Facebook easily made us not think about online privacy until it was too late. Users suddenly realized how they had turned Mark Zuckerberg into a titan of social media. Naturally, they claimed that collecting all your personal data made it easier to provide you with even better services. In actuality, it was to help them understand their users better as advertising targets.
GDPR Still Not Keeping You Private
This results in you winding up with dozens of tracking cookies downloaded to your browser which follow you everywhere you go. Even outside of where you originally started without asking for your permission. The GDPR was launched by the European Union to help stop that, but online privacy is still an issue.
You get that little popup asking you if you will accept a websites cookies or now, but most don’t really give you the option of opting out from any and all tracking. Even if you just hit the ‘X’ button, the site will assume you are fine with their cookies.
With the Coronavirus pandemic, Paypal founder Peter Thiel’s company Palantir is now playing a key role in collecting your data. Yes, it’s the same Peter Thiel who forced the website Gawker into shutting down. Palantir is one of the most powerful and not so well known collectors of user data. Now that they are getting government contracts, they will have free reign to track your every movement whether you are aware of it or not.
Best Free Privacy Focused Tools for 2020
Your browser may have settings and plugins to help better control your privacy, but you need something better if you want to have some privacy online. We’ve got some suggestions for the best free privacy web tools for 2020 that are truly focused on your security and privacy.
Brave (alternative privacy web browser)
Brave is one browser that give you back your privacy power while giving you a very speedy experience along with blocking trackers for your privacy and security. You can even earn rewards by opting into their ‘privacy-respecting’ ads which allows publishers to get some money for all their hard work.
This is optional, but as Brave blocks those intrusive data snatching ads and trackers, it’s not a bad payoff with the rewards. Since it blocks those clunky ads, Brave is able to load major news sites up to six times faster than Chrome, Firefox and Safari on both desktop and mobile.
You can use Tor in a tab which hides your history while also masking you location from the sites you visit by routing your browser through several servers. This is much like a VPN, and the connections are encrypted for better anonymity.
Petey Vid (for video search)
Petey Vid searches videos from over seventy platforms to give you a wide array of results. Remember back in the day, there were a lot of video search engines, but once Google bought YouTube, they all pretty much disappeared.
This one is amazing since they are the first video search engine that doesn’t save or sell your information. Now you can look for those ‘special’ videos without worrying about your privacy getting invaded!
Duck Duck Go (for web search)
Duck Duck Go has been around for a long time, and it’s super simple. You just install it to Chrome and you’re good to go. It blocks every hidden tracker out there while also encrypting your connections giving you full privacy. Unlike Google and other search engines, this one won’t track you even while you’re in private browsing mode aka incognito. They never track you, and we’ve tested it out to make sure of that.
You won’t find any ads on any of their searches, and that’s the way they like it.
Make 2020 your year for holding on to your online privacy and security with these three tools that all work great together.