6 Beginner Privacy Tips for Lockdown

Over a third of the world is in lockdown; now is the perfect excuse to sort out your privacy. Here are my 6 tips:

#1 – Browser

There is no excuse to use Google chrome or Safari.

Firefox does everything they can do with built in privacy protection. Switching is as simple as going onto their website and clicking download. On top of this you should download these add-ons:

If you are feeling extra technical then this is a collection of privacy-related “about:config tweaks” that will further enhance the privacy of your browser.

I would also recommend going into the settings and setting your DNS provider to NextDNS. Just go onto the settings, search and search for “DNS”.

#2 – Search Engine

Now that you've installed Firefox, you're going to need a search engine. PrivacyTools has a great list to chose from, as well as searchengine.party's great spreadsheet.

#3 – Email/Messanger

If you use an email provider like Outlook or GMail I would advise changing to a more privacy respecting service like ProtonMail. PrivacyTools has a good list of email providers.

Whatsapp and iMessage are two of the main instant messaging providers, yet I wouldn't trust either of them for my private communication. Signal is a very similar alternative on the surface, apart from its use of end to end encryption. Both Dan Arel and Niek de Wilde have written good articles if you want other options. PrivacyTools also has a very through list.

#4 – Password Manager

According to SplashData, 123456 was the most common password in 2019. It's highly likely that you are using a weak password or the same password for multiple accounts. To prevent this, use a password manager like BitWarden. They can help generate strong passwords that can look something like this:

uzvcDV*6@CJ&D8ssETm^QtNkYaADsxjfUumfrtF*cP7QAkKiiMsSAd*pcpqc

They also store them, and allow them to copy and paste them at will, meaning you only have to remember one password. ThePrivacyGuide has a good article on password managers to help you choose.

#5 – 2 Factor Authentication (2FA)

While 2FA isn't the most fun process, for just a little effort it adds a lot of privacy and also increases security. Even if you have 'bullet proof' passwords, adding an extra layer of protection is always sensible. ThinkPrivacy has a helpful list to chose the best option for you.

#6 – Do you really need... ?

We all probably have too many apps in general. Take a look at your apps and ask yourself why did you install this and do you still need it? If the answer is no, then delete it. The aim is to minimise your digital footprint as much as possible. If the answer is yes, then try to look for open source alternatives.

Being private online takes time and effort. Now that you've got that time why not try and go the extra mile when it comes to privacy. Linked bellow will be some great resources to help you:

Most importantly stay safe. In these testing times it is important that we all try our best to support our governments. Remember that we will get through this crisis, and that life will eventually resume normality.