You might want more privacy online for any number of reasons — you could be a journalist reporting on a sensitive topic, like Poitras and Glenn Greenwald, or you might just want more peace of mind in light of the NSA revelations. To better protect yourself, here are some best tools to help you encrypt data, block intrusive trackers or remain altogether anonymous on the web.
Best Privacy Tools To Stay Secure In Online
Tor, otherwise known as the “onion router,” is one of the most popular — and undefeated — ways to browse the Internet without leaving your activity open for prying eyes.
Tor’s network of bouncing your traffic through multiple relays makes it nearly impossible to track a user’s identity or activity. You can access almost every website anonymously, including “.onion” addresses, which are only accessible while connected to Tor.
Since the Snowden documents first landed, Tor usage has shot up. That’s spurred on by the fact that leaks have shown how troubled the agency is still unable to crac kthe network.
Get it from:Direct download
2. The Guardian Project
The Guardian Project creates open-source apps to help people communicate privately. All of the group’s software is downloadable for free for Android smartphones. For secure web browsing, there’s a privacy-friendly browser called Orweb that works with a Tor-enabled proxy called Orbot for mobile. There’s also a private messaging service called Chat Secure, an app for private phone calls and a pixel-destroying camera tool to blur faces in photos. This project is almost worth a list all its own.
Get it From:Google Play, Amazon or direct download
3.Mitro (password manager)
Mitro is a lightweight browser-based password manager that logs you in to your various websites automatically. It’s also open-source, making it more difficult to include backdoors and flaws.
Password managers don’t just take the pain out of remembering the dozens of passwords in your life, but they protect your logins and identities by storing your various sets of credentials. No longer is it necessary to remember them, or have them written down in an insecure way. Ultimately, a password manager that’s known, and tried and tested can suffice.
Get it From:direct download
DuckDuckGo is a search engine that doesn’t track or share any of your information. If you’re looking for better privacy, use this over Google.
Get it form: Duckduckgo.com
4. Privacy Badger
Privacy Badger is a browser extension that can block third-party advertisers, but it has a moral compass. If Privacy Badger suspects a tracker is overstepping its bounds by tracking what you’re doing without your permission, the extension stops the advertiser in its tracks. It’s all based on the principle of user consent: If the advertiser breaks the rules, Privacy Badger cuts the cord.
Get it form: Direct download
Wickr sends photos, video and file attachments that will eventually be deleted, but unlike Snapchat, Wickr encrypts messages. Not even Wickr itself is supposed to know what’s in the messages you send. What you send can last anywhere from a few seconds to several days.
Get it form: Google Play and the App Store
Cryptocat is an encrypted chatting service that can be added as a browser extension or downloaded as an app for Mac systems. It is one of the more popular encryption tools available, often used by journalists and human rights advocates. Put simply, only the sender and receiver can see the actual content of the message. When messages are traveling through Cryptocat, they’re unreadable. As a bonus, the application supports file-sharing.
Get it form: Direct download
7.PGP/GPG (encrypted email)
Perhaps one of the biggest thorns in the side of the intelligence community: uncrackable email.
PGP, or “Pretty Good Privacy,” first released in 1991, remains the favorite tool of tens of millions of users worldwide, thanks to its apparently uncrackable encryption. It was never particularly user friendly, though. The modern incarnation lives on as an easier-to-use software called GPG, or the Gnu Privacy Guard, which is available for Windows, Mac, Linux, and other machines.
Although PGP now lives on with Symantec, GPG is open-source, and tried and tested by the security community. It is by far the one and only trusted secure encrypted email system. One of the benefits is that it works with your existing email address.
Get it form: Direct download
8.Eraser (file shredder)
You can’t just drag a file into the trash and think it’s gone forever. Most of the time, files can be “undeleted.” File shredders, however, are designed to securely remove important and sensitive data from your computer for good. Eraser is one of the most highly rated file shredders available, and, thanks to it being open-source, it’s free to use.Get it form: Direct download
9.Ghostery (anti-tracking tool)
Ghostery is a tracking tool that can be added to your browser to show you how you’re being tracked online — and by whom. Available for most modern browsers for desktop and mobile, its aim is to inform users of how many companies are tracking your activities, like what sites you visit, and which companies collect data on you in order to serve you adverts. It also (at the time of writing) blocks just shy of 1,980 trackers.
10.HotSpot Shield (virtual private network)
Hotspot Shield comes with virtual-private networking technology, allowing its users to bypass Internet provider or governmental restrictions. Many will also know it as a way of masking your country’s IP address allowing you access to streaming services from other regions. But its primary goal is to allow users to securely browse the Web with end-to-end encryption in public places, which can often be prime targets for hackers and identity thieves.
11.SpiderOak (cloud storage service)
Forget OneDrive, iCloud, and Dropbox. They may all offer encrypted cloud storage, but they have the keys, and can be compelled to hand over your files to the government. But SpiderOak, a cloud storage provider, can’t and won’t, because its users are the ones with the encryption keys. Its entire service revolves around its customers’ privacy. Not only is it secure and private, it offers much of the same functionality as the mainstream providers.
12.Silent Circle (encrypted voice calls)
Silent Circle, which last year canceled its upcoming encrypted email service as to avoid being forced to hand over data to the government, invented Silent Phone. Theencrypted voice calling service works on existing cellular networks. It’s not free, but it’s low-cost and has been widely lauded by privacy experts alike.
The company also received more than $30 million in funding towards its Blackphone design, an all-inclusive mobile device that aims to be surveillance-proof.