5 quick tips to increase your browsing privacy

In the wake of facebook’s data scandal, here are 5 quick tips to increase your browsing privacy.

OrT
OrT
Mar 28, 2018 · 4 min read

Firefox

I know, most Chrome users will not like this, but Firefox has been advocating a better, more open and safer web. It has various built-in tools that increase your online privacy and security. I’ve been using the Fox for many years and I’m a big fan.

A number of these tips will also work on other browsers, though.

1. Browser privacy settings

Make good use of the built-in possibilities. Some of these are also available in Chrome, possibly by installing plugins.

Google auto-suggest

Prevent sending every character you type into your address or search bars to Google by disabling “Provide search suggestions”. (you can leave the search bar on, if you want, but you don’t need it, you can search from the address bar).

Disable Provide search suggestions in Preferences

Master password

Set a master password to prevent people having access to your computer from simply firing up your browser and being able to log in anywhere.

Set a master password

Auto-clear everything

Speeds up your browser and helps prevent your data from being aggregated.

Here’s the catch: you will be logged out of all services.
So yes, you need to log in again every time. But Firefox’ password manager makes this quite fast to do.

In this example, when I close my browser I clear all:

  • Browsing and download history (my address bar suggestions are only bookmarks, speeds things up)
  • Form & Search history
  • Cookies (all of them, to prevent tracking, it will also log you out everywhere)
  • Cache
  • Offline website data

Enable tracking protection

Always enable tracking protection, and always send website a Do Not Track signal. Easy peasy.

2. Disconnect

Disconnect actively blocks activity trackers as you are browsing away. It has been named New York Times’ favorite online privacy tool in 2016 and 2017, and currently has an install base of over 60 million.

They have a Pro and a Premium version that cover entire devices and offer VPN connections.

Disconnect on Wired.com blocked 2 advertising requests (Amazon), 1 analytics (ComScore) and 5 content (Parse.ly). This is fairly low for a news site.
Sites like CNN can easily rack up more than 30 requests.
Hitting Visualize page reveals the linked sites in a graphical way

3. HTTPS Everywhere

HTTPS Everywhere by the Electronic Frontier Foundation is a Firefox, Chrome, and Opera extension that enforces use of the HTTPS versions of as many sites as it can, making sure your more of your traffic is encrypted.

4. Facebook Container

Freshly released yesterday, Facebook Container by Mozilla helps you control more of your web activity from Facebook by isolating your identity into a separate container. This makes it harder for Facebook to track your activity on other websites via third-party cookies.

5. VPN

If you really want to up your data privacy, go for a proper VPN connection, preferably on all your devices. Don’t use a cheap or a free one.

This is a quick list, but can make a big difference.
Do you have things to add or tips to share?

OrT

Written by

OrT

Entrepreneur, passionate about technology, people, businesses, ideas and storytelling. @startupbus EU Winner 2013.

More From Medium

Welcome to a place where words matter. On Medium, smart voices and original ideas take center stage - with no ads in sight. Watch
Follow all the topics you care about, and we’ll deliver the best stories for you to your homepage and inbox. Explore
Get unlimited access to the best stories on Medium — and support writers while you’re at it. Just $5/month. Upgrade