last update: June 10, 2019
A question I get asked regularly is “How do I protect myself when surfing?”
Here’s how I do it. There are always alternative methods and setups. Nothing is 100% secure if it is online. Absolutely no promises. These steps will protect you from most tracking, but remember – anyone with enough skill/time/resources can see everything you do online. The only way to avoid that is to not be looked for by someone with the time/skill/resources.
Use a VPN. This is essentisl if you are connecting to any wifi network other than your home network, but I use one at home as well. I use, recommend and make a referral from AirVPN
How to easily create relatively secure passwords has it’s own page. Find it here: Passwords
First of all I use 2 browsers – Firefox and Chrome. And I make sure they’re up to date. I use Chrome for all my “safe” surfing. Banking. Revenue Canada. Twitter. Anywhere that I want cookies and scripts and passwords and Java on all the time. People I am ok knowing who I am, and where I’m going. For all other surfing I use Firefox. I set Firefox’s preferences so that it is always in “Private Browsing” mode. I also have it set to delete everything on exit. Cookies, passwords, etc. And then I install the following addons:
Privacy Badger [link]
From the Electronic Frontier Foundation. Essential privacy tool. Defaults.
Set options for pop ups and things to taste. I have them turned off because it pops up a lot. The important one here is the Whitelist tab. NoScript assumes that you would like some things, like YouTube, allowed to run. I remove everything except the “about:” entries, as well as “blob:”, “chrome:”, “moz-safe-about:”, and “resource:”. Anywhere I want scripts to always run I visit in Chrome. And having to stop and allow scripts each time reminds me I am trading something to view the web page – my movements online being tracked at a minimum. As well, Java can also be used to identify your location, act as malware and is generally a security risk to your computer.
HTTPS Everywhere [link]
Random User Agent [link]
and if you have a VPN / proxy service available to you….