here is some common sense approaches to internet privacy. Anytime you post anything to the internet or even do a search or watch a webpage some information about you is stored. Most of the time there is no harm in that, but in can develop to a problem when there is lot of information. That’s why it’s best to distribute the information so that it is not that easy to gather the full picture.
Let’s start with email.
You should have many email accounts.
Own name email: something like firstname.lastname@example.org or @outlook.com. Or use your own domain if possible. Use this account only for official business where you need your own name. Or when contacting relatives or similar, which you can trust. Never register any nonsense services with this account.
Work email: Use the work mail only for work. Do not use it for hobbies or other activity. This is the reason why you need your own name email, so you don’t have to do official stuff or relative related mails with work email. After all if you change jobs you loose all those contacts as they don’t have any idea what is your new email. When you loose your work email, you should loose only work related mails, that you don’t anymore need.
Alias emails: You need one @gmail with some sort of alias, This you can use for registering normal stuff in internet and general communication with friends, It can be some name that is known as a nick name by your friends, but if someone searches your real name, this doesn’t hit the radar at all. Use this mail in internet hobby forums and stuff like that.
Junk email: Just one @gmail address, that you use for register to all the nonsense stuff in the internet, this gets the most spam. Don’t use this to discussion, it’s just a trashcan. You can delete this account from time to time and create a new one.
Password complexity should be related to the importance of the email account, your own name mail account should have the most complex password, but the junk email can have some simple one.
When you use search engines like google, your searches are most likely recorded, this why it’s best to use your Alias email when you are normally connected to the internet. Also it’s the best way not to use google search at all. You can use startpage.com which gives google results, but doesn’t record the searches.
If you are accessing some webpage that you are suspicious about, use the startpage ‘view by ixquick proxy’, this is little slower, but the webpage cannot see where you are browsing from.
Web browser: When you use web-browser you need to understand that it records every search also. If the computer is yours this is not that big of a deal, but when you are using relatives computer or friends computer or common computer, you should always activate the ‘private browsing’ before doing anything. Firefox calls this mode ‘private browsing’ and it doesn’t record the address or the pages you visit. Chrome calls it ‘incognito’ window. I would recommend using it also in your own PC, when you are accessing adult context sites or similar sites, as this way the address bar doesn’t show the pages for other users.
These simple basic ways don’t give you perfect privacy, you would need more complex ways to achieve that. But this is just basic good practice that everyone should do.
Good password is most important safety aspect. Accounts protected with passwords based on simple words can be hacked easily, and most of the times the hacker just spies, so you don’t know that you are hacked. Some china intelligent services have hacked email accounts to access google drive information, and they don’t change anything. Best protect is to use 8-10 key passwords with number and special character. Of course these can be hard to remember, but you can make password ‘families’, Like use one base word that only you know. Like ‘cupcake’, if your gmail name is jack, your password could be Cupcakejack7!, this is a good password as it has Capital character, number and a special character. And it’s easy to remember. if you use this account to register to photobucket, you can make the password for that as Cupcakebucket7!
4.Facebook: I dont use facebook at all. If you have to, use it like your own name email. Just for normal stuff. Nothing political or such. When you are searching for work, this is going to be checked, so keep it clean.
5.Pictures. It depends what you want, if you don’t want your pictures out there, don’t post pictures about you and do not tag those pictures, as ones someone has tagged one picture of you, google will tag your picture where ever it is. Also if you post vehicle pictures, your own or someone else, edit the license plates, it’s a good habit.
6.webcam: I have taped my webcam, as I know it’s possible that virus could have infected my computer and could distribute my picture to someone.
7.Forums, use your alias for forums, preferably use one alias for hobbies and other for political stuff or other. So these cannot be connected easily.
8.Smartphone is the most dangerous thing. If you loose your android device without screenlock, your google account is open in it. Also other mails could be open. I suggest using screenlock, and if you loose your phone, find computer immediately and change your google and other mail account passwords, if your google account is open in the smartphone, also your google drive is open, all you files can be accessed, it could be that your smartphone doesn’t have google drive app, but the person who finds your phone can install it. Some phones have ways to clear out the data after they are lost, samsung has samsungdive.com, you can locate or clear out your phone from that service.
Also one good idea is to not connect these accounts in any way.
P.S. James Parus is not my real name.