My privacy / security tools
In recent years advertising companies started to tracks you everywhere on the web (and even in the "real life") spying you, constantly wanting to know what you are doing, when, where, why and even with who.
So I decided to change my "internet lifestyle" in order not to be tracked anymore. I want to keep my private datas for myself even though I have nothing to hide really. But thinking that major companies are selling my everyday life really bother me.
Then if you want to avoid as much as possible beign tracked here are the tools I use daily.
I'll also include some softwares/apps which are not especially privacy focused but security focused.
And forgive me if I do mistakes, english isn't my mother tongue ;)
Who speaks of online privacy speaks of Firefox. It's really, in my opinion the best web browser and the Quantum update just made it perfect ! It is light, privacy focused, secure, highly customizable. I recommend you check privacytools.io which is going to give you tips how to increase the security and privacy settings.
Buttercup is a good password manager with a modern interface, free, open-source and self-hosted. I recently moved from Keepass2 to Buttercup mainly because BC has a FireFox addon and an official Android app.
Some are gonna say that having a free anti-virus is enough, which is not false but Bitedefender offers a real and complete protection of your PC including ransomwares protection, webcam protection, anti-spam tool, firewall, you can do an audit of potentials vulnerabilities and so on. It is worth the price
Malwarebytes is a good tool to use along with Bitdefender. It is really effective. I'm using the free version, which is way enough for me.
And to finish with the "Software" section here is ProtonVPN. A swiss VPN, cross-platform with free version. It's a no log VPN and I trust it because it is under the Swiss juridiction. The speed is really good, there are a lot of servers and is a TOR-over VPN (I do not use TOR but could be useful)
Simple Calendar is a very good minimalistic, free, open-source, ad-free app and needs almost no authorization (only the one needed) and do not require to connect to internet then it can't steal your data. Though, if you need a more complex calendar with sync and all it is not gonna to suit you.
It is made by the same developper as Simple Calendar (Simple Mobile Tools) and just as Simple Calendar it requires only the authorizations it needs in order to works.
It is, in my opinion, the best alternative to Google Authenticator. Very simple, free, no ads and open-source developped by Red Hat.
Here is another "Simple" app and just as the two above-mentioned it is a really good minimalistic tool privacy focused. It really does the job !
This is a very light version of Firefox with the particularity that it does not stores any logs. Whenyou close the app it cleans your history, cookies and tabs. Also, this is the fastest browser I've seen. If you got an old smartphone this will be the app you need.
As a FB user (which I have to keep in order to keep contact with quite a lot of people I've met) I wanted a good alternative to the spyware which is the official FB app. This one does the job. It requires way less authorization and less critical ones, it is free (with a paid version which gives you a "material interface"). If like me you can't really get rid of FB, this app is gonna suit you.
Firefox addons / Search Engines
Here is one of the most famous alternative to Google Search. If you don't know it ; It's a privacy focused Search engine which do not tracks you. Also it lets you disable ads which are not targeted ads anyways, there also is a "dark theme" which is a blessing for my eyes and it is higly customizable. And there still is the "view image" button for the pictures search not like on Google :).
I've tried different Adblockers and this one is my favorite it is easy to use and more than just blocking ads you can also prevent WebRTC leaks (it's a security issue) which is awesome. You can also whitelist the websites you choose if you want to support them.
Privacy Badger is a tracker-blocker (if you don't know what is a tracker you can reffer to this : https://whatismyipaddress.com/web-tracking). You can choose which trackers you turn off or not. I can only recommend
This addon encrypts your communications with a lot of major websites. It can prevent your password being stolen if your on a public Wifi for instance. And even in general, it's always better to encrypt everything
Qwant is also a privacy focused browser. Unlike Google or Duckduckgo the interface is not minimalistic which I'm not fan of. With that being said, Qwant has a big advantage Duckduckgo has not, it's a french search engine which is then not under the US juridiction.
