Browsing

Brave

My browser of choice for most tasks is Brave. It’s a privacy focused browser that automatically blocks trackers and ads. This is perfect for any casual browsing, and reading blogs or media which typically come with a lot of trackers and ads. They have taken great strides in ensuring user privacy, and even offer a built in Tor browser in their private windows. This is amazing, and makes me browse with a more peaceful mindset.

DuckDuckGo

I recently switched my search engine from Google to DuckDuckGo. Having cleared all my data from Google servers, Google had basically no difference in search capability to DuckDuckGo since it couldn’t show me relevant information anymore. For me, this is a trade I’m willing to make sure to ensure that companies know less about me and my browsing habits.

DuckDuckGo is great for searching, and even has some level of customization that I appreciate. For example, I enabled the infinite scroll feature, which will continue to load results through scrolling rather than resorting to pagination. In addition, there are more choices for aesthetic features, such as centering results and changing the theme to a dark mode.

Mac

FileVault

FileVault is great if someone accesses your computer. It makes all the files unreadable and encrypted while your computer is asleep or off, which is important to prevent someone you don’t want accessing your data.

Mac
Mac FileVault

Firewall

Using the firewall will help prevent unwanted connections to your computer, and gives you better control to what connections are made. By default, it’ll block all incoming connections, which is especially important if you’re working on a public network.

Mac
Mac Firewall

Stealth Mode

To further security while working on public wifis, you can enable stealth mode, which will mean that your computer won’t even reply to any connections that are not signed. Then, a hacker won’t know that there is a device on the other end of the connection.

Firewall
Firewall Stealth Mode

Cloudflare’s 1.1.1.1 DNS

Cloudflare is one of my favorite companies ever. One thing that they offer is a custom DNS, which is faster and more secure than traditional DNS services. They don’t store your data, and allows you to hide from censorship from ISPs.

Setting this up is super easy. In System Preferences, go to Network->Advanced. Then under the DNS tab, add 1.1.1.1 and 1.0.0.1 (their back up server). And that’s it!

Using
Using Cloudflare's DNS on Mac

Phone

Location Services (iPhone)

Apple uses your location for themselves for many things beyond just your basic phone operations. They also happen to conveiently make the settings to turn these off difficult to find. To turn these off, go to Settings->Privacy->Location Services->System Services. It’ll be all the way at the bottom of the page.

iPhone
iPhone Location Services Settings

1.1.1.1

1.1.1.1 is a free VPN by Cloudflare that encrypts more traffic of your phone, while also improving DNS routing (thanks to their massive network). I always leave this on, as its safe and important to use over any wifi, and even your cellular network. I’ve seen no network speed slowdowns from this VPN, and so I always leave it on no matter what I’m doing.

Jumbo

Jumbo
Jumbo Privacy Settings

Jumbo is an app that will audit all of your accounts and identify privacy and security settings easily for you. It’s really simple - you just have to log in, and it will show you a list of history you can clean, tracking settings that you can disable, and even more. It will also continuously run in the background to make sure that you are always leaving a minimal data footprint.