Guides

Top Privacy Tools of 2020 & Complete Guide

Online Privacy Tools

This is a list of the top privacy tools you can use to protect your identity and secure yourself while using the internet (and computers in general). We have tested many privacy tools and are sex bloggers, so online security is extra important to us. Keep in mind that no privacy tool is a 100% guarantee that you are safe. That is why this article is a guide as well as a list of tools.

My name is Adam and I’m one of the main people that runs ObsessionRouge.com. We are a website that deals with sex related topics including sex toy reviews, male enhancement, sexual health and more.

I also care deeply about online privacy and have done a lot of research over the years on how best to protect myself and my data. The reason I wrote this article is because if read sex related website then I think you should also be aware of online privacy and how to protect yourself.

This list took hundreds of hours of trial, error and research. If you’re a beginner to web privacy and don’t know what some of the things on this list mean or don’t know what online privacy is about, then I invite you to start with my most basic article on online privacy and make your way back here from there.

If you find this page helpful, don’t be shy and leave me a comment or send me a message! I’m also on Twitter.

Privacy tools menu:

This page contains affiliate links. If you use them and make a purchase then we may get a small commission. Please consider using our links because affiliation is the only way that we earn any money. It helps our website a lot and we really appreciate your support! 🙂

What is a VPN?

Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) are used to hide your IP address and obscure your web traffic. Using a VPN often means that your internet service provider can no longer see what you browse on the internet, which is great for privacy. VPNs don’t make you totally anonymous however they do offer greatly enhanced privacy. If you need something more hardcore then use the Tor Browser (read further to discover what that is).

As I already mentioned, a VPN can be used to hide which websites you use from your internet service provider. Another advantage to most VPNs is that you can access content only available in other countries by using an IP address that appears to be in that country. That means sometimes that you can access different country’s netflicks, order from shops that otherwise wouldn’t let you or view iPlayer when you don’t live in the UK. All of this is in the click of a few buttons, so most VPNs make the process very easy. Another use for VPNs is to combat price discrimination. If you believe that prices are being inflated for you then clear your cookies, turn on a VPN and load up the price page again. On many occasions this has helped me get better deals.

The top VPNs of 2020

A list of top privacy tools would not be complete without a good list of VPNs. Above I already wrote what VPNs are and what they are useful for. This is a list of all of the VPNs I have personally used and tested. Many of them I spent a year or more using.

Express VPN

I use Express VPN myself at the moment and love it.

Get Express VPN

Nord VPN

I used Nord VPN about 5 years ago and was impressed with it. Like Express VPN the speeds are always good and the interface is easy to use. One advantage NordVPN has is that it also offers other services like NordLocker (more below). I can’t say for sure which is the most popular service out of Express VPN and Nord, however it’s fair to say that you’ll be good with either of these services. I didn’t really have a reason for stopping my use of Nord VPN, I just wanted to try other services because I’m a bit of a geek sometimes. To be honest I could have put either Nord or Express VPN at the top of this list. The only reason Express VPN goes before is because I currently use it!

Get NordVPN

IPVanish

IPVanish was the first VPN I ever used. Their services seem to have grown in the many years since I have used them and now they are still one of the most popular VPN service providers.

Get IPVanish

ProtonVPN

I used Proton VPN for a short amount of time just to test it. What’s great is that ProtonVPN is made by the same company as the encrypted email service Protonmail (more below). ProtonVPN is a zero knowledge service so you can be confident of your privacy with them. I found the speed of ProtonVPN slower than both Express VPN and Nord VPN, which is why it isn’t higher in this list. Like I already mentioned, the advantage of this service is that it comes from the same company as the email service, so it makes sense to kill two birds with one stone and get both Protonmail with ProtonVPN.

Get ProtonVPN

Tunnel Bear VPN

I used Tunnel Bear for a year before. It was ok but sometimes the connection was a little slow and I eventually found the cute bear animations annoying. After Tunnel Bear I went to Express VPN and haven’t looked back since. Tunnel Bear still has the advantage of price however because they are cheaper than either Nord or Express VPN.

