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The Best Free Online Privacy Tools

Updated on June 8, 2018
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Husband, father, and author of the children's illustrated book "Tommy the Courageous Bird"

online privacy
online privacy

Privacy And You

Our lives are run by Technology today. Almost everything we do revolves around some form of it. It's an inevitable part of life. But that doesn't mean we should be giving away precious data every time we use it.

Your privacy is important. More important than you probably realize. And recent events in the media should remind all of us how important Cyber Security is.

So I have started this page to help you protect it. The cool thing is that by using some of these tool you will also be safeguarding your identity, your computer, and in some extreme cases against swatting (gamers know what I'm talking about).

So please feel free to use some or all of the tools below. And please let me know anything I have missed or the newest thing to appear!

Secure Your Browser

You use it everyday and it can be a huge hole in your privacy and security. Your browser can be made more secure and safe with a few quick free tweaks.

But beware, too many extensions or add-ons can actually make your browser more vulnerable. Some have been compromised and have spread malware or spam. So always keep these at a minimum.

  • Always make sure your browser is up to date.
  • Turn off third party cookies in your browser. These cookies are used for ad tracking.
  • Always use 'Private Browsing' mode when using a public or shared computer.
  • In Firefox select "Tell sites I do no want to be tracked' under the Privacy tab in 'options' window. In Chrome under 'settings' / 'privacy', check 'Send a "Do Not track" request with your browsing traffic.
  • Privacy Badger is a browser add-on that seamlessly works in the background to stop spying ads and invisible trackers. The best one I have used to date.
  • HTTPS Everywhere helps keep websites encrypted. Sometimes websites will move from HTTPS (encrypted) to HTTP (unencrypted) when to click to different pages. This browser add-on will stop most websites from doing this.
  • uBlock Origin (Firefox) is the ad blocker that AdBlock should have been. For Chrome click here: UBlock Origin
  • NoScript is more for advanced users. It block Java and Flash from running in your browser unless you say it's ok to run. Can be tedious but is a great level of protection.
  • Tor Browser is a pre-configured self contained web browser that allows you to surf the web anonymously by bouncing your communications around a distributed network of relays run by volunteers all around the world.

Must Read Book About Your Data and Your Privacy

Data and Goliath: The Hidden Battles to Collect Your Data and Control Your World
Data and Goliath: The Hidden Battles to Collect Your Data and Control Your World

You data is out there. More than you'll ever realize. This book sheds some light on this.

You are under surveillance and you'll never look at your computer, phone, credit cards, or smart appliance the same again.

An amazing book that is a must read for everyone!

Have You Been Pwned?
Have You Been Pwned?

Has Your Email Been Hacked

There is a great website (with a great name) that will let you plug in your email and see if it has been compromised by many of the biggest hacks in internet history. Simply input your email and cross your fingers.

Safe Search

Google tracks pretty much everything you do. So does every other main search engine out there. Here are two alternates that allow to search anonymously and they never keep any information about you.

  • StartPage is a search engine that sends search terms to go but strips away any kind of personal information before it gets to Google. I use this search engine everyday and I love it.
  • DuckDuckGo is another choice for a search engine that doesn't track you. Not as good as StartPage in my opinion but still a great option.

Encrypted Email

It's time to let go of the email addresses you have been using. They are scanning your email and storing information for advertisers. Or they just are not secure. These email accounts are both more secure and encrypted for your privacy.

  • Protonmail is a free end to end encrypted email that is governed by Swiss law (which has one of the most strict data protection laws).
  • Tutanota is an open source end to end encryption email that is also free! A great option for anyone looking to get encrypted email.
  • RISEUP is part of a website dedicated to a "free society, a world with freedom from want and freedom of expression, a world without oppression or hierarchy, where power is shared equally". This free encrypted email will not disclose your location or log your internet address.

Burner Emails

Burner email accounts allow you to create temporary throw away emails. Why would you need this? Well, not all website privacy policies are the same. You might want to sign up for an app that your not sure about, or a website that seems like it loves to share your email address with anyone, or maybe you want to sign up for a giveaway or contest without giving away your personal email. Or maybe you're afraid of the spam that might come from giving away your personal email.

These places allow you to sign up for a random read only email without any personal information from you whatsoever. Once you trust a site you can simply throw this one away and provide them with your actual one. A great and easy way to protect your privacy and save yourself from unwanted spam.

It's Your Data
It's Your Data

Misc Privacy Tools

Here are a few more ways to protect your identity online along with some great online resources.

  • IDrive is the place to back up your data. Military grade security which includes 256-bit AES encryption on transfer and storage. Plus you can get your own privacy key! Get a FREE account (5GB) today.
  • Use Password Safe or LastPass to create secure and encrypted password lists.
  • Safe Shepherd pro-actively removes your personal information from the Internet and marketing databases.
  • Randomly generate names and addresses for websites through Fake Name Generator
  • Panda Cloud Antivirus is free and it's a quality antivirus software for your computer.
  • Panda Security Antivirus is the paid version of it's free cousin above and it's decently priced antivirus software that you can trust.

Do Not Track

A great documentary series entitled "Do Not Track" is a must see for pretty much everyone that uses the internet. It's a comprehensive collection of episodes that will explore how information is collected and used online. I highly recommend watching all the available and upcoming episodes.

Trailer for Do Not Track

Privacy in the Era of Big Data

The Art of Invisibility: The World's Most Famous Hacker Teaches You How to Be Safe in the Age of Big Brother and Big Data
The Art of Invisibility: The World's Most Famous Hacker Teaches You How to Be Safe in the Age of Big Brother and Big Data

Hacker Kevin Mitnick gives us practical ways to stay private in today's world. Easy to read but also a treasure trove of knowledge and practical advice.


Online Privacy and You

My Favorite Way to Protect My Privacy is

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