Keith Axline | 21 Mar 2019
Update: Since first publishing this post, many people have pointed out that changing your DNS isn't a huge privacy add since your ISP can still see a lot of your traffic. The real solution here is a Virtual Private Network (VPN), which I felt went beyond the "simple" scope of these steps. Read about VPNs here.
Update 2: People have pointed out that HTTPS Everywhere is not a good recommendation. I'm now using Smart HTTPS instead.
Online privacy is important for everyone, not just tinfoil hat wearers. First, it's more in line with what a user's expectation is when they browse the internet. Not many people understand all the tracking that happens by default.
Second, it's more how we operate in real life. You don't have someone following you around from store to store writing down every product you touch or look at, and then block you from entering other stores until you watch an ad.
Third, the principled view of not giving away valuable data to companies for them to sell is beneficial for everyone. Yes, in some cases you happily give up your data to sites that you enjoy so that they can stay in business. But you can't opt-in to the sites you choose until you put the tools in place to block every site.
By the end of this post, you'll be leaving much lighter footprints in the internet forest. Certainly more so than your average web surfer. We'll switch up your browser and search engine, add some plugins to block surveillance, and get a little technical with DNS servers.
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