We live in a world where the fear of being tracked online continues to grow. More of us who browse the web know that Google and Facebook track us even when we’re not using Google to search, or on Facebook.
Is there a safe way to be online and avoid sharing our whereabouts and website destinations with others? That’s a question asked more frequently from the faculty and staff of the Chicagoland school where I work. Everyone wants to be safe. How?
Obscure For Free
Before I dig into a free solution to help obscure your online whereabouts, let me point you to an article; “My 5 Favorite VPNs For macOS And iOS” by Mac360’s Wil Gomez. The right VPN can help to obscure your online habits from many trackers.
Tor does the rest. The Tor Browser Bundle is a free and slick package to help obscure your travels across the interwebs. It features Tor, Vidalia, Tobutton, and version of Firefox made more secure.
Lest you think Tor has roots from the dark web, it was developed by a U.S. Naval Research Laboratory for the government. Guess what? Even the government uses Tor. Getting started is simple. Download the bundle. Read the documentation. It’s lengthy and describes Tor’s many options.
Otherwise, Tor looks familiar.
Tor is a community-based project, hence free. This is one of the apps that help to secure communications between government employees, whistleblowers, spies, and trackers. To has an excellent About page with an informative video.
I use ExpressVPN and even they understand the need to use Tor to help minimize tracking.
Connecting to VPN first, then Tor (also known as “Tor over VPN”) gets you all the privacy protection of the Tor Network, and the added protection that no Tor node will ever get to see your home IP address. You will also not have to worry about being flagged by your home network for using Tor, as all they see will be encrypted traffic to your VPN server.
You gotta love that.
The combination of Tor and a VPN simply adds another layer of obscurity to your online travels. Tor is free but accepts donations. It ain’t perfect, but it’s a whole lot better than Starbucks’ Wi-Fi.