Get Tunnel Bear VPN

Note: Some people set up their own personal VPNs. That is out of the scope of this article but if you think you are technically knowledgeable enough then do a search online for a guide. I’d recommend using a professional service however because a VPN is something you really don’t want to mess up. Also, if you self host a VPN then your IP address can always be linked to you.

How to choose a good VPN service

If you get a VPN not on this list, you to know why you should trust the company you choose. They need to be legitimate because you are giving them access to everything you do online. The number one most important thing besides generally trustworthiness is a zero log policy. A zero log policy means that a VPN provider logs or reports nothing about what you do with their service. The reason this is so important is because you don’t want them to store information about you. One of the biggest reasons to use a VPN is to stop people storing information about what you do online.

Other than a zero logs policy, these things are also important to consider when choosing a VPN provider:

  • The speed of the service (some VPNs are slow)
  • The ability to change your IP address country (so you can view content only available in other countries)
  • The VPN software’s ease-of-use
  • Cross platform compatibility (so that you can use it on Windows, Mac, Linux, iPhone and Android)
  • The number of active connections you can make to the VPN (so you can use it on all your computers and devices)
  • And again… Zero log policy!

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What is encryption?

Put simply, digital encryption is a method of locking data so that nobody else can see it. When it comes to online privacy, if you have the option to encrypt something then you should. This is because the internet isn’t what it used to be and there are many people, companies and criminals who would like to get their hands on your personal information.

Top encrypted email services of 2020

Tutanota

Get Tutanota

Protonmail

Get Protonmail

Note: Some people use Nextcloud to setup their own personal email services, which they can choose to encrypt or not. If you are reading an article like this, I’m guessing you are not technically savvy enough to make it work for you right now. If you think you are then by all means do a search online for a guide. In my opinion for email though, you’re better off leaving it to the professionals.

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Top Encrypted cloud storage of 2020

pCloud

This is the cloud storage we use personally at the moment!

Get pCloud

Tresorit

Get Tresorit

Sync.com

Get Sync.com

Cryptomator

Cryptomator isn’t a cloud service. It’s actually a file encryption tool you can use to encrypt files on your device before they are uploaded to your favourite cloud service.

Get Cryptomator

Note: Some people use a self hosting program called Nextcloud to store their data. Self hosting is out of the scope of this article so if you’re interested in it and think you are technically savvy enough, then do a search online to find a guide.

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Best encrypted password managers of 2020

Using a password manager made my online experience SO much easier. I didn’t use one until two years ago because I didn’t really understand them and thought it was risky to keep my passwords all in one place with only one master password to open them. The thing that finally made me change my mind was that an old email account I have was hacked into and the person that hacked my email used the same password to post a lot of weird advertisements on my twitter account. After that, I decided to experiment with password managers. After all, my passwords were being saved to Firefox and Chrome in any case, which is a far less secure way of keeping passwords. Now I’ll never look back… I will always use a password manager!

Keeper (freemium)

Keeper is the password manager I use myself. It is the most secure and user friendly in my opinion.

Get Keeper Password Manager

Bitwarden (freemium)

Bitwarden is what Eve uses to secure her passwords. I used to use Bitwarden for a year myself and really liked it, it’s very secure. I use Keeper now because I find it easier to use and I appreciate the user interface more.

Get Bitwarden Password Manager

LastPass (freemium)

Get LastPass Password Manager

1Password (paid)

Get 1Password

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Best note, document and diary applications 2020

If you use Google Docs but are worried about their terrible privacy policies, the good news is that there are plenty of alternatives to choose from.

Standard Notes

Get Standard Notes

Penzu (online encrypted diary)

Get Penzu

Cryptpad (online encrypted document suite)

Get Cryptpad

Note: Again, some people use Nextcloud to store information like this. If you think you are technical enough to make self hosting work for you, I encourage you to do a search online to find out how to get started.

