How to protect your phone (and your privacy) at a protest

Privacy
[MUSIC] If you're going to a protest, then you need to stay safe but you also need to keep your phone and your personal information safe. Here's how to prepare your tech if you're heading to a protest. [CROSSTALK] [INAUDIBLE] Your phone is a really handy thing to have on you at a protest, but it can also be used to track you. The safest way to ensure that you're not tracked is to leave your phone at home. At home or to use a burner phone, but for a lot of us that's not really practical. So here are some tips that will help you and it's a way to minimize your risk. First of all, turn off Wi Fi and location services and turn on airplane mode. Law enforcement used a number of tools to track people based on their location. One of those is called a StingRay. Now it's a surveillance device that mimics a cell phone tower and connects to people's phones without their knowledge. Records collected by the ACLU show that local and state police have been using this kind of technology for For years, sometimes without a warrant, police also use something called a geo fence warrant. Now, rather than being targeted at a specific person, this kind of warrant lets police sweep up a whole bunch of data from any phone that was in a designated area. Turning off location services and Wi Fi and turning on airplane mode before you leave the house can help protect you from this kind of sweeping data collection. Next up, you should turn off face ID and fingerprint unlocking and use a password instead. In the US the Constitution protects you from unreasonable searches and from being forced to incriminate yourself. Which means that you can't be forced to reveal your phone password. But a number of courts have ruled that this doesn't apply to biometrics like face ID or fingerprints. They're considered more like a mug shot, not necessarily private information but something that's just Part of who you are. Now it's important to remember this varies by state and by country. Some US courts have ruled that you can't be forced to unlock your phone with your biometrics like your fingerprint but there is no hardened fast rule. So it's best to setup a password and the longer the better. Next, and this is something you should do whether you're going to protest or not set up your phone to show emergency contacts on your lockscreen. In iOS, you can do this in the medical ID section of the Health app. You can also add emergency contacts and other info like your name and your blood type. But make sure you turn on show when locked. iOS also has a feature called emergency SOS. Now on iPhone 7 and earlier you can access that by pressing the power button five times fast on iPhone 8 and later, press and hold the power and volume buttons. This feature automatically calls emergency services and then sends a text to your emergency contacts with your current location, even if location services are turned off. On Android phones emergency features vary by device, but you can normally find this information in the About Phone section of your settings app. You can also see a shortcut by swiping on your lock screen. Next up protests can get pretty rowdy. So think about what happens if your phone gets smashed or damaged. Put it in a case for sure. But also make sure you backup your contacts, your photos and any important documents to the cloud before you go. Now we come to photos and social posts. Now these can be A vital way to share information both at the protest and with the outside world. But they can also be used to track people. Some people want to stay anonymous at a protest. Maybe they're worried about repercussions from their employer. So it's always wise to ask someone before you take their photo. And if you're taking photos of large crowd scenes then consider blurring out faces. You can use image editing apps or a tool like image scrubber to blur out faces, as well as scraping photo metadata, things like when the photo was taken and where And if you don't have access to any of those tools, then consider just going into your photo editing app on your phone and slapping a couple of emojis over the identifiable faces. And finally, consider going low phi take cash instead of debit or credit cards which can be tracked and make sure you write your important information. Emergency contacts on your arm in shopping. Alright guys, it's our goal at CNET to bring you all the tech information you need. I hope this has been helpful. And remember to stay safe, stay healthy. Look after yourself. Cheers, guys.

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