How to stay safe and anonymous in the Internet

Apart from the tips below i can highly recommend the Surveillance Self-Defense (SSD) initiative from the Electronic Frontier Found. You find many tips on how to safeguard your environment and understand online security: https://ssd.eff.org/

Secure Browser with essential Plugins

Using a secure browser and updating it regularly is essential! If you are privacy aware, try to avoid Google Chrome. Use Chromium instead, the Open Source component, void of the whole google tracking. Firefox is also a decent browser:

Also be sure, that the plugins do really do what you want. Double check their reputation. The EFF is a good starting point here as well.

Cliqz is basically a Firefox with the recommended plugins and a decent anonymous search engine. Here the basic plugins for all browsers:

A really good read for more information is the privacy subsection of woolyss Chromium site https://chromium.woolyss.com/#privacy

Proper DNS Server

DNS is the service that translates domain names (e.g. google.com) in an IP (e.g. 172.217.23.142). This is a perfect place to block malware, phishing or ads. And it can be used to attack you as well.

I personally use opendns.com, now a part of Cisco as a DNS service. They can block malware, phishing and malformed queries for many attacks. Is a good first line of defense.

However this defense does not apply when you are mobile.

Proper VPN Solution

VPN: virtual private network. You are essentially routing to all your traffic through a VPN provider, instead of your ISP. Hence, trusting them is the most important prerequisite for choosing a service.

ProtonVPN (€4,00/month)

This service comes directly from the makers of ProtonMail, the world class secure mail provider.

Basic services are totally free and make it feasible to provide VPN for everyone.

There are paid versions as well, where you get more speed and more devices. Tor connectivity is included in paid also.

NordVPN ($3,30/month)

Special deal. Have all the usual stuff. Strictly no logs, Tor over VPN, Exit Nodes everywhere, top speed, P2P allowed, DNS Leak protection etc… Check for yourself. It’s tough to find out who owns and operates the business.

PureVPN ($2.95/month)

Basic VPN needs. No real special security stuff. Allows for split tunneling.

Tor for Anonymity

Tor is a way to stay anonymous in the Web and also to access the so-called “Dark Web”, a part of the web that is not accessible outside the Tor network itself.

Basically few rules apply there and if properly done, almost full anonymity can be achieved.

A good start is the Tor Browser, which is a Firefox without plugins and only using Tor to connect to the Internet.

Many VPN providers are supporting TOR access to the ‘light’ and ‘dark’ net with their service.

References:

https://cliqz.com/

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