There's a lot of conversation and arm waving about keeping yourself secure but most of it boils down to people yelling "Use Tor!" or "Smash your smartphone!". Let's discuss some practical (read: not perfect) steps we can take to help defend ourselves against our assumed threat models or situational use.
In my case, I've got access to a highly trusted home server, a moderately trusted office server (not related to the company I work for), and a lightly trusted public server. I've got a decrepit laptop for personal use, a laptop for work use, and a smartphone. The computers run Linux and BSD (distros are irrelevant) and my phone runs Lineage without any connected "apps" other than a web browser.
So here's a few scenarios and my responses to them:
0. Personal computing on company hardware
I keep my personal computing and work computing completely separate but once in a while I want to read some news or chat with a friend and all I have is my company laptop.
In this case, I'll either fire up a VM with Tails or I will simply SSH into one of the servers mentioned above to get things done. It's tidy enough that I'm not worried about work finding anything personal of mine. I wouldn't fret if they took the laptop from me. They're not likely to see the traffic, either.
1. Advertisers and marketing goons feeding me garbage
I don't have any social media accounts and I try to limit my viewing of content from social media sites. I try to use Tor when I can to obfuscate my browsing a little further.
I use small/private email hosts that aren't scraping my messages and I use GPG when people are willing to do the same. I use XMPP with OTR/OMEMO in case that traffic is being mined for data. Sometimes I'll use Tox but I'm not sure it defends against this too well.
2. Physical theft or acquisition of my laptop
I use full disk encryption and strong passwords. That's about it. I make backups and the like but I'm not sure about the best way to expand on this.
I'm considering using a live OS full time but then I fear the hd in the laptop would go to waste. I'm not sure where I'd keep my media (pictures, books, music) but I could do all my work Post too long. Click here to view the full text.