Protecting your online privacy in your home

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There have been a number of people who have been concerned that a significant other, or even their abuser, may discover that they have been attempting to find help, based on their computers search history. Whatever your reasons, it can be hard to use the internet to find help if you’re constantly worried about someone checking up after you. So, we’ve decided to compile a list of ways that can help you mitigate risks.

There may be alternatives to using your personal computer.

This may seem obvious, but this could be the easiest solution for you. Many people have relatively easy access to computers outside of their home. Here is a quick list of potential areas to find computers with internet access.

  • A local high school or college – Area high schools and colleges often have plenty of computers. The biggest problem you might face with this is that you typically need a username and password to log on to the network. However, it may be possible to find a public computer within the school or an administrator who will give you access. These computers often have filters which may not allow you to reach certain websites.
  • Your local library – There are plenty of libraries all over the world. Many of them have a number of computers that can be used by the public. Depending on the library, your time will probably be limited and could even cost a few dollars. These computers occasionally have filters which will limit which websites you can visit. Often times, you need to give your age in order to access certain content.
  • A Hacker Space – Hacker Spaces are physical meeting locations that are typically operated by a community of local “hackers”. While this might sound risky, it can be a good place to find groups of individuals who are often heavily invested in online privacy. They often require members to pay fees, but it may be possible to find someone who would be willing to help you out. You can find a user updated list of hacker spaces throughout the world at hackerspaces.org.

Consider your browser

Most browsers keep track of what sites you visit, what you download and much more. A good way to hide what your doing on the web is to browse privately. There are different ways to browse private for each browser. Follow the below links for directions in each browser.

If you forget to browse privately, you may want to selectively clean out your browser cache. This task varies for each browser. It may not be a good idea to clear your entire browser history, because someone who is familiar with computers may know that the history has been cleared.

Keep your email private

It may be a good idea to keep a separate email account. There are a number of websites that will allow you to sign up for a free and anonymous email account. Hushmail is one of the leading services that will provide you with an actual mailbox.

An important note

With all of this being said, remember that these solutions are not always fool-proof. It’s possible for someone to install spyware or keyloggers to monitor your browsing habits. So, make sure to exercise caution, above all else.

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1 comment

  1. pinky

    This is such a common fear, I feel like. And you gave really clear, helpful advice, Eric. This is great.