Sometimes I have attacks of paranoia and from time to time I feel that someone may watching me right now. Because as everyone today I have smartphone, laptop, reader, player and other gadgets and almost all these devices have camera, microphone and Internet connection. And these can be a threat for my privacy! That’s why I use a few specific security extensions. I can’t be sure that its will protect me, but I have to do something, I must try…
A few must-have extensions for paranoid
Everyone who watched Tony Scott’s «Enemy of the State» knows that special agencies (as NSA, FBI, CIA or its analogue in your country) can watch you without any problems. Every who read Dan Brown’s «Digital Fortress» knows that NSA can broke any code and read any encrypted message. Every who watched Oliver Stone’s «Snowden» or Laura Poitras’s «Citizenfour» know that all these stories may be true…
You can not save you privacy, you can not protect yourself or your family. Because you can not just leave your loved ones and live in the forest! Privacy does not exist. It does not work anymore! But you can try to do something. You have to do anything! And I want to show you what you can use to protect remnants of your privacy…
Сorrect me if I am wrong (I’m amateur and in fact I don’t understand anything in security), there are two type of Internet connection: classic http:// and secure https://. Let’s believe that all https-traffic is encrypted and even if someone intercepts this traffic, he will not be able to read anything. And if this is true, you have to use HTTPS only and you need somethig to do it automatically.
There are many extensions that will switch all websites to HTTPS automatically. The most famous and most trusted (as I know of course) is HTTPS Everywhere. It’s rumored that this extension was recommended by Edward Snowden, but I did not find that his tweet.
I know what you’re thinking about: «I can add https:// in bookmarks and use HTTPS connection manually every time. Why do I need any extensions for this?». But answer is very easy and clear: this is not about URL, this is about connection. Look on this page, for example. All pages in my blog are opened in HTTPS, but when I need image, I use images from other websites. It may be HTTP or HTTPS connection. But with HTTPS Everywhere you know what type of connection you use for every elements of the page. I’m not sure that anything can save all my data, but this extension gives me a feeling of some kind of security. Anyway this is better than nothing!
Man it the middle is not the only threat to your privacy, because almost all website use trackers to know all about own users and their interests. In theory, they need it to advertise products that you might need. Do you really need it? Do you really ready to share your data to see only useful advertising? Are you sure that it works? Because I’m not… That’s why I use Ghostery!
Just try it and you will be surprised how many trackers are on the websites that you visit every day! But the way, don’t forget all these trackers is your traffic. It means that without these pages will be loaded faster.
This is analog of Ghostery, the only difference is settings: in Ghostery you choose what types of trackers will be blocked, in Disconnect you just instill extension and use it. That’s why I like Ghostery more, because Ghsotery gives me sense of control.
By the way Disconnect is build-in Mozilla Firefox and used for protection from tracking. So if you use Firefox, just check your setting because by default it used for private windows only. And if Mozilla trusts Disconnect and you can trust Mozilla, you can trust Disconnect too. And if you still don’t undestand why trackers are dangerous and you should block all of its, watch a few short videos from Disconnect developers on their YouTube channel.
All websites try to spy on you. But even if you will block all trackers, every webside know your IP. Can you still trust them so sensitive data? Maybe… Because big companies value their reputation. In my oppinion little-known sites may be more danger. That’s why you should use different passwords for different websites: if you sign up on GiveMeYourPassword.pls and use you usual password, you give me all you passwords from all you accounts. Don’t do this!
With Hola you can change you real IP to other countries and hide you sensitive data from the website administration. There are many the same extensions and programs that can help you to hide your real IP for weisite what you visit: ZenMate, FriGate, TunnelBear, Betternet, HideNinja, Hotspot Shield, NordVPN, Free Open VPN and many other titles. And Opera VPN of cause, but it’s available for Opera only. I chose Hola, because it’s simple and free. By the way: with these extensions you open website via other servers located in other countries and if the website is blocked in your country, it still will work with Hola or other analogs. This is not the main feature, but it may be usefull.
Is that all? I don’t think so. There are many threats for your privacy and there are many tools for security and protection. This is the list of extensions what I use every day in every browser. That’s why I shared it to you. If you know something else, tell me. May be you advice will be useful to someone else. We live in the global network and we must help each other!
July 21, 2017