Protect Your Privacy & Security on the Internet With These Tools

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Protect Your Privacy & Security on the Internet With These Tools

All across the web companies are collecting information about you whether you like it or not. Knowing which companies are more trustworthy with your information than others and how to keep yourself as safe as possible on the internet is important. If you aren’t sure whether websites that you use are making the grade then check them out yourself!
Surprisingly to most, when you log in to most mobile or web applications, at least 15 pieces of information are sent in every which direction. Don’t let companies take advantage of your unawareness – take action! If you catch them claiming one thing, but in reality doing another, get justice by reporting the company to the Federal Trade Commission. If you are a company reading this post, and a bit scared that you’re lacking in decent privacy and security practices, check out the FTC’s best practices guide – otherwise, watch out, Batman is coming for ya.
Featured Image: Kevin Dooley | Flickr

Free Tools For Privacy Verification

Here are some free tools you can use to keep a company in line with their privacy practices. There are also some tools to prevent third parties (companies who track you) from getting your information as you browse the web.


1. Mitmproxy

Using Mitmproxy, a free “behind the scenes” tool, you can do some investigation to find out whether a company collects more information about you than you would expect or if it sends your information insecurely.


2. PrivacyGrade

PrivacyGrade is a website that allows you to see how robust a company’s mobile application is at protecting your privacy.


3. AdBlock

The AdBlock browser extension prevents ads from appearing on your browser when you are visiting sites. It also prevents some third parties from receiving some, but not all, information about you.


4. Do Not Track

The Do Not Track browser extension also attempts to minimize the information about you that third parties collect by informing them (many have opt-out policies) that you prefer not to be tracked.


5. Cookiepedia

Cookiepedia is an index of thousands of companies that try to collect information about you by placing cookies in your browser.  If a company lists the third parties that it uses in their Privacy Policy, you can look them up here to learn more about what they do with your data.


6. AppAnnie

AppAnnie gives you metrics about mobile applications and has some good aggregate statistics about sharing policies of different application industries which you could use to evaluate whether a mobile application you’re using shares too much information relative to the average company in that sector.


Free Tools for Security Verification

Here are some free tools you can use to keep a company in line with their security practices, as well as a tool that you can use to enhance your own security in lieu of a bad-practice company.


Look for TRUSTes seal of approval as it provides companies with data privacy management solutions.


2. Verisign Trust Seal

Run by Symantec, look for the Verisign Trust Seal of approval on websites which ensures SSL encryption.


3. Infoencrypt, SafeGmail, Hushmail or Lockbin

InfoencryptSafeGmailHushmail or Lockbin – use these free services to send all of your emails encrypted.


4. Dashlane

Use a password manager like Dashlane Password Manager that gives you one master password for all of the passwords you use across the internet. A manager will set your password for other companies to be really long and complicated (i.e. difficult to hack!). All you have to know is your master password and the rest is taken care of for you.