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Best way to sync contacts and a calendar to your phone in 2020

Etesync

This is your best option if you want an encrypted service that syncs both your contacts and calendar in a format that you can actually use with contact applications on your phone etc. I don’t use this service myself because I do everything manually (I export my contacts and calendar data before wiping my phone, then import it when I reinstall a new operating system). If I paid for any service it would be EteSync, because they are the only service I know of that offers this service in this particular format (CardDAV and CalDAV). Etesync does offer discounts for people who need it, however I don’t fall into the category of someone who can’t afford it… I’m just used to doing things the long way around.

Get Etesync

Note: You can use the encrypted email service Tutanota to keep an encrypted contacts list and your calendar, however it doesn’t keep them in the CardDAV and CalDAV format. This means that you can’t get all of your contact and calendar data from Tutanota into a different application (like the contact list of your smartphone).

Some people use Nextcloud to selfhost information like this. Self hosting is out of the scope of this article though so if you’re interested in syncing contacts and calendars with Nextcloud, do a search online for a guide.

Best File encryption software 2020

NordLocker (freemium)

Get NordLocker

Folder Lock (freemium)

Get Folder Lock

Veracrypt (free)

Get Veracrypt

AxCrypt (freemium)

Get AxCrypt

Cryptomator

I already listed Cryptomator in the cloud section because it is designed to work with the cloud. It is technically a file encryption software though.

Get Cryptomator

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How does encryption work?

The simple answer is that encryption works by taking your data and turning it into random nonsense. It means if anybody ever found your encrypted file, it would be a meaningless piece of rubbish unless they had the key (password). Different encryption methods are stronger than others but I’m not going to get far into that right now because this article is for beginners. All you should know is that encryption methods matter and it’s always a good idea to use products and services that advertise “military grade encryption” or something similar. Always search for reviews online about encryption services and you can’t go too far wrong.

The AES encryption method (advanced encryption standard) is very popular and is generally considered very secure. The US government uses it for their own encryption. The three main references you’ll see are AES-128, AES-192 and AES-256. The numbers refer to the size of the encryption key that unlocks the file. Your password can be however long you want but the generated encryption key is what locks the file. Of those methods, the AES-256 is most secure because that’s how big the key is (256 bits). Even if your key was only 128 bits, it would be basically impossible for anybody to ever guess it.

Encryption isn’t unbreakable however and as technology evolves and criminals catch up, new layers of security are constantly having to be added. If criminals learn that there is a vunerability or pattern in an encryption software for example, then that has to be patched by the software provider. Other times, it has been when the software maker has made a mistake and not all of the data was being encrypted in the first place.

Why should you care about encryption?

Criminals and advertisers with bad intentions are on the internet trying to find ways to screw people like you over. If you encrypt very little then you’re making it easy for companies, criminals and the government to steal information that only you should have. No company or authority should have the right to monitor everything you say, do and store online. While policing has its place, the total disregard that is now held for your personal information is truly shocking. If everything you do is monitored and you know you’re always being watched, your behaviour changes naturally. This isn’t a good state of mind for anyone to be in. Even if you don’t care for your sake, you should care for the sake of others. If you upload a group photo to a service like Facebook then you’re not only giving away your own face and identity. Think about that when you share other people’s information online.

For those living in more oppressive countries than myself, encryption becomes even more important. In some countries, the internet is policed heavily *cough* China *cough*. The people of those countries need encryption if they are ever to share their thoughts openly. In some countries people can be thrown into jail or fined heavily because of some minor offense online *cough* China again *cough*. This isn’t my reality in the West now, however in the future who knows what will change. Governments in the West are still continually trying to knock down privacy laws and give themselves more power.

Encryption isn’t the end of the road for online security. You should also consider using a VPN, a password manager and some kind of anti-virus software.

Server side encryption vs client side encryption

Server side and client side are terms you’ll also come across when searching for online services that encrypt your data.

Server side encryption should be a basic service that all internet services should provide (but not all do). What it means is that your data is uploaded to the server online, then encrypted on the company’s server. That means that the company still had access to your file and all of the file’s content, seeing as they received it unencrypted. The encryption key also lies on the company’s server (even though you are the only one who knows the password). If the company was forced to, they could open your encrypted files for law enforcement (or just if the company wanted to). Therefore while server side encryption is still better than nothing, it isn’t impenetrable.

