Refining my setup – Privacy

To continue the security / privacy theme, I discovered some really nice tools on a site called http://privacytools.io and incorporated them into my setup.

I’m now running Firefox full-time and am using LastPass as a password manager so that I can have a unique, strong password on all sites that are password protected.  In addition, I’m using:

  • HTTPS Everywhere (EFF) – Forces sites to use HTTPS everywhere it can so that more of your traffic is encrypted by default
  • Random Agent Spoofer – Allows you to randomize your user-agent and also block other things that the browser passes back
  • Self-destructing cookies – Deletes a site’s cookies when you close the tab or close the browser
  • uBlock Origin – A very impressive ad and tracker blocking tool

In addition, at the recommendation of PrivacyToolsIO, I purchased a VPN subscription from a non US-based provider who doesn’t retain logs (AirVPN).  It certainly does slow down my network access but the fact that the OpenVPN client encrypts data before it ever leaves my laptop is very nice.

Finally, for backups, I found an excellent provider called TarSnap.  The backup client is open source and it encrypts your data with a key that you generate and control before it leaves your machine.  The encrypted, de-duplicated data is stored in the cloud at a very inexpensive price.  My estimate is that my encrypted backups will cost in the neighborhood of $10 per year.

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