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How to Protect Your Online Privacy and Data

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How To Protect Your Online Privacy In INDIA - GDPR - General Data Protection Regulation

In today’s digital world it is very important to protect your online data and your own privacy. Let us take a look at some of the necessary steps that can be taken to protect your privacy and data.

The Government and other organizations track your online activities either from your smart phone, laptop or smart watches. These trackers begin from your browser, search engine that you use or websites that you visit.

VPN — Virtual Private Networks

An instant method to protect your online data is to make use of a VPN service while you are browsing the internet. The advantage of using a VPN is that while you use it your internet network goes through an encrypted connection to a VPN server. So, your ISP cannot see any of your data as it is now encrypted and hidden through the VPN tunnel. You can either purchase a yearly service VPN such as Nord VPN or configure a router to use Open VPN which is a free open platform.

Browser Recommendation and Configuration

The best choice of a browser is to use a Tor Browser which is a modified version of Firefox. It gives an extra layer of anonymity and comes with pre-installed privacy add-ons, encryption and an advanced proxy. This browser bounces your internet connection through several servers called nodes. Since the network is under several layers it is called the onion network.

Always be cautious while using sensitive details and passwords because there are chances that these exit nodes might be able to see that information if the websites that you visit are not HTTPS protected.

Firefox is an excellent browser as it is possible to configure its settings and download add-ons to further enhance your privacy online.

Check out the configurations to disable WebRTC leaks that can leak your real IP address while using a VPN:

  • Enter “about:config” in the firefox address bar and press enter.
  • Press the button “I’ll be careful, I promise!”
  • Search for “media.peerconnection.enabled”
  • Double click the entry, the column “Value” should now be “false”
  • Done. Do the WebRTC leak test again.

If you want to make sure every single WebRTC related setting is really disabled change these settings:

  • media.peerconnection.turn.disable = true
  • media.peerconnection.use_document_iceservers = false
  • media.peerconnection.video.enabled = false
  • media.peerconnection.identity.timeout = 1

Firefox Privacy Add-Ons

Cookie AutoDelete :  This add on automatically Delete Cookies when they are not being used by open browser tabs. With the cookies, lingering sessions, as well as information used to spy on you, will be deleted.

HTTPS Everywhere : This browser extension encrypts your communications with numerous websites which makes your browsing more secure. It was developed in collaboration between The Tor Project and the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

uMatrix  :  This addon is used to control exactly what network requests are made by the browser and thus what is loaded in the webpage you have requested. Many websites have features that permits other websites track you, such as Facebook Like Buttons or Google Analytics. This add-on helps to control the requests that websites make to other websites giving you more control over the information that you leak online.

In order to use this add-on click the icon in your browser and a window will appear. Begin by clicking the top of the “all” button on the left corner which will make all rows green and allow all integrated features to be enabled in order to communicate with your browser. Click the bottom half of a buttons of a specific row/website, this will disable all features of that website such as cookies, css, image, media, script, XHR, frame and others. This will stop cross-site requests to these websites in the site you are visiting.

NoScript Security Suite: This plugin selectively allows Javascript, Java, and Flash to run only on websites you trust. This is however mostly used by those with more technical knowledge and are not recommended for casual users.

This add-on disables Javascript in the website you are visiting. Most of the online trackers are written with a line of Javascript code in the website which are used to track your moves. In order to temporarily allow Javascript of a certain website you can click the S with the clock next to it. To permanently enable all Javascript code across multiple websites of that specific domain you can click the S to the far right.

Private Search Engine

DuckDuckGo is a private search engine that will not track or save any searches that you do. This prevents you from being targeted for specific advertising based on your search history.

Priyanka R
Cyber Security Enthusiast, Security Blogger, Technical Editor, Author at Cyber Safe News

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