Originally posted on Mashable by Jack Morse

The year may be passing the halfway mark, but the race to invade your privacy is far from over.

With the pandemic winding down but not petering out, the hybrid workplace has solidified as the plan du jour, or more accurately du an. Employers want employees back in the office, and if that won’t do, then they’ll just have to monitor them some other way.

Thankfully, there are tools you can use to protect your privacy — from that nosey boss, those tech giants, or the people in your life who just won’t get off your grill.

Here are the most essential privacy tools of 2021 (so far).

1. How to chat privately

That reassuring blue.

That reassuring blue. Credit: Thiago Prudencio / Getty

When it comes to speaking with your coworkers, family, partner, or friendly neighborhood drug dealer, there’s the wrong way and then there’s the Signal way. The private messaging app is free, and lets you exchange end-to-end encrypted phone calls, video calls, and text-based messages with anyone…

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