Client side encryption is the most secure. If something is client side encrypted, it means the data is encrypted on your device and then uploaded to the company’s server. That means that the encryption key stays on your device. So not only does the company not know the content of what you uploaded but it also has no way of unlocking it. So even if the highest court of the land ordered the company to unlock your data, they couldn’t.

Client side encryption is more rare than server side encryption but services do exist that do it (a list of which you can find here). One of the disadvantages of client side encryption is that the company can’t provide certain functionality to you. For example if you use an online cloud that is client side encrypted then you usually won’t get previews, thumbnails or the ability to play media until you download it locally. Another example is with client side encrypted email services like Tutanota. If your mail is truly encrypted on your side, you may find that filtering rules and read status will only update after you open the application. You may have opened the email on your computer but on your phone it will still notify you of an unread message. Similarly if you have a filtering rule that deletes spam, if you have client side encryption then that means you will still be notified of an email. This is because the company’s software can only perform its task after you unlock your mailbox locally. Companies like Protonmail get around some of these email issues by only encrypting the message content but not the entire header information (which is obviously less secure).


Best web browsers for privacy in 2020

If you use Google Chrome then you should really consider the many alternatives to protect your online privacy. I use Firefox and Brave myself. I also use an adblocker to get rid of persistent and annoying adverts like the ones that come up on Youtube and animated gifs. However I’m a firm believer that not all advertising is bad so I always Whitelist websites that I believe deserve the support. My own website here uses affiliation links that wouldn’t work or show properly if you have an aggressive adblocker turned on. That would actually degrade your experience of this website and harm Eve and I too because affiliation is the only way we ever make money by writing this website. We always appreciate the support whenever any of you choose to use our links!

Anyway on with the list of privacy friendly browsers.

Firefox

Firefox is my number one choice because it works on all platforms and it has been around for what feels like forever. There are some tweaks you need to do in the privacy options to make Firefox as private as you like. However right out of the box Firefox is already very good. It has a Facebook container which means that Facebook can no longer track you around the web. There are loads of ad blocking plugins that you can also activate with Firefox.

Get Firefox

Brave

I also use Brave a lot, which is a good Chrome replacement because it runs on Chromium (the same as Google Chrome). Brave is a little more aggressive than Firefox in it’s ad blocking. That’s because right out of the box, Brave is designed to block ads, browser fingerprinting and tracking. I found that it breaks some websites however generally it’s pretty good.

Get Brave

Tor

Oh la la, now we’re talking. If you want maximum privacy, then Tor is your best bet. Tor bounces your IP addresses around the globe so that your identity is scrambled and lost. Tor breaks many popular websites and it is impossible for it to keep you logged into websites after you close it, so it’s not the most user friendly. Tor isn’t very fast either. Because it bounces your request around to many different places, that slows stuff down. But it’s free so if you want maximum anonymity, you can try out Tor.

Get Tor

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Best privacy friendly Search Engines for 2020

Do you find it creepy that the most popular search companies are logging everything you search for? I certainly do, which is why I use these search engines instead.

DuckDuckGo

DuckDuckGo has a very stupid name. However it’s also my search engine of choice. The search quality and the features that go with it are more than good enough for me. Privacy also comes first with DuckDuckGo, meaning that they don’t log what you search for or do anything creepy like that. DuckDuckGo also has a great mobile browser app and a browser plugin for all the major web browsers.

Get DuckDuckGo

Startpage

I don’t find the search quality of Startpage as good as with DuckDuckGo, so I don’t use it as often. However they are still a very popular choice and privacy is one of their major features (they don’t log your usage).

Get Startpage

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Best Anti-Virus services of 2020

What’s the point in all of this online security if you’re going to download some dodgy file and give hackers the ability to log your keystrokes, turn on your webcam or do a host of other shady things? This list applies only to Windows users who are arguably at the greatest risk. Don’t think that just because you use Mac or Linux that you’re safe… look up some anti virus options for those operating systems!

Norton Anti Virus

Eve swears by Norton Anti Virus and it’s easy to see why. It’s user friendly, updated constantly and is arguably the most popular anti virus software around.

