A VPN is pretty much a must have tool for everyone these days, but it alone may not be enough as there are other tools you could use to enhance your privacy on the Internet. And that’s what this article is all about – here are 3 online privacy tools you can try (again, in addition to using a VPN):
1. The Tor Network
The Onion Router (Tor) or Tor Network is one of most popular privacy-enhancing tools. It is free to use and will deliver a significant level of privacy, but it could also slow things down for you. While professional VPN services are operated by companies, the Tor Network relies on volunteers who donate their resources which may be limited. Nevertheless, if you need to beef-up your online privacy, you can combine VPN with Tor for maximum effect.
In addition to Tor Browser, which makes web browsing more anonymous, there are also other tools that take advantage of the Tor Network. One of them is OnionShare, which lets you share files with other people without an intermediary. As such, it could be used for sharing sensitive documents, personal files and so on.
Another tool is Tor Socks Proxy, which is used to route all sorts of HTTP traffic, not just web browsing requests, through the Tor Network.
Also read: Tor vs VPN
2. Browser plug-ins
A different set of tools comes in the form of browser plugins. Specifically, we want to highlight the following:
Primarily an ad blocker, Ublock Origin also blocks various trackers that come with all those ads. It is free to download and you can use it on pretty much all popular browsers, including those unlisted as long as they are based on the Chromium engine.
Developed by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), the Privacy Badger is able to inspect domains you connect to when visiting websites. Then, you will be able to decide which connections you want to allow, and for which you don’t want to enable cookies. This plugin requires a bit of configuration, and may even break some websites — but your privacy is worth the effort.
Last but not least, Canvas Defender aims to break the so-called browser fingerprinting that lets website operators and Google track you down without using cookies. We haven’t tried it ourselves, but from what we’re reading – it’s a neat tool.
3. Account monitoring software
These tools are meant to protect your accounts so that your personal information doesn’t end up in the wrong hands. They work by letting you enter your email address and/or a phone number to determine whether your data has been involved in a data breach.
Probably the most popular account monitoring service is Have I Been Pwned, using which you can see whether your data has been compromised. Mind you, even if your email has been “pwned” (as they say it) – that doesn’t mean someone got ahold of your password or other personal data. Nevertheless, it is suggested that you change your passwords across the board and for that – you should use a good password management tool like NordPass, LastPass, 1Password and so on.
That wraps it up. Now, we want to know whether you suggest or are actively using some (other) privacy-focused tool. The comments form is all yours…