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Best Tricks to Protect Your Online Privacy (Part 1)

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Worried about Protecting Your Online Privacy?

Introduction

Hello Explicit Facter!

Welcome to explicitfacts.com! A place where ignited minds come to get inspired! If you have not subscribed to our website, then you are missing out.

Today we will try to explore the new topic “Protection of Your Privacy on the Internet” compiled by Team Explicit Facts.

Online Privacy in present days is in greater attack than ever before and the major pushing force is deception.

Although Facebook and Google claim that they don’t sell our online data for financial gains. But they do acknowledge that they rent it, for earning a fortune to other companies, who want to learn our online browsing habits so that they can channelize their advertisements accordingly.

With our smartphones connected to the android through one dedicated Gmail id or account, therefore, it is almost impossible to hide your online browsing habits from Google.

Even though Google claims that you can control your online data sharing through various permissions and controls. But the harsh truth is that you just cannot escape the sharing of 100% online browsing data with Google, which is stored in their dedicated servers.

These online data are utilized to channelize the advertisements and search results, visible on your screen, through which they earn a fortune.

Without trouble, we believe and noticeably confident we can say this… The article is the best privacy security guide on the Internet.

You want to learn how to best protect your online privacy without going crazy because you know why privacy matters to you?

Congratulations!!! You’ve come to the right place.

Courtesy: YouTube

Over the past three years, we have been developing, what we would consider the best privacy strategy striking the right balance between convenience and security.

It’s not necessarily about the tools and apps.

It’s about a process, which we call it “Privacy by Compartmentalization”.

Privacy by Compartmentalization

Among the top researchers in cybersecurity, security by compartmentalization is the most effective way to protect information assets.

It stems from an assumption that any system, no matter how secure it is… Will eventually get breached!

Nothing is perfectly secure.

In time is always on the side of the attacker.

This strategy applies even more to average users.

To function in modern internet-driven society, you must give up at least some information.

Our Goal

The goal of privacy by compartmentalization is to take control of, who gets access to what information and prevent adversaries from getting access to the whole package, but only to the information necessary to deliver the desired function.

The easiest way to understand this is to simply consider how you don’t want some information about, what you do with your friends’ Orin Private to be known to your employer or business partner.

Today we will teach you how to engage in both activities, but prevent adversaries from either side, from learning about them.

Privacy by compartmentalization is quite simple.

You will create virtual compartments, where you concentrate carefully separated pools of data.

Each compartment will revolve around a different sphere of your identity.

The more security you want the stronger walls between your compartments, you’ll build.

Types of Compartments

The first compartment is for your personal identity, to separate your business email and work-related activity from the rest of your online presence.

The second compartment is for your social media so that you keep those advertising giants away from your digital life outside of their platforms.

The third compartment is for your private identity, where most of your light browsing, news reading, watching YouTube and making online purchases happen.

When you become familiar with this practice you can build more compartments, but this is what we’ll start with.

The goal is to minimize the possibility of linking one pool of data to another.

If somebody knows your professional identity, they wouldn’t be able to figure out what you do in your social or private spheres. And likewise, even if, information from your private sphere falls into the hands of your adversary, they wouldn’t be able to tie it back to your real identity.

An adversary doesn’t have to be someone with hostile intentions. It’s simply anyone who can or wants to get access to your information.

It can be your service provider, the government, health insurance company, employer friend, neighbour hacker, or your spouse.

Why do you need to compartmentalize?

Modern technology can use a combination of cookies, tracking scripts, advertising IDs, and advanced AI to collect data from across multiple channels, from mobile to desktop, across different platforms and apps online and offline.

Without compartmentalization, each time you visit a store, go to a website, or install an app, you are giving up your entire record from the past into the future.

So, how do we build compartments?

By completing maximum separation, in choosing our providers and who gets to see our data.

For this reason, we’re going to get out of the ecosystem trap, because that forces us to put all our eggs in one basket.

We don’t want to entrust one provider with everything we do.

That means in each compartment, we are going to use different software, from different providers where possible and make sure we limit and block as many tracking attempts are functionally feasible.

The First Compartment – Professional Identity

Let’s build the first compartment.

This is where you want to put your entire real name, real identity work, or business-related activities.

Each compartment is going to have its own browser.

The first one and the most recommended is privacy hardened Firefox.

There is some mandatory add-ins to install, as well as tweaking some settings to hard code privacy into the browser itself.

The simplest way is to install privacy extensions. Extensions such as: –

  • Ublock Origin
  • HTTPS Everywhere
  • De-centralized and cookie auto-delete

There are other extensions available, but this combination will do everything we need.

Ublock Origin will help you block ads and trackers, but we’ll use it in a slightly advanced mode to build better wolves around our professional browser.

We need Cookie Autodelete to delete cookies, that can track has across websites and sessions.

Make sure you said Auto clean to be enabled and harden some settings if you want.

Both HTTPS Everywhere and De-centralized are install and forget so we’ll leave them for now.

Change Firefox settings, so that you always browse in private mode and set up content blocking. This means goodbye to the browsing history, but it’s necessary if you don’t want your browsing habits to be tied to your real identity.

Use bookmarks to remember websites to visit later and acquire the habit of closing your browser frequently, to delete all the cookies and trackers planted on your device by websites visit.

You can also go to about config in hard code some privacy settings into Firefox.

You’ll find all of these on the privacy tools that IO website.

