Privacy and Security methods I use

Ever since I worked at an internet marketing company on an advertising analytics platform, I have realised that I don’t want my personal internet browsing tracked, monetised, influenced, and sold to the highest bidder. These are the steps that I have taken to reduce (you can never totally eliminate) this process.

Pi-Hole DNS

This is a DNS server installed on a Raspberry Pi on my local home network. I have all the internet traffic going through my Virgin Media router filtered through this DNS server. It has many privacy-boosting features, but its main claim to fame is that it blocks the vast majority of internet advertising and analytics traffic on the DNS level. It currently blocks 20% of the requests made, which results in approximately 20% faster internet for me, and a lot more privacy/less tracking/less adverts.

Firefox Browser

Using the Firefox Browser is kind of a no-brainer for internet privacy, because of out of all the main browsers available it is open-source and not controlled by a large commercial tech company. It has the best default privacy features out of all the browsers I’ve used. I use it on all my devices and the configuration is synced across all of them.

AdBlocker Ultimate Firefox Extension

This is the best web page advert remover I have used. It is constantly updated with new ways of removing adverts as the main companies like Facebook find ways around it. It currently removes all the adverts on all the web pages I browse on, including Facebook, which is quite a feat.

ClearURLs Firefox Extension

This removes all tracking elements from URLs in web pages you load, automatically. Tracking elements are information passed through in parameters appended to the end of web page links which provide information on where the traffic has come from and the tracked behaviour of the web user on the previous site. This is particularly important in advertising analytics, and breaking this chain between websites does a lot to protect your privacy.

Fakespot Fake Amazon Reviews and eBay Sellers Firefox Extension

This plugin is not strictly related to privacy but does help an awful lot on online shopping. It analyses Amazon and eBay reviewers for patterns to help understand whether they are fabricated or not. Often online merchants will use fake reviews to boost an otherwise mediocre product. This helps me save money on those.

Kaspersky Anti-Virus Protection

This is another level of general internet protection from the paid Kaspersky anti-virus product. Kaspersky costs me a small subscription every year but it is better than the free alternatives, and offers this browser plugin which has been helpful in sniffing out malware.