How to reduce your Digital Footprint, part 1: Web Browsers and Extensions
There is no 100% anonymity on the internet.
Your Digital Footprint is everywhere on the web: it is in all the actions you do on keyboard and mouse, on every tap and swipe on our mobile phone.
All the tools on hand do not immediately make you anonymous, but your awareness did. We need to, at least, try our best, take back control of our data. Privacy is fundamental to the internet and net neutrality.
So, today I’d like to start this awareness series, talking about Web Browsers.
Developed by Mozilla, Firefox has been improved for privacy protections in recent years: dev team have also introduced advanced anti-fingerprinting and Enhanced Tracking Protection features, both of which make it much more difficult for third-party trackers to follow you.
Tor is the best option if privacy is your first concern. The Tor browser is based on Firefox, but it has been specially customized to run on the Tor network.
When you use Tor, your traffic is encrypted and bounced between other Tor nodes before it reaches your desired website. The encryption is handled in such a way that each node only has access to one set of instructions, so no one has access to both your IP address and the website you are visiting.
This setup makes it really complex to keep any records about your online activity, and every time you close your session, the browser deletes your cookie cache and browsing history. The browser itself is configured to prevent fingerprinting, and it blocks all kinds of trackers.
Useful browser extensions
uBlock Origin is a wide-spectrum blocker that is easy on memory, and yet can load and enforce thousands more filters than other popular blockers out there. It has no monetization strategy and is completely open source.
NoScript (or NoScript Security Suite) is a free software extension for Mozilla Firefox, SeaMonkey, other Mozilla-based web browsers and Google Chrome that blocks active web content, which can be wholly or partially unblocked by allowlisting a site or domain from the extension’s toolbar menu or by clicking a placeholder icon.
Decentraleyes emulates a Content Delivery Networks locally by intercepting requests, finding the required resource, and injecting it into the environment. This all happens instantaneously, automatically, and no prior configuration is required.
More info about browser fingerprinting here:
- Some thoughts about Browser Fingerprinting
- What is Canvas Fingerprinting and how the companies use it to track you online
ClearURLs will automatically remove tracking elements from URLs to help protect your privacy when browsing through the Internet.