Edward Snowden advises users to move away from Dropbox, Facebook, Google

Picture credit: The New Yorker/YouTube

Edward Snowden has told an audience at the New Yorker Festival to “get rid” of Dropbox as it doesn’t support encryption or protect private files, instead opting for a service such as SpiderOak.

The whistleblower, who was taking part in a ‘virtual interview’ through Google Hangouts, also criticised Facebook and, ironically, Google, although conceded their efforts in keeping user data safe were improving.

Yet when asked what someone who wasn’t a ‘computer genius’ could do to keep themselves safe, Snowden said: “We’re talking about encryption, we’re talking about dropping programs that are hostile to privacy, for example Dropbox. Get rid of Dropbox. It doesn’t support encryption, it doesn’t protect your private files. And use competitors like SpiderOak that do the same exact service but they protect the content of what you’re sharing.

“Same thing with companies like Facebook, companies like Google,” he continued. “They’ve made strides to increase the security of their programs and they’re getting better than they have been, but they’re still not safe. These are dangerous services.”

Meanwhile Dropbox has had to deny reports its service had been hacked, with security exec Anton Mityagin confirming that the series of usernames and passwords posted by hackers were not associated with Dropbox accounts.

“Recent news articles claiming that Dropbox was hacked aren’t true. Your stuff is safe,” he wrote in a blog post. “We have measures in place to detect suspicious login activity and we automatically reset passwords when it happens.”

For Snowden, the finger of blame for hacks is pointed squarely at one target. “You have to use secure communications,” he said. “The real key is, companies that are willing to collaborate with any government to compromise the security of their products and services do not deserve to be trusted with your data. Because if they’ll do it for one government, they’ll do it for another.”

You can watch the full interview with Edward Snowden here.