Dmitry In Space

maker of stuff & trouble

maker of stuff & trouble

PRIVACY

I love back scratchers. But I probably can't write a whole blog post about it, so let's talk online privacy instead. 

You've heard the news. You must have. Online privacy is soon to be a thing of the past, thanks to some unwelcome Washington meddling. And maybe you've shrugged it off. Maybe privacy is not all that important to you. After all, if you've got nothing to hide, what should you be worried about? And if you're one of those people - to you I say, head on over here for some enlightenment.

But this is not one of those in-depth articles on how to protect yourself online. I'm by no means an expert in this nebulous field. What I will talk about is what I've been able to do personally, to protect my own privacy online, short of completely burning my social media accounts to the ground and getting myself a VPN. So without further ado... 

BROWSER EXTENSIONS

Start by doing something really simple. Chances are, you use either Firefox, Chrome or Safari to browse the internet. Outside of using their private/incognito features that secure your browsing habits locally, you can also benefit greatly from enabling "add-ons" for your browser. It's a quick and free way to avoid being tracked and spammed at every turn.

SEARCHING

Forget Google. Definitely forget Yahoo. If you don't want to be tracked, and to have a generally better, unbiased searching experience, give DuckDuckGo a try. It's a clean, ad-free system with results that are just as good, if not better than Google itself.

EMAIL

Did I mention to forget Google and Yahoo? This applies to email as well. And if email security is a top priority, that's where ProtonMail comes in. The basic service is free, with apps for just about all types of smartphones available. And there are paid tiers as well that offer more features, were you to require a bit more bang out of your emails.  

There are more solutions and better, more informed articles that you can find out there in the ether. You can encrypt your hard drive (easy to do on both windows and mac os x). You could secure your browsing on your smartphone as well (refine is one such app, for ios). And you could always get real serious with VPN (though you do risk ending up on an NSA list if you do that). 

Bottom line is that it's time to take all of this a little more seriously. As the internet begins to age, we can only hope that it does so like a fine wine, rather than aged, stinky cheese.