As an avid tech enthusiast (what kind of enthusiast wouldn’t be avid?), I am starting to become a little paranoid about my online activity, especially in light of the fact that I’ve become rather outspoken on Twitter about the Trump Presidency.
I’ve started using a couple of tools in my online arsenal to make my experience with the Internet a little bit safer, and I thought I would share these with you.
Private Tunnel is a service that provides VPN (Virtual Private Network) connectivity to the Internet. This basically “hides” your location by routing all of your network traffic encrypted through a remote server. It also assures that all communication between you and the remote server is encrypted. This is particularly important when you are on the road using public hotspots.
Private Tunnel is free up to a certain amount of bandwidth and I found their subscription model to be affordable for my needs. The software client is available for a number of platforms which includes Windows, MacOS, iOS and Android. At the very least I use this service for all monetary transactions. I routinely use it for all other browsing, especially if I’m using a public, unsecured network.
Better is an iOS and MacOS Safari Extension that helps block all trackers, ads and the like while surfing the Internet on Safari.
While many of the ad blockers available for the various browsers do a decent job of blocking ads and the like, many are still supported by ad companies, which are placed on a “white list”, so their ads still get through to you. Better is not supported by any ad company or Venture Capitalist, so they have no obligation to anyone. Development is based solely on the purchase of the app or extension.
This blog entry better (heh) describes Better and if you’re interested in making your online activities untargeted, ad free and lighter (because all of that ad data is blocked from coming down your network connection) you should definitely check out Better. Link to the Mac App Store and Link to the App Store (for iPhone and iPad).
I’ve written before that no one should be using the same password across multiple sites. You should never have the same password for Twitter as for your email as for Facebook, etc. If someone has your password they’re able to get into everything and that’s not good.
Safari and other web browsers do a decent job of coming up with random passwords and storing this information for you, which in turn is stored behind another password to keep it all safe. The thing is, if you use both Windows and Mac or both iOS and Android, your saved Safari (or other browser) passwords may not sync between the dissimilar operating systems. Yes, Google Chrome works on just about everything, but remember, Google’s livelihood is supported by your data. You are not the customer, you are the product, so you probably should have another way of keeping track of all your passwords. Don’t write them down, put them in 1Password.
1Password is available for Mac, Windows, iOS and Android. 1Password has a variety of sync options to choose from and no one but you can decrypt the data stored in your 1Password profile, so if you lose the password, you’ve lost your vault.
Their subscription model is quite affordable and I noticed that they now have a family plan available as well. Earl uses 1Password and finds it easy to use. I encourage users to keep their stuff safe with dissimilar passwords across platforms and to store them somewhere safe. 1Password definitely fits the bill.
FYI, the password to my 1Password account is over 25 characters long. I keep my stuff SAFE.
This is just the start of my arsenal of security tools. If you have any questions, please leave a comment below or feel free to drop me a line.
Safe surfing for all!