Ten ways to 'drop off of the grid'.

Keeping your private stuff private

Granted, this is nearly impossible these days, in the USA. Many techniques outlined in this essay will show you how to do your best.

Using a virtual private network (VPN) when using the Internet. The five best (recognized as the four best) providers are, in no particular order (I'm not saying one is better than the other):

1-Private Internet Access

2-TorGuard

3-IPVanish

4-CyberGhost

Signing up for one of these services is your first step in the right direction. There are other considerations when using the Internet, too.

2)Your best bet would be to have any other operating system than Windows. Linux is very popular amongst the computer geek collective.

3) Use Mozilla Firefox as your browser. Mozilla is a non-profit, so the don't profit from skewing search results, nor sharing your information (unlike Chrome and IE). There are also add-ons for Firefox that are great. Two such add-ons are Firewall and Adblock Lite. These can be found by going to> add-ons>get add-ons, then select the appropriate software (it's all free, at least at the time this article's being written).

4) NEVER use your PC in a hot-spot. Hackers hang out at coffee shops etc just waiting to break into your machine. That, and there's no telling who has access to the information transmitted via hot-spot.

5) Use your address bar rather than a search engine. Even some sites that you have bookmarked still contain algorithms that may transmit information back to a search engine (I know that's not worded well, give me a break. I'm not that smart).

6) Do not carry a cell phone. The days of having to triangulate a signal to know a cell phone's whereabouts are GONE. Case in point- if you ever have to call police from your cell, but aren't sure of your location, they can tell you in real time. I know, I've done this.

7) Absolutely, under no circumstances should you use Facebook Messenger. This thing is the worst privacy nightmare created within the last year.

8) Do not stay signed into any website. To use Facebook as an example again (hmm, wonder why I'm doing that), Facebook and other sites use 'local storage. Storing data on drives directly attached to the user's computer. The term would be used to differentiate internal drives and externally connected drives from storage on servers in the network.

9) Do not use a bank. I know, this one's difficult. It's extremely difficult to cash checks and pay bills without a bank (they do this on purpose). A money order would be the best way that I know of. It doesn't completely eliminate a banking institution, but all of your other purchases won't be seen by a single entity.

10) Use sophisticated antivirus and anti-malware software. As a general rule of thumb I'd recommend the following- note, you can use many of these programs in concert with another:

Avira Antivir, Malwarebytes, Trend Micro all have the best performance that I've seen. Always use to Pro version of these programs, and make sure they update every day. The Security Suite version of Antivir and Trend Micro also have mail protection, surfing protection, as well as other real time defenses.

Again, this is not a be all end all set of solutions. I've simplified it to make it more accessible.

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