Browse Safely

Created on 2017-04-02 14:06:22

Privacy is  a Human Right

According to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights:

Article 12.

No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.

In order to defend your right to privacy online, there are some measures you should take. First, trust nothing online. Practice safe browsing habits, keep your browser updated, don't post things you don't want public, and don't visit questionable sites. There are also other ways to more securely surf the web.

HTTPS all the things!

If you are hosting/building your own website, you should check out an article from my buddy about Let's Encrypt. If you are just looking to improve your broswing security, try out HTTPS Everywhere browser extension to force traffic through https requests whenever possible.

VPN and Proxies

I have been trying out a few VPNs, hide.me is a great free service. I have also heard good things about Tunnel Bear and I am in the process of trying it out personally. A virtual private network is a way to secure your computer through a remote computer and ensure all of your traffic is encrypted. This is one step further than using https, and is like using https for everything. Spotify, amazon and google searches, ftp, netflix, everything. Choose a good service provider that does not store logs or data. Proxies are another way to route your traffic through an encrypted channel, but they are generally less secure. i.e. if it is a transparent proxy, your IP will not be hidden from the destination server.

Onion Routing

Similar to VPN/Proxy is a tool called Tor. Tor is software that uses a network of computers to relay your connection all over the place, making it hard to track your browsing habits and allowing you the benefits of VPN with extra layers of the "onion." Read more about Tor.

Ad Blockers

The reigning champ in this arena is AdBlock Plus and it is a must-have for sane browsing. Block tracking cookies and annoying/dangerous ads from any website. It leaves non-intrusive ads alone so respectable sites can still benefit from user-supported ads.

Offline

You can also encrypt your computer in part or in whole. VeraCrypt is a popular tool to password protect the contents of your computer in case of physical theft or intrusion. Download and follow their instructions here to make your local files safe as well.