It's okay to let go, once in a while

Well, I feel like I need to let off a bit of steam and vent about things I learned in the past week, month, in the regular, stream-of-consciousness fashion.


First, a follow-up on my backup situation. The backup2l solution I described in my last post is working splendidly as far as collecting the data goes. I’ll have to check my backups soon, maybe spin up a small VM on my end with the same specs and try to recover the backup. But as far as the actual backup process, it runs daily, then the cloud server connects via SSH to my device and runs a homeserver script that checks the backup. Therefore, I don’t need to time my cron jobs on both ends to say “Hey, at 1PM, run backup2l on the cloud server, and at 1:05, run the home server’s script to check it.”

All in all, a backup is only as good as their ability to recover a system, so I’m still in the learning phase there. But hey, two months ago I didn’t even have backups, so small steps, mostly in the right direction.

I have a plan to set the same thing up for my phone. I am aware of radicale and the whole WebDAV, CardDAV, etc., but I found that usually comes with an app that you need to manage, ports to open, and I don’t necessarily want to set it up just to rework my network in a few months. Why? That’s still planned, I have my old router, PiHole and WiFi access point ready to go, it’s all about having time… which I don’t.

Privacy worries

I spent a while setting up my privacy, and last week, I realized that dreaming about setting up anonymous living, anonymous payments, etc. is good. Now I’m going to parrot Michael Bazzell, but he talked about a way privacy can fuck someone up: Wanting the best on your first try.

As I mentioned many times before, I have made mistakes. Everyone does. Gazing into the abyss of privacy, the abyss will gaze back, and bite you in the ass. I have reached a fairly comfortable level of privacy. To say I’m unfindable would be a huge overstatement, but in my daily life, I have developed habits that give me some peace of mind, and although there may be that one thing I’m missing and that will one day lead to me getting rekt, doxxed and outed, I have no way of controlling that if I don’t know what it is.

The first thing that may spring to mind is to find that thing and eliminate it. That shouldn’t be too difficult, right? Actually, I believe it’s not going to be that easy. First of all, I have no clue where to start. Secondly, I have enough on my mind with my work, my hobbies, etc. Plus, the steps I would have to undertake are no longer the free-to-play kind, and can get quite costly. Most of these would be legal matters, which require a lawyer, some of these are plain old impossible given the local legal system.

I will maybe get on the more extreme side one day, but as it stands now, I am still at a point where these privacy practices do not hinder me as much.

Furthermore, with companies being what they are, my real name came up once or twice. This was due to my work obligations. Luckily for me, even the company scraping this data fucked up and my e-mail, location, all of that was off by ~100km. Nonetheless, I made a custom e-mail account already somehow tied to my name and asked for a GDPR deletion. They obliged within a day. Good for me, I guess. But regular checks are in order from now on.

As I said, to focus on getting into extreme privacy would be useless if the intermediate steps are not covered yet or impossible to do.

Security training

I promised this in my Twitter posts, my OSCP struggles!

The labs are going slowly, but surely. I have read through the material, I’m doing the lab work, but I feel woefully unprepared. I do not expect to pass, I expect to fail miserably. Now the only question is how hard. Even though I had enough time, I have not done nearly enough. I know it. I will do my best during the exam, and I will learn from my failures.

That’s about all I wanted to say on the topic.

Obligatory ending

What can I say? I talked to my heart’s content. If you want to take something away from this rant, take away these points:

  • It’s okay to let go once in a while, from anything that you need to step away from.
  • Take pride in what you’ve accomplished, look back at your past you (and in my case, laugh at that idiot).
  • Carve out time for maintenance. None of what I mentioned is a set-and-forget thing, they all require a certain degree of maintenance, be it your training, privacy, administration, or your mental health. The last part is very important. A non-private, mentally stable person is always better than an invisible lunatic.

If you have any pointers for me as far as privacy, security, or anything goes, I’d love to hear it.