How to protect yourself while using the Internet (VPN = bad)

TheFinalEpic

Pelican
Gold Member
If you want to know 100% that your info isn't being logged, make your own vpn on a remote server that you can pay for anonymously.

Paying for a vpn is more expensive in many cases than spinning up a server that you can host email, sites, searx instances on, etc.

Duckduckgo is not a good idea anymore, if you can't see what a service is doing, and where your info is going, you shouldn't be using it. Taking these companies at "their word" that "oh yea, we'll never track you or sell your data" is your first mistake.

Host your own services, use your own services, and get your friends that aren't capable of it to use those services.
 

Coja Petrus Uscan

Crow
Orthodox Inquirer
Gold Member
Why do you need that?
If you don't want to watch porn, just don't watch porn.

It was useful in getting me off the stuff.
I've not watched any in well over a year now. And it feels amazin'!
The blocking helps stop anything slipping back in; and it's some practice for when the sprogs are here.

I get a list of IPs from a company called Firehol. These two lists will block most VPN traffic/proxies if you are worried about kids using them:

https://iplists.firehol.org/?ipset=firehol_anonymous
https://iplists.firehol.org/?ipset=firehol_proxies
 
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Bird

Pelican

foolhardie

Pigeon
Duckduckgo is not a good idea anymore, if you can't see what a service is doing, and where your info is going, you shouldn't be using it. Taking these companies at "their word" that "oh yea, we'll never track you or sell your data" is your first mistake.
Instead of duckduckgo, or startpage, or any other search engine, you can try a meta-search engine, like searx.

Here is a brief explanation video: https://videos.lukesmith.xyz/videos/watch/e0f5a4d7-070d-4a03-aca4-3d898b5c5002

A meta-search engine is a tool that routes your search query to other search engines (google, duckduckgo, startpage, bing, qwant, etc.) and fetches the results from all these search engines.

This way, searx disconnects your search queries from the search engines.

You can start using Luke Smith's searx instance. He says he doesn't log the search queries, because, first: he doesn't care about your search terms, and second: he has limited disk space resources.

So, give searx a try.
 

PixelFree

Kingfisher
What do we thinks about Windows 10 VS Windows 7?

I remember when it came out by default it's set to intrusively spy on you, and in their TOS it says MS can read the contents of your files!

Maybe Windows 7 is the better choice - seems to be basically the same.

Also - don't forget browser protection as well. Brave is a good choice.
 

Lovinglife

Woodpecker
Stay away from Surfshark where they support the BLM terrorists and have also donated to them. I was talking to a woman on their technical support live chat and getting nowhere so I ask to speak to a man. When I was transferred to a male, he spits the dummy at me and doing a whole White Knight bullshit.

 

TheFinalEpic

Pelican
Gold Member
Stay away from Surfshark where they support the BLM terrorists and have also donated to them. I was talking to a woman on their technical support live chat and getting nowhere so I ask to speak to a man. When I was transferred to a male, he spits the dummy at me and doing a whole White Knight bullshit.

Spin up your own VPS and start an OpenVPN instance where you control your own information. Outsourcing VPN services is a red Herring
 

Zep

Pelican
Much of this is over my head, so I checked out this video. He states a VPN is mostly a waste of time, it simply scrambles your I.P., so your employer for example, won't see what web sites you've visited. If that's important to someone then fair enough, other than that? Your information is still logged with the VPN apparently.

 

TheFinalEpic

Pelican
Gold Member
Much of this is over my head, so I checked out this video. He states a VPN is mostly a waste of time, it simply scrambles your I.P., so your employer for example, won't see what web sites you've visited. If that's important to someone then fair enough, other than that? Your information is still logged with the VPN apparently.

Yes, that's why you set up your own OpenVPN instance on a VPS provider that you trust. See the following for references.



 

Coja Petrus Uscan

Crow
Orthodox Inquirer
Gold Member
Cross post.

A nice feature of CalyxOS (de-Googled mobile OS) is it has their free VPN installed by default. It's too slow for full-time use, but useful if you are staying in a highly-restricted area.

Currently I am staying somewhere with the most aggressive blacklist I have seen. The website of every VPN, every VPN IP, every web-based proxy was blocked; except for Calyx's free VPN.

I had the same situation before and was able to use Mysterium's decentralised VPN (https://mysterium.network/), but it has no Linux client and I no longer have the ability to use it on mobile.
 

Maddox

Robin
I need a VPN that allows you to use the same IP address every time you use the service. Does anyone know what companies give you this option?
 

soli.deo.gloria

Robin
Orthodox Inquirer
Gold Member
I was thinking about purchasing a VPN lately to keep myself protected online. After spending most of my week doing research and watching heaps of VPN videos on youtube, I was ready to purchase a VPN until I came across this channel.


I also came across this where many VPN companies are keeping logs and helping law enforcement.
I haven't watched the video yet but just remember two things when it comes to the Internet:

1. A VPN does not guarantee security nor privacy, it merely shifts your gateway from your local ISP to a server somewhere else in the world. They may have different legal requirements and may or may not keep (and turn over) logs and other sensitive data. If you feel that remote potentially unknown ISP is more trustworthy than your local ISP than so be it, but don't think you are suddenly anonymous and protected from danger. And don't think the govt doesn't see and know what you are up to either. Also be aware VPN software can be subject to hacks and exploits on the IPsec tunnel and software which might actually reduce your security in some cases.

