privacy tools

DATA PRIVACY DAY IS JANUARY 28. CHECK OUT THESE (MOSTLY) FREE AND SIMPLE TOOLS TO HELP YOU STAY SAFE ONLINE.

This week marks the 10th year of Data Privacy Day. Do you feel safe online? If you’re like 61% of people, you want to do more to protect your personal information online but might not be sure how.

This list is just scratching the surface, but will hopefully empower you to feel like it’s doable and quick to protect yourself online.

EASY & FREE ACTIONS:

  1. One of the most important things you can do online is to go into your browser plug-ins setting for Flash and change them to ‘Click to play’: This way videos won’t automatically play on websites or social media sites and you choose when to play video from a trusted source. With this simple action, you will do wonders to protect yourself from ransomware.
  2. If you have a Mac, turn on FileVault for full disk encryption.
  3. Install Privacy Badger for Chrome browser, by the EFF: Privacy Badger blocks spying ads and invisible trackers. It’s there to ensure that companies can’t track your browsing without your consent.
  4. Install HTTPS Everywhere by EFF: A browser extension that extension that encrypts your communications with many major websites, making your browsing more secure.
  5. Use DuckDuckGo for search instead of Google: DuckDuckGo is the search engine that doesn’t track you.
  6. Automatically generate secure passwords and store all of them safely with Encryptr, a free, simple, end-to-end encrypted password manager.
  7. Use Jitsi Meet for open source, encrypted web video / audio conferencing.
  8. Encrypt your phone calls to your friends and family with Signal.

MORE TOOLS WE LIKE, WITH A FREE TRIAL OR BASIC PLAN:

  1. Block online trackers and malware with Disconnect.me: They also claim to increase the speed of your device, use less bandwidth and extend your battery life. Protect one browser for free.
  2. Backup your files and protect yourself from ransomware with SpiderOakONE: Try it with a free 21-day trial with 250 GB.
  3. Use a VPN to protect yourself from unsecured networks (like at an airport or a coffeeshop), as well as prevent companies, governments or hackers from intercepting your browsing history and passwords: Check out Private Internet Access with a 7-day money back guarantee or get a 3 day free trial with Golden Frog VyprVPN.
  4. Protect your team or company, and decrease email, with Semaphor’s encrypted group chat and file sharing: 30 days of unlimited history, free basic teams, or pay $9 per team member per month.

Want more? Dive into EFF’s Surveillance Self-Defense Guide and SpiderOak’s Infosec Guide with 25 actions you can take.

The leader in the Data Privacy Day conversation is StaySafeOnline.org, powered by the National Cyber Security Alliance. Be sure to follow them to stay up on the Data Privacy Day activities and how you can participate!

What else would you add?