Internet Safety

Notes: I am not an internet safety specialist in any way. Please keep that in mind while reading this guide. Thank you, and stay safe!


Browser (Extra Secure): Tor Browser

If you want extra privacy on your PC, laptop, or other gadgets, it's time you download a Tor Browser.

This browser will hide your IP address for you, so it basically acts like a lesser-VPN for your convenience.
For a brief explanation, basically, your internet traffic is routed through several "nodes" through the Tor Browser. If you want to go to Netflix through Tor, your gadget will send out an encrypted signal that will pass through the nodes. The outermost layer may be your IP address, but as it passes through more nodes, the layers will go away until the Ending node only knows what you're asking for.
In that case, the Ending node will only know that you want to go to Netflix.
With that, it's important to remember that a Tor browser will only work well if a lot of people are using it. If not, it's easier to decrypt your information.

If you want a more comprehensive explanation on how a Tor Browser works, this guide is a pretty handy reference to use.

Browser (Secure): Firefox

Forget about what you've heard about Firefox; contrary to popular belief, Firefox is a pretty good browser and it isn't slow at all.

Firefox offers you a lot of privacy once you head to its settings to get things sorted out. Cookies and login details can be deleted once your exit the website or browser and there are a ton of extensions that can help you mask your privacy, such as uBlock Origin, and Decentralytes. You can also keep login details separate with container tabs. There's even a container tab specifically for Facebook so the company can't track you across the web.

If you want an in-depth article on how Firefox holds up, this article is a good read to begin with.

VPN: Mullvad

If you really need to hide that IP address, get a PAID VPN. Do not get a free VPN service.

Free VPN services usually sell your data if they have the chance to, so do not trust them if you're looking for security.
Mullvad doesn't ask for any personal information, just an account number. It's based in Sweden, if that matters to you.

Remember, VPN companies can be bought out so it's best to check out online forums to see if there any changes with whatever VPN you're using. I recommend looking through r/VPNReviews just to be updated. If you don't want to use Reddit, simply searching up the latest news on whatever VPN you're using should be enough.

Things to Avoid

Chrome (or anything Google)

Chrome may be known as the leading browser of today's world, but it really isn't worth it if you're considering your safety and privacy.

Chrome and its parent company collects your data (such as your location, searching and browser history, personal identifiers, and production interacton data) for personalization purposes.
With all that information, Google can make a pretty good profile of who you are as a person.

Here's a pretty good explanation on why Chrome doesn't hold up well anymore.

Messenger and Facebook

Facebook and Messenger may be considered a cornerstone in Filipino online society nowadays, but if you don't want to risk your privacy being breached, it's time to put those things away, especially if you're handling sensitive information.

If you want to use something safer, use Telegram. However, make sure that you use Secret Chats that are End-to-End encrypted. Outside those secret chats, you're not as well protected as you might think you are.