Just wanting to discuss the tools I use for online privacy and anonymity on Mac OS Mavericks and iOS. Whether this is helpful for you, or you have
some tips for me and others, please chip in
Note - please only discuss ways to legally be anonymous, so we don't have ATS T&C issues. Also note, that while these tools are legal, that may
vary depending on your local laws and how you use them.
Also, all my options are FREE and easy to use, but many offer premium services also.
(Also on Windows and iOS. iOS version is called 'Onion Browser' and costs money)
is widely regarded as the best browser for online anonymity, despite recently discovered flaws. Essentially a modded Firefox, it includes the
extensions HTTPS Everywhere
and No Script
. The Tor Project generally
recommends not to use other extensions, as their security is often unverified and can create a security hole in the browser. This is the primary
reason why Flash is disabled by default in the browser; there are workarounds, but that ultimately defeats the purpose of using Tor. There is often
discussion as to whether you should use Tor or VPN, but in my experience they are not mutually exclusive and can be used together.
is probably the favorite browser for most Mac users. Along with the aforementioned HTTPS
Everywhere and No Script plugins available, there are also other great extensions. Do Not Track Me
(in the process
of becoming known as Blur) blocks trackers, provides the option to make a 'masked email' (a 'fake' email address which is setup to forward to your
actual address) when giving your email to mailing lists for example and a similar option for passwords: giving a password recommendation for when you
are creating passwords. Ghostery
is also primarily about blocking tracking cookies, and may be even easier
to setup. And no, I don't know why the logo looks similar to Snapchat's. Better
blocks a different type of cookie, known as 'super cookies' or 'flash cookies' each time you finish your browser session. These cookies
are not addressed by Ghostery or Do Not Track Me. Disconnect
is an interesting tool, as it functions similar to a
VPN. It offers secure browsing, location control and lets you visualize your trackers. I run all of these add-on (and more) simultaneously without any
(Disconnect is also available on iOS and so is Ghostery (as a browser app) and Blur (Do Not Track Me as primarily a browser app that can be synced
with your Mac version).
Safari: Apples built-in browser is probably the last resort if you still want anonymity. Ghostery and Do Not Track Me are, however, still available
And don't forget the built-in Private Browsing functions to protect your surfing history from loved ones (and vice versa)
VPNs I use on both my Mac and iOS device (the free options anyway). They are all quite simple and self explanatory to set up and have an amount of
free data that resets each month. They mostly have options to increase that data by inviting friends to download, sharing the account over multiple
devices or sharing via Twitter/Facebook. I may have had some trouble with the GoVPN profile on iOS (it was likely something else that was blocking my
internet access), but simply uninstalling and reinstalling the profile over wifi solved it. Keep in mind, that when you meet your quota, you will not
be able to connect to the internet, you will have to turn off the VPN first, and that is the main reason I use multiple VPNs - for more usage.
Tails is an anonymity and privacy based Linux operating system that sends its data over the Tor network. You can create an external HD, thumb drive or
DVD and boot the operating system onto another PC and run it from there. It does absolutely nothing to the host PC apparently 'leaving no trace'.
Unfortunately I couldn't get past the install menu on my Mac using refind
, but there is a chance that I
did something wrong (I'm only new at multi bootingy, BIOSy business). It did run smoothly using VirtualBox
that does give a warning that any privacy of the virtualized OS would be useless if someone was able to penetrate the host OS.
What are your thoughts on these? Would you do things different? If so, let me know what options you guys take.
edit on 19/11/2014 by BombDefined because: (no reason given)