Cryptohippie's Guide to Online Privacy

Email Print

The free Internet that many of us loved has become a surveillance web, serving governments and mega-corps, while abusing the rest of us. For those whose eyes are opening to this sad fact, we have assembled this guide.

This purpose of this document is to make Internet privacy as simple and concise as possible. Our intention is not just for you to understand, but for you to act upon the information we give you.

We will be giving you information that is as simple and clear as we know how to make it. We have included the minimum number of steps to take, but it will be up to you to do the things we explain to you.

Please do the things listed below. As we mentioned at the outset, the Internet has become a world-wide surveillance network. (And is becoming a manipulation network.) You need to protect yourself.

Let’s get started:

Accept Software Updates: As much as there is reason to be leery of updates, it is necessary to take them. Every time a new security exploit comes along, operating systems (and some other programs) are upgraded to seal the hole. This is important.

Have a firewall: Your local machine needs to be guarded from local attacks. You don’t have to pay big money for the “fix everything forever” firewalls, but you do need something. Zone Alarm makes a nice free firewall (including an outgoing firewall) and their upgrades provide anti-virus protection for a very reasonable cost.

Have an outgoing firewall: If your regular firewall doesn’t stop all outgoing data, get one. Little Snitch is an excellent outgoing firewall for Macs.

Have an anti-virus program: This is usually built into your firewall program, as it is in Zone Alarm.

Browser: Use Firefox as your browser. Also:


  • Install and run the NoScript extension to manage your Java Script exposure. In a Firefox window, follow this menu path: Tools > Add-ons > Extensions > search for NoScript
  • Install and run the Better Privacy extension to avoid nasty cookies. In a Firefox window, follow this menu path: Tools > Add-ons > Extensions > search for Better Privacy
  • Install and run the Priv3 extension to prevent cross-site tracking. In a Firefox window, follow this menu path: Tools > Add-ons > Extensions > search for Priv3
  • Install and run the Certificate Patrol extension to manage SSL better. In a Firefox window, follow this menu path: Tools > Add-ons > Extensions > search for Certificate Patrol
  • Set Firefox to delete cookies on close. From Firefox Preferences, choose Privacy, then Accept Cookies, then Until I Close Firefox
  • Set Firefox to NOT accept third-party cookies. From Firefox Preferences, choose Privacy, then uncheck Accept Third Party Cookies
  • Set Firefox to Delete all browser data (except passwords) upon close. From Firefox Preferences, choose Privacy, then Clear History When Firefox Closes. Be sure NOT to check Saved Passwords, Site Preferences or Offline Content
  • Turn off Geolocation: Type about.config in the address bar, ignore the warning, scroll down to geo.enabled, double-click to change the default value to False.

Download the full PDF (four pages) here.

Email Print
  • LRC Blog

  • LRC Podcasts