24 Privacy Tools that will Protect Your Anonymity (2019)Last Updated by Valentine Milner on October 16, 2018
As an online community, most of us have pretty much accepted that there is no such thing as privacy. Everything that we do online is tracked and sold off to the highest bidder.
But it doesn’t have to be this way.
Below is a list of the Top 24 tools that you should be use if maintaining your privacy is important to you. We have found the top tools in the following categories
- Spyware Removal Tools
- Password Managers
- Search Engines
- Hard Disk Security
- Email and File Sharing Communication Security
- DNS Nameservers
VPNs create encrypted tunnels from your device and the server from your service provider. Such means that any site you visited becomes practically invisible to your primary ISP. Your IP address is also masked from those sites. Now, trusted and reliable VPNs don’t have to cost a fortune. Below you’ll find free and paid VPNs.
- Has over 5,000 servers in more than 60 countries
- Provides data encryption services
- Has an automatic kill switch to prevent DNS and IP leaks
- Comes with CyberSec, an antimalware client
One thing we love about the NordVPN is that it’s based in Panama. Here, the government does not oblige its internet service providers to store logs of your data or monitor your online activity.
- It’s fast and robust
- Servers in 100 countries
- Choose from OpenVPN, L2TP, PPTP and SSTP security protocols
- Located outside of the Five Eyes Alliance
- 30-day money back guarantee
After reviewing almost one hundred VPNs, both paid and free, we can describe ExpressVPN as one of the best services of today. While it’s not free you can get a discount up to 57% with this coupon, it’s fast browsing speeds and its ability to accommodate almost any device makes it worth the purchase!
Top Free VPNs
- Secure core architecture
- Robust security features (AES-256, 2048-BIT RSA, SHA256 withHMAC)
- DNS leak protection system
ProtonVPN is another service that’s located in a country with strict laws of data privacy. With its headquarters in Switzerland, it continues to reward its users with transparent services. Although you can only use its free plan with only one device, subscribing to its affordable paid program will allow you to use it with two to five devices!
- Simple user interface
- Good customer services
- No ads
As a free user of TunnelBear, you’ll get 500MB every month. On top of that, you can use any of its servers in the UK, US, in Canada, France, Japan, and Germany. If you feel like you need more data than the free plan, feel free to upgrade to any of its cheap payment packages. Sadly though, we found that the connection of its free service sometimes drops something which rarely happens if you’re using the paid plans.
Spyware Removal Tools
Most of us know what spyware is, but if you don’t, we’ll start by explaining it. It’s a type of malware which plants itself inside in your system and gathers information without your knowledge. It comes when you download software or even email attachments. They then steal your internet data and also look for ways of getting your passwords. To avoid this from happening, take a look at these spyware removal tools:
This software might be dated, but it should be the first thing on your mind once you suspect some ‘foul play.’ Immediately you install it, you can choose all that you want it to scan. This includes ZIP files, downloads, and websites. It finds and gets rid of all kinds of malicious content like adware, malware, dialers, rootkits as well as keyloggers.
You can run Emsisoft Emergency Kit directly using your USB drive. It will delete spyware and lots of other serious threats. What we love most about it is that since you don’t have to install it, it doesn’t slow down your PC especially if you’re using an old one.
Besides, it quickly removes malware in your hard drive, scans archives, ZIP folders and emails. However, it doesn’t protect future spyware problems so you should use it together with another app for better security.
Alongside its wide range of web security tools, Malwarebytes offers some of the most impressive antispyware capabilities. If you decide to use this tool, you can scan your entire hard drive including individual folders and files. Other amazing features include web protection services like scam networks, malicious sites, and ads.
You wouldn’t want someone stealing your passwords while you’re online, right? Think of the sites he or she would have illegal access to? To avoid this from happening, here are our best password managers, guaranteed to keep your details private!
With this tool, you can keep an extensive amount of information from passwords to bank account details and even loyalty schemes. What’s most exciting about it is that it auto-fills web forms once they’re stored.
1Password also comes with Touch ID which identifies only the user’s fingerprints. Such adds a more useful and extra security layer. It even has an audit system which highlights your weak passwords and suggests more robust ones.
Have you been on the constant ‘hunt’ of looking for the best password manager? If you have, then we’re sure you’ve heard of LastPass, right? That’s because it’s one of the best services we have today. However, it’s gone through its fair share of challenges.
For instance, back in 2015, it was hacked, compromising a lot of its user’s data. Fortunately, it’s slowly redeemed itself and now offers end-to-end security encryption services at your device level. It can’t view your passwords anymore!
EnPass has a somewhat similar user interface and features to LastPass. Its desktop version is free, but you’ll have to pay around £7.80 to get its mobile app. Its free version comes with strong browser support, auto-fill capabilities for Chrome, Opera, Safari, Edge and Firefox
You’ll find a lot of browsers claiming to operate as privacy tools. But as fantastic as Microsoft’s Edge or Google Chrome might be, their primary purpose is not to offer security. Shockingly, the companies which provide them have a lot to gain when people from all over the world are being tracked, tagged and profiled. Even so, here are our most trusted privacy browsers:
Firefox is maybe the best browser for maintaining your online privacy. It does not track its user’s online activities to fund larger companies or other entities. Also, most of its privacy action is only centered around add-ons like uBlock Origin, HTTPS Everywhere, and strong fingerprinting.
This is a browser from Firefox, and it works on Mac, Linux PCs, or Windows. It’s built around a ‘masked’ relay of servers. That means that you can access the internet with your digital identity and IP hidden. Unlike most browsers, Tor is intended to provide you with total online privacy only. Therefore, it lacks certain security features like already installed anti-malware software and an anti-virus.
