My Internet Firewall

Here are the tools I use to help protect my security and privacy on the internet.

ProtonVPN

There’s never a moment when I’m connected to a public WiFi spot that I don’t have this on. They keep adding more countries and my phone is always on their network. It’s always been fast and reliable.

ProtonMail

I moved from GMail to ProtonMail a couple years ago and I’m very happy with that decision. There was a sale during Cyber Monday that had a massive discount so I decided to purchase several years worth of service. Gmail is free but as the old saying goes If You’re Not Paying For It, You Become The Product.

FireFox

I’m a big fan of Mozilla and their mission for an open internet that respects privacy. It’s fast and recent versions have improved it greatly.

Extensions I have installed:

  • uBlocl Origin: Blocks ads and trackers. (Edit: Do NOT use the one provided by ublock.org. Previous version of this article had a link to that site rather than the correct one.)
  • Privacy Badger: Blocks spying ads and invisible trackers.
  • HTTPS Everywhere: It encrypts your communications with many major websites, making your browsing more secure.
  • Decentraleyes: Protects you against tracking through “free”, centralized, content delivery. It prevents a lot of requests from reaching networks like Google Hosted Libraries, and serves local files to keep sites from breaking.
  • Link Cleaner: Browser extension to clean URLs that are about to be visited.
  • Firefox Containers / Facebook Containers: Isolates your identity into a separate container tab, making it harder for Facebook to track you on the web outside of Facebook.

I also use Brave but Firefox is my main browser.

1Password

In my opinion the best password management app out there. It’s very well built and the interface has made it easy for me to teach anyone how to use it. I have a family account and used the extra slots for other members of the family with hopes of teaching them good internet safety.

Signal

Signal is my default SMS app on my phone but it works best when others are using Signal as well. Unfortunately, most of my friends and family are using WhatsApp. Telegram is another messaging app I use often although normally to join group channels related to cryptocurrency.

Pi-hole

An ad-blocker for my entire network at home. All my devices at home are blocking various domains at the DNS level. This means the domain never reaches the device. While the Firefox extensions do a great job at blocking most of the ads, it does not block tracking scripts being run by software outside of the browser.

Misc

  • I have a Linux laptop now but when I had MacOS I used Little Snitch to control traffic coming in and out of my computer.

Michael Tieso

Michael Tieso travels around the world writing, photographing, and filming his adventures. He is the Editor-in-chief of Art of Adventuring.

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