With the recent rise of cryptocurrencies some website and advertisers puts coin miner in ads or in their website. It's just going to slow down your PC and annoys you a hell of a lot. This addon will just "turn-off" these coin miners.
Protonmail is, in my opinion the best mail service around the internet. This is very secure, open-source, privacy focused, customizable (even more if you know CSS3) and it has a free plan which is more than enough if, like me you send less than 150 mails per day. It comes with 500Mb storage which is also way enough, even if you use this service on a daily basis.
Lineage OS is an Android based OS for smartphone and the best alternative to Android by Google. By using it you won't be tracked by Google anymore (except if you install Google services btw).
As of late, Bitwarden had Google Analytics baked in and turned on by default. A Github member realized it and mentioned it on privacytoolsIO. In turn, they removed it from their recommended programs list. Afterward, Bitwarden's developer removed Analytics from the software.
Bitwarden vs Buttercup: Which can be better for privacy, convenience and security ?
Why Firefox and why not Opera? Opera has a built in vpn function as well as an adblocker, which Firefox is finally trying to get integrated into its browser. Personally I think Opera is more privacy oriented as it has the "No coin" (bitcoin mining) protection as well as normal ads and malware domains or sites.
Using 3rd party applications for FB and other social apps, would not recommend it. They still can and do collect information on users.
I know using a third party app for FB isn't the best things ever but it's still better than the FB app and require way less authorization. But for sure, if you do not have FB, never use it (and avoid Whatsapp as well)
I prefer Opera's built in vpn as it's free so of course it will log some data on you, so don't use it for the bad stuff, only if you want to pretend you're in a different country (for region locked sites). It has adblocking, malware protection and crypto mining protection and more can be manually added, while FF has the facebook add-on
What operating system are you using? Why?
On my smartphone I run LineageOS because I don't want to use Google's OS (or anything that is google related). And on my PC I use Windows 10 because as a player I can't get rid of it, though I blocked as much as possible Windows' telemetry using a software I do not remember the name.
Windows 10 Sends Your Data 5500 Times Every Day Even After Tweaking Privacy Settings: https://anon.to/Migpem
Even when told not to, Windows 10 just can’t stop talking to Microsoft: https://anon.to/yUOLQ6
It's really a shame they can't just leave or data to ourselves. The software I was talking about is DisableWinTracking, which is mentioned in the first link you send. I hope one day games will all (or most of them) work on Linux and I'll change instantly my OS
I use gaming machines too. You can install Windows on a separate partition/disk and use that for gaming only.
I personally find Protonmail to be extremely overrated since: a) It only offers 500 MB of space for the free version b) The emails that are sent take a long time to ACTUALLY be received by the other person
I preffer TutaNota. It gives you more space, the emails don't take long to be received and is open source, like Firefox and Ghostery
It's true that 500MB isn't much but I've been using it since the beta and it is way enough for a personal use as long as you delete the emails you won't need anymore. I haven't noticed it took time for someone to receive an email but you might be right.
And ProtonMail si now open-source :)
500 MB might be enough for you,but I personally need at least 1 GB. Also,I tried deleting my old protonmail emails but deleting them does not free up ALL the space,it cleans up just a little. I'm just going to keep using TutaNota.
I haven't noticed that it's now open source,and I LOOOOOOOOOOVE F.O.S.S(free and open source software) services
Great article. May I add a few things:
Firefox addons: add Cookie AutoDelete and Decentraleyes. NoScript Security Suite and uMatrix are also important, but they require advanced knowledge for setting them up properly.
Calendar: if you want a private calendar that syncs from the cloud, EteSync is a secure, end-to-end encrypted calendar/contacts app and works with anything that supports CalDAV/CardDAV.
Thank you, I didn't know about Decentraleyes. I just tried the two others (I already knew NoScript) and uMatrix is quite hard to use and NoScript is to restrictive as it block legitimate JS. I know there is a whitelist but I'm not sure about using it.
I'm gonna try EteSync ;)