Your baby steps

towards better privacy

Or at least so that you don’t do stupid things online

Get a VPN

Let’s face it — the Internet is not secure and grammar school kids can hack. They most likely won’t do much harm to you, most likely they’ll sell some data about you to someone who’ll market you their products.

Still: It’s annoying.

Just like David Ohara wrote in his post.

I am not even one of these people who try to prepare themselves for the next catastrophy all the time. I am not fan of conspiracy theories — seriously, I am not. To me, at the start, this whole thing was on the level of a grandma figuring out what to do to make the postmen stop delivering her advertisement. It was just this: To stop big companies marketing me. To achieve that, the most elementary thing is not to be lazy.

So why would you want to make your online activity so easily accessible? Get a VPN. It’s not bulletproof but fine for basic privacy. There are tons of VPN reviews and tutorials. Just skim some of the load now and try something. You’ll get your cash back when you’re not happy.

Disable Scripts

Javascript is used for injection tools that will scrape all data you write into web forms and send them to a file somewhere on someone’s server for other people to use. Very dangerous thing that doesn’t happen every day but when it does…good luck on you. That’s why it’s better to prevent it especially if you like to browse outside the mainstream web from time to time.

You cannot load Gmail without Javascript and some features of some websites might be missing as well. If you use an email client like Thunderbird and Gmail you don’t need to access the Google web interface at all — still it’s definitely honest to say you won’t get the best out of modern web.

If this is a deal breaker for you you won’t want to disable scripts for all websites and always. However, you should do it whenever you visit sites you don’t trust or new sites that you haven’t visited before.

To do that you could get Quick Javascript Switcher or similar extension — there is a couple of them around. This one has an interface where you specify hostnames and even subdomains that will not load JS files at all.

This way you are still globally loading Javascript but for certain specified domain names there will be no JS loaded. It’s the least hassle you can get, definitely.

Get The Right Extensions

A very powerful tool for Opera and Chrome. Did you know it’s possible that your browser leaks your IP address while you are connected via a VPN? It’s been documented on Github but in case you are more solution-oriented and not really a geek that needs to know how exactly every little flaw works you can simply get the extension and have a rest.

For each website you load the interface of the extension will display all resources your browser attempted to load. If some of them don’t look fine they are disabled and won’t load at all. The extension got most famous after the security leak was published as it can disable the routine that could send your real unmasked IP.

Block Ads

This is so basic I won’t even dig too deep into it.

There are bad things in ads, most of all if the ads have passed through the hands of several coders since they have been dispatched from their home ad agency.

What does it mean?

For instance movie streaming, or other free streaming outside the paid and mainstream services. If you are watching something you shouldn’t watch because you’d have to buy it or you’d have to be in another country or something like that, chances are you are using one of these free grayish services that make their living out of ads.

Usually you get an immense amount of ads and you need to click three times the play button before you reach the end of the pop up ads chain. That is so because someone created the data that you stream and placed cookies into the code to get some revenue out of you. Someone else bought the stream and placed it on a website and did the same — pop up ads and cookies. Someone else copied the code from the website and published it on their own website and so on.

Usually at one of these stages people inject trash into the stream.

And you’ll never get to know.

That’s why ad blocks have a good value for you even if you are banner blind and whatnot: You never get to catch everything.

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