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How to protect your online identity and privacy

An important part of your strong online identity, is the protection of this identity.
You don't like viruses and spams and you know how many damages they can make, including things that can destroy your personal online brand (emails and social/own blog posts in your behalf, information leaks, harassment).

There are few tricks, tips and tools that can protect you.

The www browsing

First of all: Forget about Internet Explorer (aka IE or Edge). And use Google Chrome or Firefox for your browsing requirements.

Protect yourself of tracking and harmful javascripts

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It's easy, in Chrome install ZenMate Web Firewall (Free, Plus Ad Blocker) extension and forget it. For Firefox, you can use uBlock Origin extension.
Also for Chrome, use ZenMate VPN - Best Cyber Security & Unblock, the extension that mask your public IP and, as in the extension description, is "the best cyber security solution". Use it permanently activated with a proxy closest to your location, especially if you are afraid of the next advanced Chrome extension that you should install, uMatrix (with lower u).
uMatrix, indeed, has the ability to block a lot of tracking scripts and a lot of other cookies, images, iframes and scripts that, in a way or another can be used to track you or to harm.
But uMatrix is perfect only in conjunction with above ZenMate WebFirewall and only if you have some basic knowledge of what cookies, iframes and javascript script are. It's not for everybody. Yes, it will work by default, will block a list of known trackers and malware, but, as I said, it's not  perfect, sometimes it also block data that we don't want to block, and here comes the part where we need to manually unblock those resources.

Protect yourself of forms posted in pages without HTTPS

A lot of sites ask you to complete an online form. It's nothing wrong in that, but be aware that if that site doesn't have a "green lock sign", a "Secure" text at the left of the url (only Chome displays this text at the moment) and the url dosen't start with https, s stand for Secure, your form transmitted data, including email address or password, are visible on the internet for sniffing. 

The spam

A lot of viruses and malware can touch you direct from your email inbox. So it is therefore important to protect our inbox against spam. The giants in email services put a lot of work and effort in protect you against spam. But you can also contribute.
1. Don't post your email address in sites that are eligible for bot crawling (so don't post your email address in blogs or forums).
2. Don't use your real email address in websites forms, at least not until you are absolutely sure that you trust that website. Use Chrome Blur extension for that. The Blur extension is also available for Firefox. The Blur comes with a lot of protection layers, from which I only activate, and use, the masking one, Masked Emails.

The malware

The best way to protect yourself from the malware sitting around on online sites/already infected computers, networks or usb devices, is a Linux/Unix distribution, Ubuntu or macOS. I'm using the latest Ubuntu (Unity) tweaked with Numix (GTK theme) and Papirus icon pack, you should give it a try, it's very appealing, secure, fast and productivity ready.

For those of you still stick with Windows, don't forget to enable automatic updates and don't bet your live on Defender. Even if latest version of Windows (10, Fall Creators) offer the best security in the family, it's better to add a dedicated, professional layer of protection, from a known vendor, like Kaspersky or BitDefender.


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