2. "The Cloud" is just someone elses computer. There is nothing magical about it and anything you put out there can potentially be stolen, hacked, manipulated, spied upon, etc. All things being equal your data is almost always safer on your local hard drive than out there somewhere in "the cloud", regardless of what the marketing says.

I think I'm done having Microsoft Windows on my PC and using Android on my phone. I haven't found any REAL good information online apart from this video above. If anyone likes to add to this, let me know cause I wish to stop being tracked by the government and corporations.
There are steps you can take to minimize your digital footprint but is impossible to not be tracked by the govt and corporations. You could turn off all your devices but you'd still be tracked in many other ways via people around you who have smartphones, computers, as well as "smart devices" like tvs and other things, and in meatspace by way of security cameras, buying things at the store, etc. It's honestly ridiculous how much data is generated and a lot of those govts and corporations have extensive databases and share and cross-reference data to the point where they can zoom in on a person and see virtually everything they do. That being said getting rid of Windows is a great start and I'd suggest checking out Linux; Ubuntu is a good option for newbies and has good hardware support.

There arent many good OS/firmware options for phones from what I've seen. I used to mess around with custom firmwares quite a bit but I always ran into issues. CalyxOS on Android hardware may be an option but I haven't tried it. I actually donated to support them over a decade ago so it's cool to see they are still trying. My approach has been to get an unlockable phone/carrier and use the stock firmware but root, install a firewall, hosts file blocker, Brave browser, etc and that's usually pretty good. Even still, they push OTA updates to my device all the time without my permission and the software updates itself without asking and does God knows what. It's just a given at this point that every modern technology you use (including this forum) is completely owned by (((them))) and there is virtually nothing you can do about it. So it's best to just assume you are being watched and listened to 24/7 and act accordingly.
 
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Max Roscoe

Pelican
Orthodox Inquirer
I haven't watched the video yet but just remember two things when it comes to the Internet:

1. A VPN does not guarantee security nor privacy, it merely shifts your gateway from your local ISP to a server somewhere else in the world. They may have different legal requirements and may or may not keep (and turn over) logs and other sensitive data. If you feel that remote potentially unknown ISP is more trustworthy than your local ISP than so be it, but don't think you are suddenly anonymous and protected from danger. And don't think the govt doesn't see and know what you are up to either. Also be aware VPN software can be subject to hacks and exploits on the IPsec tunnel and software which might actually reduce your security in some cases.
The bigger problem re: privacy is not the possible logging of the foreign VPN server, but that your domestic ISP still sees your web traffic, and any unencrypted activity (ie what you type into any search engine, what web sites you go to, etc.)

VPNs are not designed to give privacy in that regard. You would need something like TOR.
 

Max Roscoe

Pelican
Orthodox Inquirer
The bigger problem re: privacy is not the possible logging of the foreign VPN server, but that your domestic ISP still sees your web traffic, and any unencrypted activity (ie what you type into any search engine, what web sites you go to, etc.)

VPNs are not designed to give privacy in that regard. You would need something like TOR.
Yikes, please ignore the above. I had a brain fart and completely misrepresented VPNs. I use VPNs weekly and understand the tech well. I'm really not sure what happened with this post.

YES VPNs hide your activity from your ISP, including what sites you are visiting and any data you send/receive. They can only see that your computers IP connected to the VPNs IP, but all traffic between the two is (supposedly) encrypted (you have to trust your VPN service on this one).

The danger is when people put full faith in a VPN and don't realize it is only part of a security system. For example if you are using your regular machine for browsing and then turn on your VPN, you will have cookies that will still identify you. If your VPN service is based in France, sites you visit may know exactly who you are, it will just appear that you have travelled to France. This is why when I use a VPN I am running a live boot non-persistent Linux system so there are no cookies to identify me.

Sorry for the misunderstanding.
 

soli.deo.gloria

Robin
Orthodox Inquirer
Gold Member
The bigger problem re: privacy is not the possible logging of the foreign VPN server, but that your domestic ISP still sees your web traffic, and any unencrypted activity (ie what you type into any search engine, what web sites you go to, etc.)

VPNs are not designed to give privacy in that regard. You would need something like TOR.
Your ISP only sees encrypted packets if you are properly using a VPN (assuming all of your traffic is routed through the IPsec tunnel). They can see where the VPN endpoint is located (IP address) but that's about it.
Yikes, please ignore the above. I had a brain fart and completely misrepresented VPNs. I use VPNs weekly and understand the tech well. I'm really not sure what happened with this post.

YES VPNs hide your activity from your ISP, including what sites you are visiting and any data you send/receive. They can only see that your computers IP connected to the VPNs IP, but all traffic between the two is (supposedly) encrypted (you have to trust your VPN service on this one).

The danger is when people put full faith in a VPN and don't realize it is only part of a security system. For example if you are using your regular machine for browsing and then turn on your VPN, you will have cookies that will still identify you. If your VPN service is based in France, sites you visit may know exactly who you are, it will just appear that you have travelled to France. This is why when I use a VPN I am running a live boot non-persistent Linux system so there are no cookies to identify me.

Sorry for the misunderstanding.
Much better. :)

Yes data leakage is a real problem and TOR is not foolproof. Ross Ulbricht found that out the hard way.
 
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