I’ve been wanting to put one of these guides out there, I see a lot of guides on these, however I don’t think they put a bunch of compiled links to the websites of these tools. I want to give you some alternatives as well, a lot of people want to use a phone number, however I mostly choose not to, so I’ll put alternatives when possible that don’t require a phone number. Most of these will not require a phone to use.
I’ll start with things that you use in everyday life, to things that you may or may not use much at all, but you should consider using these tools anyway.
- Tor Browser
So as far as overall privacy goes Tor is obviously the best choice, Tor with a VPN (we’ll get to that later) is the most secure option for browsing, and even without the VPN, it’s still secure. This is something however that is going to slow down your browsing, and probably not something you need to use for normal amazon browsing or whatever the hell you do that’s normal, if you’re reading my site though, you’re probably not normal.
I use brave everyday, it’s great for everyday use, it has the best built in adblock of any other browser I’ve used and is open source so for a normal web browser it’s great for privacy. You will not get the best privacy and secure connection unless you use tor, but it’s going to be slow. Brave is using your own network or a VPN so it’s going to be fast unless you have shitty internet. Brave also has built in TOR connection on desktop (yes there’s a mobile app too, I use it, don’t ever use safari) I’ve heard some things that this is not a great use of TOR, and I agree, it’s slow, doesn’t connect all the time, so just use the TOR browser.
Vivaldi is also known for privacy mainly because of it’s built in adblock, however they’re not open source, they do have a big commitment to Linux which is cool, but I would have to say Brave wins here with the privacy battle. Vivaldi does have a better interface similar to Firefox.
Always use DuckDuckGo, it has the same features as google somewhat like if you search “weather” it gives you the forecast thing like google, it actually has a better one too. It’s more private in the sense less tracking and info selling. DuckDuckGo did sell out to Ukraine, which sucks, but whatever. Brave also has their own search engine but it’s garbage.
If you’re really seeking privacy as I said please use Tor, Brave and Vivaldi are just my reccomendation for everyday searches by everyday people, if you’re being tracked by the CIA or NSA don’t use them, you will be hunted and killed.
On mobile use brave, I think there’s an onion browser on IPhone but I’ve never used it, brave is bringing Tor support for mobile soon.
HTTPS Everywhere: https://www.eff.org/https-everywhere (this is already included in Brave, and Tor)
Privacy Badger: https://privacybadger.org/
Mullvad is the only VPN I can recommend given the payment options, you can pay with cash and Monero, or a bank wire. Mullvad even with the risk of legal requests can’t hand anything over, because there is no data collected in the first place. They also say that they will shutdown the service in the jurisdiction if a government succeeds in a legal battle.
Session is the best messenger that I can recommend, only because you don’t have to use an email or phone number unlike Signal. This is rare, and a huge win for an encrypted messenger app. Signal has the best encryption out there and for an app to take it and not require a phone/email is great. Additionally Session does a way better job at keeping their code open source and audited than Signal.
Signal has great features, and the best encryption you can get, it’s open source, works on all platforms (as does session) however, it requires a phone number, I’m not a big fan of phone number requirements, yeah I get it, it’s a messenger app, but still. It’s secure though, Edward Snowden uses it, like I said though Session has the same encryption, so this just comes down to your personal choice, and functionality.
ProtonMail is the best for security providing tor gateway connection, encryption and other security features, this is the only email service I will list and I recommend you look into it, however it’s more secure to not use email at all. There are some other encrypted emails out there but it’s a much safer bet to not use email. Maybe you could send emails with encrypted content? However, it’s less of a burden to not use email at all if you are very privacy focused. For everyday normal people sending work and school emails? This is great, use it.
Sign up for Protonmail
Tails has been around for a long time, and many people have used it for privacy focus, It’s basic, it’s based on Debian, and exclusively connects through TOR. It’s very portable and can be booted off of anything. It’s so secure that the NSA literally will start tracking you just for visiting their website.
In 2014 Das Erste reported that the NSA‘s XKeyscore surveillance system sets threat definitions for people who search for Tails using a search engine or visit the Tails website. A comment in XKeyscore’s source code calls Tails “a comsec [communications security] mechanism advocated by extremists on extremist forums”.Wikipedia
Debian by itself has more features, however you’re sacrificing the extra privacy by exclusively connecting via Tor with Tails. This is better for everyday users.
So instead of shilling for the company, I’ll just say, this is one of the most important things I can list here, encrypting your hard drive is step one in any privacy guide. If you ever get your PC seized or something, this is very, very important.
Bitwarden is open source, encrypted, and overall is secure. It’s audited by third parties, it has apps for all devices, it has support for biometric scanning on your phone.
KeePassXC is just as secure and transparent as bitwarden, it probably adds more security because it’s self hosted, meaning you’ll have to run it through your own storage, best way would probably be a encrypted file hosting method.
- Ledger Nano S
This is an inexpensive and easy way to have a hardware wallet that is secure, hardware wallets are more secure than a virtual wallets for the most part.
I use exodus on desktop for crypto donations on my stream and website, it’s simple and great for beginners. Unlike the websites that provide wallets and who will ban you for being a right wing dissident. Exodus doesn’t make you sign up, you just download it and it’s all through your computer. Exodus also has support for the trezor hardware wallet
Thanks for reading this, I thought about getting Tyler Hoban to write this, he’s smart when it comes to tech, but since I knew it’d be a big article I wanted to put the time into writing this myself, also I’d then have to pay him out of the kindness of my own heart, which I didn’t want to do because I already spent plenty of money this month.
To conclude, stay safe, and stay away from glowniggers, they’re everywhere and they will do anything to get you to talk to them, they lurk in chatrooms across the internet. Don’t talk to journalists they’re glowniggers too.