A Few Simple Ways to Improve and Automate Your Online Privacy

Lifehacker has a post today about DoNotTrackMe which is an extension for Chrome, Firefox and Safari. It allows you to control which web sites, if any, can track your actions online.

"The app lives in the toolbar now so you can turn it on and off if it breaks a site you're browsing, and actively shows you what's been blocked on any given page. You can even dive into the details to see exactly what data they're trying to obtain and choose what you're okay with and what you want blocked."

You can get DoNotTrackMe here.

Having decided to mention that though, I thought I would mention a few other useful tools to help you control and automate your privacy.

The first one is from the makers of DoNotTrackMe, it is in beta and is only available for Chrome at the moment. If you're using Chrome though it's definitely worth checking out.

MaskMe works when a site directly asks you for information.
"When an online form demands your email or phone number, MaskMe will spring into action - allowing you to choose between giving out your real contact information or creating “masked information." ... Generates strong, unique passwords and remembers them so you don't have to
- Encrypts and stores passwords and online accounts in one safe place, for your eyes only."

Next there is PrivacyFix - This is another extension that handles privacy settings on Facebook, Google and other sites that collect personal information. It allows you one click access to see and change your settings. It also makes suggestions for changes to your settings and alerts you when companies try to sneak in new settings. A short video explains all of the features.

The next one, for anyone who doesn't already know about it, is Tor. Used worldwide by anyone who wants to be extra secretive:
"Tor protects you by bouncing your communications around a distributed network of relays run by volunteers all around the world: it prevents somebody watching your Internet connection from learning what sites you visit, and it prevents the sites you visit from learning your physical location. Tor works with many of your existing applications, including web browsers, instant messaging clients, remote login, and other applications based on the TCP protocol."

Tor can also help you get around pesky geoblocking, although that will depend on where Tor is saying you are. Find out more about it at torproject.org.

Finally there is BTGuard, a bittorrent proxy and virtual private network (VPN) that allows you to route your web activities through their servers, making it incredibly difficult for anyone to track you or find your location. Because BTGuard keeps no records or logs of activity, even a court subpoena will not provide any information about your activities. BTGuard isn't free, it costs 6.95 - 9.95/month but if you can afford it, it will be worth the piece of mind. Get more info on BTGuard, including some tutorial videos here.

I know that there is a ton of other stuff out there. Feel free to leave links to your favorites in the comments.

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