We live in a difficult world today, there’s war, hunger, fear everywhere. Most of us who live in a developed country spends a lot of time on the internet, as we search for entertainment, clothes, music and all that, but we all know that there’s always some dark side to this type of thing.
These days you can’t go anywhere and not be bombed with ads, they are everywhere, on youtube, Facebook, Reddit, you name it, and with ads comes control, with control, the lack of freedom starts to exist, and in today’s world, with the technologies we have, we need to share the information as much as possible to prevent that from happening.
Online security is a must know these days, and in this publication, I’ll show you some tools about what you need to have in mind when surfing the web, protecting your passwords, and protecting you from being a victim of online crime and theft.
First Offline, then Online
Before we put ourselves in the vast world that is the world wide web, we need to have our machine protected and protect all the data there’s inside it so that we can see and enter wherever we want(in moderation), without having constant pressure on ourselves.
Regarding protecting your passwords, I’ve used Keepass for years, inside and outside work, this software being client-side gives you the possibility to store your Database on your own machine protected by a password that only you will know. I advise keeping a backup in case you need to format your computer in some sort of emergency.
KeePass stores your passwords securely in an encrypted file. This database is locked with a master password, a key file and/or the current Windows account details. To open a database, all key sources are required. Together, these key sources form the Composite Master Key. — Keepass Website
The option above is a good one if you use only one computer on a daily basis but, “what if I want to access that database on my work, or in my sister’s house?”
There’s a lot of online password managers that you can use, some are easier to understand and offer better deals when regarding the price, but what if you are like me, who likes to try first, give it a few weeks of trial, and then if I really like and want to support the team, then you buy it or pay the subscription?
I’ve tried several password managers over the years, from not very known companies to some that I really regret entering because of the end result. After all these years I’ve kept using the same one for a long time, nothing more nothing less than BitWarden.
If you are always on the move and need to use those private passwords on other computers (trusted ones I advise) and/or cellphones I definitely recommend this one, with the smartphone app, it’s even easier for you to access your email or your Paypal account in you cellphone device.
What About Those Viruses?
Most people think that they are secure if they have an anti-virus installed, which is completely wrong, well, it can make the machine a little bit safer yes but it’s nothing compared to someone who really understands what he’s installing and protecting.
Malwarebytes is the one that I use regarding protection against files and/or malicious URL’s, pay attention that Malwarebytes is not an anti-virus, but an anti-malware, it has a simple and easy to understand GUI and also has a great community around the world always making tests in order to give some feedback to the dev team and to the community as well.
Let me be honest with you, you still don’t have all that it takes to surf the web completely safe but it’s a start, remember that if we ever wanted to be completely safe, we would never be online to start.
You’re being tracked
We’ve all already heard about how we’re being tracked every day by our ISP’s, by our government, and even by our browsers and email, this is a thing that will increase every day if we continue to use the services that those companies provide, there are better options regarding our own email account than the most known ones like Gmail, Yahoo or even Bing.
What I’ve learned with my years of experience is that some personal information may not be very important to us like tastes, what kind of clothes we like, or even what is our favorite flavor of chips but all of these things are sold as Data for other companies to improve their business, more on that here.
With the new surveillance era that people are talking about nowadays, I have two tools to help you with online privacy.
- Tor: Can’t recommend this browser enough times, people always associate tor with the deep web which is not wrong at all but its purposes are not only for that. You can still go and try to find some creepy websites, but the main goal of this browser is privacy. Hide your IP, hide your location, keep yourself safe.
- Tutanova: This is one of my favorite email providers, this is how it works, the person who does not have a Tutanota account receives a message with a link, which just says: “you have a message waiting”. Clicking on the link brings him to Tutanota’s site. Upon typing the mutually agreed password, the mail is decrypted and he can then read it. This supposes the sender and the addressee have met once before in a seedy bar downtown, to exchange the password face to face or they phoned each other to that effect or used postal mail.