Updated on December 10, 2021
Online security for Internet users has come up a lot in recent weeks. Some of this stems from recent regressive or authoritarian political changes in various Western countries. Said changes range from Brexit to the UK’s “Snooper’s Charter” (which requires UK-based ISPs to keep a record of all sites people visit for at least a year) to the election of Donald Trump.
As such, online users might be interested in improving their own security. There’s several things one can do, as I’ve listed below.
Use a virtual private network (VPN)
Virtual private networks (VPNs) direct all of users’ web traffic through a third party service. Some VPNs don’t keep logs of users’ traffic, which make them even more useful. While there’s free VPNs available, those are often iffy at best. It’s much better to pay for such a service instead.
Tunnelbear‘s my VPN of choice, though there’s many to choose from. Tunnelbear is based out of Canada, but allows users to select a range of countries to connect through.
Use a messaging app with end to end encryption
While WhatsApp and iMessage are popular, users that want even more secure messaging communications will want an app with end-to-end encryption.
I haven’t used it, but Signal is an encrypted messaging app that’s received much praise. Signal comes available for Android and iOS devices. It’s also released by a third party using open source components, versus a commercial vendor.
Use encrypted email
Encrypted email hasn’t been overly popular with the general public. However, for those that wish to use such, there’s encrypted webmail services such as ProtonMail. Setting up PGP encryption in stand-alone email programs is another possibility.
Use a password manager
For a password manager, I like to use LastPass.
Use two-factor authentication (2FA)
It’s also important to use two-factor authentication on as many online services as feasible. I’ve written about 2FA previously.
I don’t mean to sound paranoid with any of this. But given cybersecurity issues are becoming more and more important, it’s vital that online users take steps to secure themselves.