Get Norton Anti Virus

Avast Anti Virus

I use the free version of this anti virus software and like it’s file scanning abilities. They also have premium addons that I haven’t gotten around to testing yet but they seem promising.

Get Avast Anti Virus

AVG Anti Virus

I also use the free version of AVG Anti Virus. I know I’m a cheap ass aren’t I. Well. The truth is that I often switch between operating systems. I use AVG in exactly the same way as Avast (to scan my computer for malware). The only reason I have two is to be more thorough.

Get AVG Anti Virus

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Cover your webcams and smartphone cameras!

I’m not going to list specific products here but I want to make you aware that you should always cover your cameras. There are sliding door stickies that you can buy for your laptop cameras, smart phone cameras etc to ease this process. You can even use a piece of sticky tape like I do myself.

The reason is that criminals can and do hack into cameras that are connected to the internet. Some criminals also pretend that they have hacked into you camera and try to blackmail you without actually having any evidence. There is a big email scam at the moment where criminals email you your own password (one that has been leaked in a data breach). They use the password to try to scare you and make you believe that they have more information on you, when they really don’t. However it has also been reported that internet users have been sent images of themselves.

In any case, just cover your camera. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

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Tool to clear your images of meta data

ExifCleaner

I discovered ExifCleaner recently. It’s a free tool used to remove meta data from your images. The reason this is important is because sometimes your photographs and documents will have your name, email address and potentially more in the meta data (the details panel when you right click a file to view its info). I used to remove my meta data manually but this tool greatly speeds that process up which I love. Best of all, it’s free!

Get ExifCleaner

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Best Operating systems for Privacy (PC)

Firstly, Windows sucks for privacy. Especially Windows 10. It has an advertisement ID attached to the OS and continually messes with your privacy settings every time you update it. Microsoft collects too much user data directly from your operating system and has the power if it wants to log your keystrokes. I recommend using Linux wherever possible instead of Windows.

If you use software that is difficult to replace on Linux then you can dual boot your computer (this is what I do myself). Dual booting your computer either means you need two hard drives or you need to create two partitions if you only have one drive. You can install Windows on one partition / drive so you can use your fancy software, then have Linux to use for most other things. Anyway on with the list.

Ubuntu

Ubuntu is for me the best choice of the Linux operating systems. I have tested several different Linux operating systems and always find Ubuntu the easiest to use. It feels a little like Mac OS and its graphical interfaces are generally more user friendly than other Linux alternatives. When I don’t absolutely need to be using Windows, I use Ubuntu. They had an awkward moment where they included Amazon in one or two builds but now that’s been removed. Ubuntu is way better for your privacy than Windows.

Get Ubuntu

Fedora

Fedora is another Linux OS that is easier to use than others. It supposedly has greater privacy than Ubuntu. I used Fedora several times and the user interface is certainly very easy to get along with. However for me Ubuntu is the better choice because it is often easier to find the hardware drivers you need to run your computer on Ubuntu.

Get Fedora

Qubes

Want to be like Edward Snowden? Well this is apparently the operating system he uses. I haven’t actually had the opportunity to test it out myself yet but it’s a hardcore approach to privacy in your operating system. Every program you run on it is contained inside its own separate compartmentalised system. It means if one of your programs or activities becomes compromised, the rest is safe because everything else will be in its own system. To be honest this is a little too much for me, however it’s certainly an interesting approach. And you know, if the great master Snowden uses Qubes, then it’s probably the real deal.

Get Qubes

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Best Alternative Operating Systems (Android)

Warning! Installing alternative operating systems on your android phone is a technical process and you may end up bricking your phone if you go wrong.

The version of Android you have on your phone by default is full of google. Google is an advertising company and if you’re like me, you might not want an advertising company following you literally wherever you go. Google has a lot of software on these devices that is constantly communicating with their servers, sending different bits of information about you. It’s a very convenient service however it’s a privacy nightmare. Google tracks everything and out of all corporate companies they are among the most aggressive in what they collect about you. Luckily there are some alternative operating systems you can check out that have no Google.

