A Defensive Computing Checklist    by Michael Horowitz
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This page is short because Privacy is a core part of most other topics on this site. For example, a big part of configuring any smartphone. It's also a big reason to use a VPN. This is why, for a long time, this page did not exist (it went live in July 2024).

Big Ass Data Broker Opt-Out List by Yael Grauer. It is indeed a big list. Quoting: This list, also known as BADBOOL, was started on September 29, 2017 and was most recently updated in July 2024... This list was the main reason that I created this pgae.

In my opinion the best thing you can do to avoid tracking is to use a DNS service like NextDNS. I have used NextDNS for a few years, pay for it (there is a free version) and have been very happy with it. For one thing, it can log DNS requests, which is a very simple way to see servers contacted under the cover, regardless of your operating system. It also supports profiles, so that one web browser can use one profile, another browser on the same device use a different profile and the host Operating System use a third profile. Perhaps the best feature of each profile is a white list and a black list. Any DNS blocking service will make mistakes, and NextDNS easily lets you allow things that it has blocked by default or block things that it has allowed by default. You can use both a browser based ad/tracker blocking extension and NextDNS at the same time in the same browser.

Protect yourself from online tracking by Privacy International. This is here just for completeness, I am not a big fan of it. For one thing, it seems to have been abandoned, all the sections were written in 2021 and not updated. Seems like someone got a grant to do a project, did it, and walked away from it. For example, the Windows section on avoiding targeted ads, does not mention Windows 11. It also does not say which service pack it refers to and there is no excuse for such an amateurish omission. Things have changed in Windows, especially how it deals with the newer secure DNS. Likewise, the topic of Chrome browser tweaks does not say which version of Chrome it refers to. As to the poor recommendations made here: it says nothing about not using the Chrome browser. Also, the section on DNS level ad blocking in Windows is about modifying the hosts file. That is ridiculous.


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