20 Best Tips to Stay Anonymous and Protect Your Online Privacy

Signal enables encrypted chat and phone calls with a system that helps verify the identity of your contacts. Folks like Edward Snowden and the EFF recommend using Signal to avoid surveillance, and the ease of use on iOS and Android makes friends and family much more likely to convert.” alt=”Signal” class=”slider-252292 slide-252293″ /> GnuPG (or equivalent tools), you can easily prevent simple snooping. Of course, it’s always possible for vulnerabilities to emerge, but imperfect protection is always better than no protection at all.” alt=”GnuPG” class=”slider-252292 slide-252345″ /> customized fork of Firefox automatically connects to the Tor network, and includes some of the privacy-enhancing browser extensions discussed later in this post. This package has everything you need to use Tor successfully, but you’ll also need to change your web surfing behavior to retain as much anonymity as possible. Abide by the Tor warnings, and remember this isn’t a magic bullet.” alt=”TorBrowser” class=”slider-252292 slide-252318″ /> TorGuard or Private Internet Access. While the protection isn’t perfect, they will help you to disguise your activities online. Your real IP address will be hidden from the world, and your traffic will remain indecipherable to nosy ISPs or governments. Even if your country is actively on the lookout for VPN traffic, you can still benefit from so-called “stealth VPNs.” TorGuard offers its stealth VPN service at no additional cost, and it will make government detection and interference much harder to accomplish. For those of you being held hostage by your government, VPNs are by far the best bet for bypassing censorship and snooping.” alt=”VPN” class=”slider-252292 slide-252319″ /> DNSLeakTest.com, and run the extended test. If the results show the third-party DNS service you’re using (like TorGuard), you’re set. If your ISP’s DNS info shows up, you have a DNS leak. Follow the steps listed on the “How to fix a DNS leak” page, and then test yourself again to make sure everything is working as intended.” alt=”DNS Leak” class=”slider-252292 slide-252320″ /> virtual machine. Load up your favorite Linux distribution inside, configure it to your liking, and then save a snapshot of your VM. Next, download your desired file, and then shut off your virtual machine’s access to the Internet. Once you’re sure that the VM is cut off completely from the network, you can now open the file safely. Read what you need, make notes, and then shut down the VM. Next time you need to view a file inside one, you’ll have your snapshot ready to go.” alt=”Virtual-Machine” class=”slider-252292 slide-252321″ /> Tails is custom-built for preserving your privacy and anonymity. Your traffic is automatically routed through Tor, encryption tools are built-in for IM and email, and it won’t interact with any of your existing OS installations. It’s an excellent all-in-one package that’s easy to use. Still, you need to be vigilant. All of the same Tor disclaimers apply, and if you’re using this on a shared PC, you could still be tracked with the likes of a simple key logger.” alt=”TAILS” class=”slider-252292 slide-252322″ /> Third-Party-Cookiesblowing a whistle on the NSA.” alt=”Location” class=”slider-252292 slide-252325″ /> Do not TrackSandboxie, so less sophisticated browsers can receive similar benefits.” alt=”Plug-ins” class=”slider-252292 slide-252327″ /> NoScript, you can manually manage which domains have permission to run JavaScript in your browser. This way, you can whitelist only the domains and webpages that you absolutely trust.” alt=”Block Javascript” class=”slider-252292 slide-252329″ /> Privacy Badger add-on. Available for Chrome, Firefox, and Opera, this browser extension monitors when sites try to track your browsing habits, and automatically thwarts future tracking attempts. While this add-on was built using the Ad-Block Plus codebase, this isn’t truly an ad-blocking tool. Instead, the EFF is only interested in blocking snoops. Best of all, the list of blocked content automatically improves as you browse — no need to manually block trackers.” alt=”Privacy-Badger” class=”slider-252292 slide-252331″ /> infamous security issues, SSL is still extremely important for keeping your Web traffic safe from prying eyes. If you want to keep nosy packet sniffers out of your business, your Web traffic should always be going through SSL connections. Sadly, not every website supports SSL. Even worse, many websites that do support SSL still default to unencrypted connections — and the Electronic Frontier Foundation wants to change that. The HTTPS Everywhere browser extension, provided for free by the EFF, forces SSL connections on countless websites. Chrome, Firefox, and Opera users can all take advantage of this wonderful extension, and keep important Web traffic private and secure.” alt=”HTTPS-Everywhere” class=”slider-252292 slide-252332″ /> DuckDuckGo is a good alternative for some of us, but the quality of Google’s results can be difficult to forgo. Thankfully, you can easily sidestep one of Google’s most obnoxious behaviors: URL trackers. When you click on a URL in Google, it actually loads a redirect URL first for easier tracking. Even worse, simply copying the link from Google can give you a long, messy tracking link instead of the plain URL you really want. But when you use this simple little Firefox extension called Searchlinkfix, it does away with that completely.” alt=”Search Engine Links” class=”slider-252292 slide-252334″ /> WebRTC enabled, your internal IP can be accessed by any given website, and it can potentially reveal your real IP address while using a VPN. If you’re using Firefox, you can go into about:config, and set media.peerconnection.enabled to “false.” Alternately, you can use the popular content blocker uBlock Origin to turn off this functionality in Chrome and Firefox. ” alt=”WebRTC” class=”slider-252292 slide-252337″ /> BetterPrivacy that allows you to granularly manage your LSOs just as you would with normal cookies.” alt=”BetterPrivacy” class=”slider-252292 slide-252338″ /> BrowserLeaks.com, and take a gander at all of the data your browser is giving away. This toolset will never be completely exhaustive, but if you want to verify that your privacy and security precautions are really working, this site is an invaluable asset.” alt=”Browser Leaks” class=”slider-252292 slide-252340″ /> Panopticlick. This handy little tool, owned and operated by the Electronic Frontier Foundation, quickly tells you just exactly what your browser is broadcasting to the world. The more information given away, the easier it will be to identify you as a unique individual.” alt=”Panopticlick” class=”slider-252292 slide-252341″ /> Mailinator or YopMail. Anybody can access those inboxes though, so use discretion. If you actually want to maintain legitimate accounts on sites like Facebook or Twitter, you can create numerous free email accounts, and then configure email forwarding to funnel all of the messages into a single inbox. It’s a lot of additional work, but it also offers the benefit of being able to easily detect which sites are selling your information to spammers.” alt=”Mailinator” class=”slider-252292 slide-252342″ />

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