For Ublock Origin, we will have a dedicated tutorial if you want to master this tool, but for now, we’ll recommend using it in a medium mode and block scripts.

Go to the dashboard and check the box for I’m an advanced user… Check all privacy settings and disable JavaScript.

Open the Ublock Origin menu and turned the rectangles next to the third-party scripts and third-party frames red and hit the padlock ‘I can’t remember your changes’.

We just gave a Ublock Origin global rule to block requests that are not coming from the first party domain. That is the domain you see in your URL bar.

Sometimes you might have to re-enable JavaScript to bring a website’s function only back.

In the bottom right corner of the menu click the icon that says enable JavaScript on this site here, the padlock and reloads the website.

In rare cases, you might have to enable third-party requests as well.

The quickest way to unbreak a website is to just give Ublock origin a local rule by turning rectangles for third-party requests in the third column gray.

When you hit pad log Ublock origin will remember to allow third-party requests, on this website but it will keep blocking them everywhere else.

If you want you can be more granular with this by selecting individual requests, to allow instead of enabling everything.

To learn more about these just watch our tutorial or read the docs, which we will be posted as separate articles soon.

Emails

If you need to use an email from Gmail, Yahoo or other big tracking company make sure you move it to privacy friendly email client.

The best ones out there are Thunderbird and Claws. Even though the Thunderbird and Firefox are Privacy respecting, they both are provided by Mozilla Foundation. So, you might want to shift to Claws, if that troubles you.

The best mobile open-source email client is Canine followed by Fair Email.

It’s good to separate your email accounts from your browser entirely.

It allows you to be connected to your accounts while using Firefox to browse the web, without having it tied to your identity.

If you can’t do that for whatever reason, then just upbraid your email websites the same way, as shown before.

Remember that if you are logged into your account on a browser, your provider, and the websites you visit, could still track you through real-time cookies, which get paired to your email account.

Which is why you must close your browser frequently.

Change your default browser to DuckDuckGo or start page to pool Google results, but more privately.

On mobile devices use the DuckDuckGo browser app.

Make sure, you don’t do anything professional identity compartment that’s not related to your professional activities. That means, use this browser only for work-related stuff and nothing else.

For a work email, I recommend Proton mail– a paid version gives you extra features and even an ability to use it with an email client or you can just use their free mobile apps.

Transitioning to a new email address is easy. Just set forwarding all emails, from your old address to a new one and each time you respond to your contacts, they’ll immediately know of your new email.

Good alternatives for professional messaging and video conferences are wider and Jitsi.

Second Compartment – Social Identity

Building the second compartment is easy.

Firefox Browser Settings

We’re going to create a new Firefox profile for desktop with the exact same settings and add-ins.

Just go to about profiles, create a new profile, and name it a soulful identity.

You can also retain your default profile to professional identity.

Open the routes directory and copy all the files from your default profile to your social profile.

If you want to be extra sure and none of the browser data are shared you can manually change all the settings again.

You will use this profile only for your social media accounts except for YouTube.

If you want to step it up, you can disable all third-party requests globally. This is where I would recommend applying more granules or tinkering and only allow script specific for each social site.

Only allow Reddit scripts for Reddit, Facebook for Facebook etc.

Remember that all your likes share comments and views will be recorded stored and sold forever.

How you use your social media is not always up to you though.

Privacy In Smartphones

When you install mobile apps these can pull an insane amount of data from your phone including your location, biometric data files, messages contacts, and media.

One way to mitigate this is to sandbox web versions of your social media sites, through an app called Web Apps.

Web Apps give each social media site its own sandbox where a site runs with all third-party requests scripts and cookies block with forced encryption and illuminated referees.

If you want to use social media, it’s important to keep them in a separate compartment and re-evaluate how much information you’re willing to trade for the benefit you receive from using them.

Never browse the web or do anything on the same browser dedicated to social media.

On your phone setup, Firefox focus or Firefox Klar to be your default browser for opening links.

It is also crucial that you don’t use any other professional or real name emails or your social media. Using your real names makes you more vulnerable to hacking through social engineering.

Set up a randomly looking email address with Totadona and register social media sites with it.

Totanoda has nice desktop and mobile apps, so you can use it without ever accessing your email in the browser.

One exception could be Facebook, as Proton mail has partnered with Facebook, to send PGP encrypted notification emails which are a useful security enhancement.

Just don’t use your work email but set up a new Proton mail account just for Facebook.

Almost all major social media sites will request your phone number. The only reason they wanted is to get to know all of your social contacts so that they can study your social graph.

Burner Phones

To mitigate this best practice is to just get a burner phone.

A burner phone is a regular throwaway brick phone or dumb phone from back in the day. Pick one that’s cheap and doesn’t have any GPS Wi-Fi or Bluetooth.

Get a new preferably pre-activated SIM card.

Buy it anonymously in a local store and only use cash to top it up you won’t have to spend much because you will use it for neither calls nor SMS.

It will only serve to give social media, a throwaway phone number that’s not tied to your identity and your contacts. This shouldn’t cost you more than $20 altogether.

Signal App

If you want to keep your social media, we will at least recommend ditching their messaging apps for Signal.

Signal works with your phone number but all your chats, voice, and video calls are end-to-end encrypted by default signal also doesn’t record your contacts conversation lists, location user data, and sender information.

On Android, you can also set it to handle your SMS.

You don’t have to give Signal, your phone number it can be any number as long as you have the means to receive the verification code.

Continued in “Best Ways to Protect Your Online Privacy (Part 2)

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