Originally written in 2012

Internet, give me back my privacy; how to surf the web privately.

Open a webpage and Google and Bing already know what you’ve visited in the past, what you like to read, what your web surfing patterns are and they use all that information to calculate precisely what kind of ads to display you.

Or you are happily reading an article about your favorite topic and at the bottom it asks you if you want to comment on it using your Facebook credentials.  How did Facebook get every where?  I don’t want every website to gain my personal information.  Can I have some privacy please?!

There ways to make sure your privacy is respected.  Please note this article will show you how to get your privacy back, not how to surf the web anonymously.  To do this we will need to use the web browser Chrome.  As of now I find that Chrome provides the most secure web browsing environment.  Perhaps things may change in the future, Firefox being a very capable and respectable browser, but the extensions suggested in this articles are for Google Chrome.

First let’s start by securing as much as possible our browser.  Open a Chrome window, in the upper right corner, click on the little wrench (Customize and control Google Chrome), hover on Tools > click on Extensions.  In the search field, search and install these extensions:

KB SSL Enforcer: This will always force the website to speak with you using the secure HTTPS protocol if it is available.

PasswordFail Extension: This will warn you if the website will be storing your password in clear text, meaning anyone having access to the website files will be able to read it.

View Thru: This will let you hover on a shortened URL (link) and will display what the actual link is so you can click with confidence that it will not bring you to some weird dark fetish site (unless that’s your thing …no judging here).

WOT (Web of Trust): Web of Trust displays a little green circle to the right of the address bar showing how safe and trusted the site is.  If a site is really un-trusted, WoT will give you a warning before you can access the page, in case you decide to change your mind.

Ok so now we have added a layer of security to our browsing, now let’s conquer back our privacy!  Same idea is to search now for:

Disconnect: Disconnect will stop the big ones (Google, Facebook, Twitter, Digg and Yahoo) from being able to track your browsing habits and searches.

Ghostery: Same idea, simply doing it differently.

uBlock Origin: Will stop ads from everywhere, webpages to YouTube videos.

NOTE: Please remember that for some small players, like us, ads is the only form of revenue easily available to us.  So to help support us, please do not block the ads displayed on your pages 🙂

Close down the browser window and restart it.  Congratulations take a deep breath of private Internet air and go browse the world!