You will need to learn how to install a backup software, unlock the bootloader of your phone and access it via the command line of your computer. This is simpler than it sounds but there are lots of guides out there on how to do it – probably even a guide for your specific phone.

microG (A replacement GPS service, not OS)

I will refer to microG a lot in this section. It is a replacement Google Services by the company Mozilla. Mozilla is the same company that makes Firefox and Thunderbird. MicroG pretends to be a google service in order to gain access to things like GPS coordinates. It is quite difficult to install and requires an operating system to have ‘signature spoofing’ (the ability to allow an app to pretend to a different app). There is a lot of debate around signature spoofing, custom operating systems and microG. There are engaging arguments on both sides of the debate however I’m of the opinion that custom roms and microG offer greater privacy than stock google android.

Get microG

Lineage OS

Lineage OS is the most popular alternative to Google’s Android. It looks pretty much the same as Google Android and doesn’t have google apps unless you choose to install them yourself. It supports many devices. Lineage doesn’t support microG so unless you install google, your GPS will probably not work.

Get Lineage OS

Resurrection Remix OS

Resurrection Remix is another popular OS for Android. I actually use it myself. Like Lineage it doesn’t have google by default. You can customise it more than Lineage so that’s the appeal for some people. It supports signature spoofing which will be important if you want to install microG and get your GPS running properly.

Get Resurrection Remix OS

CarbonROM

CarbonROM is another great option for a non-google version of android. It is quite customisable and has some nice options in the menu to change the way buttons and gestures react. It also supports signature spoofing and therefore microG.

Get CarbonROM

Other custom roms for Android without google:

I haven’t tried any of these custom roms myself however they have large user bases and are trusted by many people who care about privacy. They could be worth checking out.

– Havoc OS
– Dirty Unicorns OS
– ASOP Extended
– Evolution X

You DO have something to hide – Case Studies

“But I have nothing to hide!”

Many people say this and usually they are wrong. I have designed this section to present different typical users to you and what they might be doing wrong. It’s possible that you’ll see yourself in one or more of these profiles. I point out what each is doing wrong (in terms of privacy) and then at the end of the section you will find out how to combat individual privacy problems.

The innocent internet user

Let’s first consider Linda. Linda thinks she’s a typical kind of gal. She browses Facebook, checks out Instagram videos, does a little shopping here and there… searches for good restaurants nearby. She chats to her friends on Whatsapp. Does a search when she’s unsure about something. That kind of stuff. She doesn’t think she has to worry about privacy because everything she’s doing is normal and innocent.

Hold up Linda… Facebook is tracking you across most websites you visit. Facebook also has lots of your photos. Their facial recognition software has scanned your face at every angle. That facial recognition data can be and probably is made available to third parties. Facebook has also been involved in many political scandals and they have made countless breaches to their users’ privacy.

If you’ve been visiting websites with Facebook’s like buttons or a Facebook comment system then Facebook knows you visited that website. Facebook also owns Instagram and Whatsapp. Much of what you’re doing is doing is being tracked by Facebook in this case.

If you ever had Facebook Messenger or the Facebook App on your smart phone then it will have also been listening in on your conversations. Didn’t you ever think it was weird that Facebook just seems to know what products to advertise to you even though you have only ever talked about them? They even know what restaurants you go to!

And all of those times you were unsure about something and typed it into google. Maybe you wanted to know what that rash was, why you couldn’t sleep for a few weeks or why you were feeling a bit down or anxious. Or perhaps you were searching for insurance. Maybe you’re planning a wedding or holiday. It isn’t good for huge corporations like Google and Facebook to know so much about you because they can manipulate you without you realising.

Yes all of these things that Linda does are ‘normal’ but the internet isn’t what it used to be. Internet technology is now so sophisticated that it really is tracking your every move. Not all of this is done for malicious purposes of course. Most of the time it’s just advertisers who want to sell things to you. But occasionally you should be more concerned. When it gets to politics, price fixing and ideological campaigns this technology is on the dark side.

Some of this stuff you’re searching for is trivial but do you really want your internet service provider, Facebook, Google and any other advertiser following you around with cookies to know about your depressive mood disorder or your skin rash??

