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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

How to Protect Your Online Privacy

How to Protect Your Online Privacy


These days it often feels like online privacy is an unattainable illusion. While it is true that it’s impossible to be entirely anonymous while online there are many things you can do to greatly increase your privacy. I’m not recommending that you use all of the methods I discuss in this article, and it's by no means meant to be a comprehensive list of all possible options. This article is supposed to present you with some general strategies to protect your online privacy. Please pick and choose the methods that work best for you.



  1. Basic Strategies
  2. Use an Alternative Search Engine
  3. Use a Virtual Private Network (VPN)
  4. Privacy Through Your Browser
  5. Use Peerblock



1. Basic Strategies


The truth about the internet is that often you can’t be sure who people really are or who's actually running the site you’re on. A general rule of thumb is that if you don’t trust the site don’t give them any personally identifiable information. This includes your real name, email address, credit card number, etc…

Also, in terms of keeping your email address out of the hands of spammers, please read my article about How to Avoid Spam. In addition it's also of paramount importance to keep your computer clear of malware. For this please read my article about How to Stay Safe While Online.

Also, there's a very useful site which will allow you to opt out of most advertising cookies so that they can't track you. This service can be found at Network Advertising Initiative (NAI). Just go there and opt out of all the companies you want. This doesn't include all, but it does have a lot of different companies.

You should also go to your Adobe Flash Player Settings Manager Storage Settings and click on the 'Global Storage Settings Panel', which is on the left. Uncheck the box to 'Allow third-party Flash content to store data on your computer'. This will greatly increase your privacy, by blocking many flash cookies, but will not negatively affecting your browsing performance.


2. Use an Alternative Search Engine


Of the Apps and Addons mentioned in the Article. I use ABP and Better Privacy for Firefox in Fedora 14. I have tried out several others, not mentioned here. Which, either seem to have no noticeable effects or Slow Down my Web Browsing to the point that I uninstalled them. I have a hard time remembering names. So, I wont try to mention them here. But, I have found several Privacy Addons for Firefox and Chrome that I like and use. It would all depend on your Web Browser, Operating System and your Download and Upload Speeds anyway. So, I think it would be best for everyone to try out the Apps and Addons that interest them and see. I noticed in the Comments of the Article a new one to me, called Ghostery. "Ghostery, used with Firefox, nicely blocks almost all web trackers. It additionally can remove Flash and Silverlight cookies on browser exit." I'm trying it out now. Just installed it, so I don't know how it preforms yet. But, I'm already interested in the info coming from Ghostery. One of the Pages from the Links below had 12 Online Trackers on it!:O And there are 3 on the Article's Page...


If you found this article useful then perhaps you'd like to check out some of my others.

How to Stay Safe While Online

How to Know If Your Computer Is Infected

How to Avoid Spam

How to Report Spam

How to Tell if a File is Malicious

How to Install Comodo Firewall

How to Protect Your Online Privacy
How to Protect Your Online Privacy
Ghostery :: Add-ons for Firefox
The Ghostery Blog
Community-powered support for Ghostery
Ghostery :: Add-ons for Firefox
How to Protect Your Online Privacy
Online Privacy
How to Protect Your Online Privacy
Microsoft Online Privacy Notice Highlights
People Are Confused About Online Privacy
Learn about the geolocation and online fraud detection tools that Maxmind uses to help with security and privacy for online communities.
F.T.C. Online Privacy Plan Seeks ‘Do Not Track’ Option -
Data Privacy Day 2011: a roundup of add-ons, tools and tips to protect yourself online
Facebook, FTC Near Privacy Settlement -
Facebook Nears Settlement on Charges It Misled Users on Privacy -
How to Protect Your Online Privacy
Online Privacy Tips - How to Protect Your Privacy Online - Redbook

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