Concerns about online privacy are nothing new. From tracking cookies and invasive ads, to spyware and data mining, your information and browsing habits are a juicy prize sought after by more than just marketing companies.
But how do you keep prying eyes off of your data? Well, there are a lot of simple steps you can take.
First up, get yourself a good VPN service. May we suggest our own? Not to toot our own horn (toot toot) but we’re pretty great at offering you top notch VPN service, and we’ve been doing it for over 10 years.
More and more people are realizing that VPN service is a strong step towards privacy. The many-tentacled and omnipresent Social Media behemoth more commonly known as Facebook has been pushing its own VPN service, Onavo. Unsurprisingly, it’s bad.
Stick with the folks whose main purpose is privacy, rather than a nebulous beast which feeds itself on your private data, daily growing more all-seeing. Your best interests are not in mind there.
BROWSER ADD ONS
Browser add ons and extensions can be a really easy and effective way to take steps towards privacy. Invasive ads, tracking cookies, and unsecure websites can be a giant pain to anyone hopping onto the ol’ Information Highway.
Below are some great ones for you to check out!
- PRIVACY BADGER
Privacy Badger is a great, simple to use anti-tracking web browser extension which our friends over at Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) launched. It blocks tracking cookies and spying eyes while browsing. Privacy badger also builds a blocklist and watches the bad behavior, and block certain sites, activities, and cookies.It is pretty light weight, and has a simple green/red/yellow system so you can control what gets blocked.
- HTTPS EVERYWHERE
This add-on is a joint venture project of Tor browser and EFF. It rewrites the requests and directs you to secure sites with HTTPS. When the extension gets installed it establishes a connection to SSL and locates the most secure versions of the websites you visit. With a pedigree like Tor and EFF, it’s a great and easy step to ramp up your privacy while browsing.
- UBLOCK ORIGIN
uBlock Origin is great because it gives you easy to use overall control, letting you decide what to block or allow. If you’re more comfortable doing more in-depth controls, it also lets you deep dive into specifics regarding blocking and allowing.
STORING YOUR INFO
If you’ve ever done any sort of shopping online or filling out of forms, you’re familiar with the ‘HEY DO YOU WANT US TO STORE YOUR INFO?? EH?? IT’LL MAKE IT EASIER NEXT TIME, WE PROMISE!’ routine. No doubt you also get asked about saving your passwords. (Full disclosure: your blogess here saves hers. Just can’t remember them otherwise, and I just never think to do a password locker thing.)
There are pros and cons here, honestly. It really can make things a lot easier if you frequently need fields filled in, or make a lot of regular purchases online.
However, since all browsers now synchronize this info to the cloud (so that, when you are using multiple devices, the CC info and passwords you store on one device is accessible on the other devices) — are they storing it securely? It’s undoubtedly a huge attractions for hackers, so what happens if that info is revealed? Is it sufficiently encrypted such that even quantum computers or computers can’t decrypt it with a lot of time and energy?
If you do choose to store your credit card and password info, make sure that you lock your devices when stepping away. Doing so will help make sure that if someone snags your device, they won’t have instant access to not only your 1528 embarrassing selfie attempts, but all that important password info.
Just do us a favor – DO NOT USE fingerprint unlocking on your phone or other device–that is not protected; a judge can compel you to unlock your device using your fingerprint but cannot compel you to reveal your password(s) — at least in the US. While some judges are challenging this, better safe than sorry.
Stay private, FoxFriends.