The happy fapper

Let’s move on to Steve. Steve… don’t look so smug. You’ve messed up even more badly than Linda for one reason. You falsely believe that using private mode or incognito browsing hides all of the porn sites you visit. You also falsely believe that you can’t be tracked between private mode and normal browsing.

Private mode and incognito browsing deletes all of the page history and cookies from your web browser when you close it. In private mode, web addresses you visit are still all logged by your internet service provider. Also your IP address, browser fingerprint and a host other things mean you can still be identified in incognito mode. Don’t believe me? Click here and see just how ineffective private browsing is (external website).

If you happen to live in rented accommodation, whoever owns the internet box can request a list from the internet service provider of all of the websites that have been visited. So even your housemates or parents can discover what you’ve been doing.

Steve you also have a workout app on your phone to track your diet and fitness. That app also has access to your contacts, messages, call logs and mobile internet browsing. It has also been detecting when you wake up and fall to sleep. After all… the first thing you do in the morning is pick up your phone to wake it up and the last thing you do is put it down. Why would it collect all this data you ask yourself? Again, to sell to third party advertisers so that they can learn how to sell things to you. Many ‘free apps’ are only designed to take your confidential information to sell it to third parties.

The unlucky one

Let’s now consider Peter, who has been extremely unlucky. First of all, a big company had a data breach and Peter’s email address, name, date of birth and password were leaked onto the dark web. Since then Peter’s inbox has been full of spam and several of his online accounts have been hacked into because Peter used the same password for everything. Due to his email being hacked, all of the email addresses of Peter’s friends and family were also leaked onto the dark web. While his family and friends’ passwords are still safe, now their email addresses are being spammed too. Peter’s sister was one of the people who was sent a phishing email that exposed her PayPal account to a criminal. The criminal then used that to send themselves money from her bank account. Peter also had some embarrassing stuff in his email account that a different criminal is trying to blackmail him with. Not only is Peter unlucky but he didn’t realise that his own bad privacy practices would harm those around him.

On top of all of that, there are many websites on the internet that Peter cannot visit because his government doesn’t want people to go there. Unfortunately for Peter this means he cannot use either Youtube or Twitter. All of Peter’s keystrokes are recorded and monitored by the government. If Peter steps out of line, offends the government or does anything they consider bad, he will be fined heavily and could even face jail.

Peter’s situation may seem far away from our own but it really isn’t far fetched to see that his situation could one day be ours.

Summary of online privacy problems and ways to deal with them

– Your browser is probably not set up to protect your privacy by default. – Click here to learn about more secure browsers.

– Using a porn site (or any other site) in incognito / private browsing mode does not protect your identity or what you are doing. – Click here to jump to the VPN section of this page.

– Websites can still track who you are when you are in private / incognito mode. – Click here to jump to the VPN section of this page.

– You may not be able to use some websites or services due to internet censorship. – Click here to jump to the VPN section of this page.

– Product, service and ticket prices can all be higher for you if they know which country you come from and that you have searched for the same thing before. – Click here to jump to the VPN section of this page.

– Companies like google offer free email services. They also scan all of the content in your email. – Click here to the section of this page dedicated to encrypted email services.

– Your email address has probably been leaked, meaning you are already receiving or will receive a large amount of spam. – Click here to the section of this page dedicated to encrypted email services.

– Companies like google offer you free storage space. They can and do scan everything you upload. – Click here to learn jump to the section on encrypted cloud storage.

– Facial recognition software is useful because it helps you tag your photos quickly. That technology along with your content is also sold to third parties, including certain governments. – Click here to discover alternatives to Facebook and other big social media giants.

– Lots of the free apps you can download for your phone track your personal information and sell it to third parties. – Click here to learn more about privacy on your smartphone.

– Everything you type into search engines like google is recorded it all helps profile you. – Click here to discover search engines that don’t track you.

– Criminals can hack into webcams and microphones. – Click here to learn how to protect your computer.

– Your password habits would probably help someone hack your account. – Click here to learn more about tools that can help make your passwords more secure.

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