Here is an open source web browser with enhanced controls for ad-tracking making it perfect for those who are privacy conscious and need a lightweight web-surfing tool. It blocks cookies, has an effective ad-blocker, and is continually being improved by an active community of developers.
It sometimes feels kind of pointless worrying and overthinking about privacy search engines if you’re already using something like a VPN. However, there are a few which are worth mentioning. They’re not only free but also incredibly simple. These are:
We like DuckDuckGo as it safeguards searches by preventing ‘search leakages.’ Such means that any site you visit will not have a clue on what you’re searching for. It also provides a highly secure version which connects to encrypted versions of key sites, preserving some degree of privacy between the site and the user. Furthermore, DuckDuckGo also has a neat ‘cloud save’ feature where you can sync and make search policies across different devices using a search engine.
Launched back in 2015, Oscobo has a default setting which returns all UK-specific search results. Oscobo also does not record your IP address or any other type of user data. Its founders say that no search traces made from your computer are left behind. They add that it only makes its money from returns of sponsored searches.
16. Start Page
One of the main reasons why you should consider using the Start Page is that it comes with a less intrusive ‘Google,’ one of the most popular search engines. So, if you’re searching for something on StartPage, it will submit your query to Google, and then display the final results. It acts as an intermediary.
In doing so, Google will never track your search history or collect anything. Start page also doesn’t keep IP addresses, search results or things which can be used later to personalize and identify your preferences.
Hard Disk Security
So far, we’ve talked a lot about online privacy tools, now let’s shift our focus and look at ‘offline’ security too. Where do we store most of our private files? Well, where else other than in our hard disks! Shockingly, most of our drives or folders aren’t encrypted, so they are always at risk.
What if someone gains access to your system and steals crucial information? That’s why you need these top-quality hard disk privacy protection tools:
This is arguably one of the most secure and simple file and disk solution you’ll find today. What caught our attention is a feature called ‘encryption on the fly.” Its role is to decrypt your files exactly when you need them and not beforehand.
It carries out the decryption when the file is in use (on the RAM). In doing so, you’ll never find those decrypted files on your hard disk. Most importantly, it eliminates any chance of weakness for hackers to exploit.
Other impressive features include a ‘Hidden System Volume” in the standard encrypted volume and a hidden operating system. We also discovered that as compared to other encryption software tools, VeraCrypt won’t slow down or damage the performance of your disk.
There’s not much that separates AxCrypt from VeraCrypt other than it has both a paid and free version. It allows you to work and interact with encrypted folders and files as easily as if you’re working with unencrypted data. It also has a mobile support system which allows you to access all the encoded data on your mobile phone.
Lastly, it has a fixed system which gets rid of all temporary and plaintext files that may compromise your disk security. It uses an Iterative key-wrapping and 128-bit encryption to keep all threats at bay and safeguard your privacy.
Email and File Sharing Communication Security
Emails are no longer used to send messages. Instead, they’ve become online storage spaces. Here, we post confidential files, research projects, unpatented projects and more. Sadly, such data can be intercepted by curious agencies and third parties. So, to avoid this and other such situations from happening, consider using either of these tools:
19. ProtonMail (E-mail Client)
We’ve found this to be the most reliable and Anonymous E-mail service in existence today. It has almost all its servers in Switzerland where there’s not a lot of government intervention. Besides, this site also doesn’t keep any E-mail or IP logs to make sure that there’s nothing that can be shared.
This app is also an open-source meaning that the code and it’s no customer logs policy are always verified. Lastly, its peer to peer security protocol guarantees the most robust security to all E-mails sent through ProtonMail.
20. OnionMail (File Sharing)
OnionMail is an email service which uses the fantastic Tor network. By routing all mails through this network instead of the old SMTP servers, it offers 100% security encryption to all your E-mails. Apart from that, it uses the ‘Asymmetric keys’ for additional protection as well as advanced levels of spam filtration and detection in your mailboxes.
What’s even more exciting is that it allows you to select the server you wish to use and exit nodes (if you can understand them). It’s wholly off-the-grid and safe from government regulations and censorship.
21. Riochet (For Instant Messaging)
Here is a messaging service that works by not trusting anyone. It has some robust features which make it an efficient privacy tool. A good example is it uses the Tor network instead of ‘messaging servers.’ There are also no E-mails or ‘usernames’ just random numbers for contacting people.
Most fundamentally, it has an end to end security encryption protocols to prevent any interception of information. This makes sure that only the sender and receiver can decode the messages.
A good number of people don’t like using DNS nameservers and for a good reason too. Such services work by collecting user data, and you can only bypass them by using a VPN. Fortunately, we’ve found some incredible tools. These are:
22. DNS. Watch
Available both on 18.104.22.168 and 22.214.171.124, this tool is unique as it offers an alternative DNS service which doesn’t keep logs. The company adds that it’s not interested in making shady deals using your personal information. It doesn’t run any ad network or something else which might make your data become of interest to them.
The most amazing thing when using OpenDNS as compared to other similar tools is its three service tiers. They include the Family Shield, VIP Home, and Home. Each has varying levels of security, filtering, anti-phishing, and parental control protection.
Cloudflare claims itis one of the ‘quickest’ user DNS services of today. This nameserver supports the open standards and transparency of DNS-over-HTTPS and DNS-over-TLS. It’s also not known for tracking users or selling ads, two things which should help in settling the concerns of a privacy-conscious user.
With these tools, many of which are free, you’ll have no problems keeping your browsing activities safe. We don’t want you to keep on troubling yourself with the thought that someone is watching what you’re doing online!
So, although you might not get the chance of trying all of them, pick the ones you feel suit your needs. On the other hand, if you’re already using some of these privacy tools, which ones do you recommend?