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Privacy 101: simple steps to protect your privacy online

Below are a few easy steps to protect your privacy online.

Secure your desktop browser

  • Use Firefox, Vivaldi, Brave or ungoogled-chromium as your default browser (ditch Chrome or Safari);
  • Set DuckDuckGo as your default search engine (ditch Google);
  • Add the following extensions:
    • HTTPS Everywhere to make sure communications with websites you visit are encrypted;
    • Privacy Badger to block advertisers and third-party trackers from secretly collecting your personal data;
    • Facebook Container (Firefox only) to prevent Facebook from tracking you around the web. Facebook tracks you even if you don’t have a Facebook account.

Secure your mobile browser

  • Use Firefox Focus (iOS, Android) as your default browser (ditch Chrome or Safari.)

Secure your messaging app

  • Use Signal on desktop and mobile.

Secure your inbox/email

  • Use one of those email providers:
  • Use a forwading email address to sign up for random websites and newsletters:
  • Use a disposable email address for one-off usage:

Secure your online accounts

  • Use two-factor authentification as much as you can especially for:
    • your email account(s);
    • all your social media accounts;
    • on your bank’s website;
    • on websites where you have your credit card saved.
  • Use a VPN — especially on public wifi:

Secure your passwords

  • Use a password manager to (1) generate a new password for each website, and (2) save your passwords.
  • KeePassXC

Secure your data on your phone and laptop

Limit/block tracking on your iPhone

  • Limit ad tracking by Apple:
    • tap Settings on your home screen
    • tap Privacy
    • scroll down a the bottom of Privacy settings * tap Advertising
    • toggle on Limit Ad Tracking
  • Block analytics tracking by Apple. Apple is collecting usage data on your iPhone. To turn it off:
    • tap Settings on your home screen
    • tap Privacy
    • scroll down a the bottom of Privacy settings
    • tap Analytics & Improvements
    • toggle off Share iPhone Analytics,Improve Sire & Dictation, Share iCloud Analytics

Further learning

Up next sailing Privacy-friendly and open source alternatives to Google’s products Below is a list of privacy-friendly (mostly open source) alternatives to Google’s products. Email me at rpsa at pm [dot] me to add alternatives.
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