verified
Jan 9, 2020
2,092
Both Security and Privacy are very important nowadays but sadly a lot misinformation and theater in both categories exists. A example:

user A ask for feature X on a privacy & security related project -> fine!
to other users (user B, C, D,..) this sounds like a nice idea -> fine!
sadly user A doesn't explain why for what he want this feature. This is called thread model in IT language -> not fine!
because of last, the project dev close the request -> fine!
user A and B, C, D, .. may some kind of angry but in the end they think again about and increase their own knowledge over time -> good!

Based on that is how i experience my change in both privacy and security over the last 10+ years.
 

Local Host

Level 23
Verified
Sep 26, 2017
1,230
Privacy is used as a marketing stunt, in your example Firefox has had as much heat as Google in terms of privacy concerns, not to mention how they been removing user choice the last few years.

If people want privacy they need to unplug from the Internet.

Decreasing the amount of services and software you use is best way to avoid privacy concerns, if you already using Windows why use a third-party browser to add another company looking through your traffic.
 

TairikuOkami

Level 30
Verified
Content Creator
May 13, 2017
1,900
The question: What do you prefer? Security or privacy? If you had to choose a product, offered by two different companies, one which focuses on privacy and one which focuses on security. You can't have both.
Of course you can, the problem is, today's society forces into thinking, that you have 2, you are either 100% pro or against, whether it is software, vaccines or whatever.
You made the example with 2 browsers and that is the answer. When I want security I use Yandex, when I want privacy, I use TOR (AV & Windows can not see its links).

I find the concept of privacy tough to understand. I mean what are differences between hiding and privacy?
Well said. Someone is like, I do not see the reason to share, what I have eaten today, but then he is surprised people do not talk to him. About what? He is unknown.

Generally speaking, privacy lays in the hand of the user, just like security. It is about how much information about yourself you reveal online or elsewhere.
To me security - hiding my location, card number and the date of birth (like a social security number in US) and privacy - what I like (friends, interests, etc).
 

plat1098

Level 23
Verified
Sep 13, 2018
1,198
I consider myself a regular user and abandoned the concept of online "privacy" long ago. As mentioned numerous times already, this is largely a marketing ploy and at times, I've found apps can circumvent users' efforts to block their unwanted activities.

At least with "security" you can go by some visual evidence--data breaches, a scanner result, whatever. "Privacy" is little more than vapor.
 
Last edited:

valvaris

Level 4
Verified
Jul 26, 2015
184
That one is a doozy - Why?

In terms of the malware threat landscape users or Company's should use Sandboxing with Deep-learning and so on... There are solutions out there that do Threat Enumeration / Emulation On-Prem but still send Meta-Data to a Cloud Service for a final verdict. I am not Anti-Virus Company A is better then Company B type of guy. But somehow that makes sense the computer can only do so much and the cloud can do more...

In terms of privacy company's here in Europe open more and more up to Cloud Services then Privacy becomes an issue with Identity, Phishing and allot more... To secure that some do not understand that everyone from theoretically everywhere could have potential access. But to stay on topic!!! Privacy online has allot to do with the behavior of the "user". "Where you go - What you do - With who you share"

It all starts with Trust of vendors from the AV - OS - App and Services without that ppl will have issues from the get go...
 

mazskolnieces

Level 3
Jul 25, 2020
124
We often discuss about this in the forums. Product X is privacy-focused, doesn't track you, doesm't spy on you. Product Y is a data miner, but offers amazing security due to having enough funds.


For example: Mozilla Firefox (privacy) vs Google Chrome (security). Examples are vast, and I don't wanna go one by one.

Some of us prioritize security, go for the solid infrastructure and rely on a product's technology to make sure it's safer to use. On the other hand, some of us will prefer privacy, stay more "anonymous", recieving a less secure product and trying to harden it with our knowledge, policies, or tweaks/extensions.

The question: What do you prefer? Security or privacy? If you had to choose a product, offered by two different companies, one which focuses on privacy and one which focuses on security. You can't have both. What's your decision?
Chasing privacy is a waste of time. Mostly because your data is already out there and you have virtually no control over keeping it private and safe.

To make privacy effective on local host requires a large amount of tweaking, installing 3rd party software (including browser extensions), more configuration, and the step where most people utterly fail and unravel all the configuration work that they've done... it requires the user to follow specific inconvenient procedures (such as using a browser at its default window size) as well as not doing a lot of things (that the user is going to do anyway), somehow thinking they'll be able to get away with doing those things somehow and keep themselves private or anonymous.

Ensuring your privacy in the digital world is more or less a full-time occupation with a lot of work and effort requried.
 
Last edited:

BoraMurdar

Community Manager
Verified
Staff member
Aug 30, 2012
6,617
Privacy oriented software care more about security than security oriented software care about privacy.

Question to choose between one of them is hard to answer as there is no correct answer. Just preferability.

My opinion that end user is more prone to privacy attacks (more marketing, analytics=more money) than security attacks although there's no such thing as privacy in modern times.
 

Minimalist

Level 4
Oct 2, 2020
170
There is no 100% privacy as there is no 100% security. Each person has to decide what level of each they want to achieve. I try to find that balance for myself. Since my privacy is "attacked" daily and my security rarely, more resources are needed to protect privacy when trying to keep it at acceptable level.
 

shmu26

Level 85
Verified
Trusted
Content Creator
Jul 3, 2015
7,996
If your privacy is compromised, the data base of a multinational corporation knows where you buy your socks or what type of movies you like.
If your security is compromised, your bank account is cleaned out or all your personal data is deleted.
I think the answer is self-evident.
 

Upendra19

Level 5
Mar 5, 2019
205
If your privacy is compromised, the data base of a multinational corporation knows where you buy your socks or what type of movies you like.
If your security is compromised, your bank account is cleaned out or all your personal data is deleted.
I think the answer is self-evident.

Without security, there is also no privacy, the two things go hand in hand.
I think all the answers are in these two posts in a simple language.
 
Top