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If you wish to protect your privacy I recommend the applications located at the bottom of this page. I do not benefit from your use in the below applications in any way. These are just what I use and have researched.
I am an advocate for online privacy.
Whenever you download an app, visit a website or use social media, majority of the time that company is collecting data on you. We buy things, look up medical conditions, interact with friends, you name it. These actions inadvertently create huge digital stockpiles of data on everyone using them. It may not be Personally Identifiable Information (PII) but these companies still collect data containing what you do on the web and sell that data.
Email providers such as Gmail and Yahoo wil let advertising companies read your emails. Facebook will let advertising companies read your Messenger conversations in the name of advertising.
A data broker is a newly created job position/title where data is collected and maintained to be analyzed, packaged, and sold without the user’s knowledge or permission. The data is usually sold for targeted advertising, credit risk assessment, and direct marketing.
Privacy is a limit on Government and private sector company power. The more someone knows about you the more power they may gain over you. This information can be used to shape behaviors, influence decisions, affect reputations, and in the wrong hands can be used for harm.
Privacy is the freedom of thought and free speech. A watchful eye over everything we read or watch can prevent us from exploring ideas outside the norm. Privacy protects people who speak unpopular messages and does not just protect fringe activities.
A new popular "motive" pushed by politicians is that the government should have the ability to decrypt any devices, documents, emails, etc. they want because "child sex trafficking" could be prevented if they only had that ability. This is of course nonsense. The Dark Web, also known as the Deep Web, are used for these illicit activities. The Deep Web has nothing to do with these encryption keys.
NOTE: Microsoft Edge is the safest browser. It’s limited functionality prevents malicious applications from having the ability to do harm inside your browser and on your computer.
Edge has recently re-released it's browser using Chromium as a template. They seem to have abandoned the original version for a more main stream and open source addition. I am a big fan of the direction the new Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, is taking the company in. They have their workers donate time to the open source community in exchange for incentives. They have bought GitHub and regularly contribute documentation to the ASP.NET Core Language which personally is one of my favorite object oriented programming languages.
WEB BROWSER ADD-ONS:
If you do not already have one it is a great idea to get a password manager and put in the effort to create strong passwords for any and all sites you use a password to login to. After you are sure you have moved everything into the password manager set up Multi Factor Authentication using the Microsoft Authenticator App for as many as those logins as possible. At the very least use MFA for your password manager login. Google has an authentication app however it does not save the MFA entries. This means you risk being locked out of all of your accounts until you jump through hoops to reset all the passwords. The last thing on Goolge's agenda is privacy. I conspiracy theoraly believe they want to discourage the everyday user from using MFA. Bitwarden and LastPass password managers are my personal favorites. Web browser password managers are not good enough. Any passwords stored in your browser need to be deleted. Turn off the option for the browser to offer to save passwords.
I have recently become the proud owner of a YubiKey. They have an MFA application as well that I use. It requires NFC of the physical chip to unlock the app which will then display the 6 digit code that generates every 30 seconds. For applications that offer it it can be used as a physical security key too. Very cool stuff.