Safe Online Practices for the Vulnerable

Do you fear an abusive X? Are you a whistle-blower communicating with a newspaper? Are you an activist organizing against Communist China in the Hong Kong protests? Are you gay in Iran or Saudi Arabia? Do you simply wish not to have your personal information sold to the highest bidder, or dislike being spied on by big-tech? Perhaps you’ve recently been “red-pilled”, discovering that your State Attorney General is investigating a peaceful and conservative religious organization you’re a member of, for being a hate-group; you had no idea you were considered an enemy-of-the-state, a dangerous extremist, lumped in with Neo-Nazis, the KKK, and the Muslim Brotherhood. The following suggestions are worthy of your consideration, then.
These tips I gleaned mainly from “TOR DARKNET BUNDLE (5 in 1) Master the ART OF INVISIBILITY” by Lance Henderson, available on Kindle through Amazon, and “The Art of Invisibility: The World’s Most Famous Hacker Teaches You How to Be Safe in the Age of Big Brother and Big Data”, Kevin Mitnick. “Linus Tech Tips”, a YouTube channel, also is an informative source. In other words, I’m no authority! Do your own research. These tips at least offer a jumping-off point in your privacy considerations. Informed readers, please comment, for the sake of other interested readers.
I’ve placed a plus-sign next to the action steps I choose to employ. Though I’m not interested in most of these tips, I feel safer being aware of them, should times go from creepy to threatening.

Safely browsing from wifi spots

Run Tor Browser Bundle with Tails (it’s included with Tails), from a USB drive (or SD card or DVD). Browsing speeds might be reduced by 70%.
Use a secure operating system on Linux, like Whonix, to connect to your VPN; this keeps your VPN from giving away your I.P. address. (Computer to Tor to VPN)
Use only .onion sites.
+ Ensure https shows in the browser with the lock bar, not just http.
Open downloads only after you’re offline.
Don’t log into any social media sites, or other sites giving away your private information, while on Tor.
Share documents with others through a secure site like onionshare.
Encrypt all data with a secure source like Lucks.
+ Regularly update your software, perhaps daily.
Disable Java Script, Java, Flash, ActiveX, QuickTime, and don’t visit sites that require them. On Medium and High security settings, Tor automatically disables these.
If you’re especially vulnerable, don’t use Tor at home. If you are at home, use LAN, not wifi.
Don’t use plug-ins or add-ons, except those used for security in Firefox.
Use Bitcoin for online purchases.

Safely browsing at home

+ Don’t search with Google; use a safe search engine like Startpage or DuckDuckGo.
+ Change the security on you home router to WPA2, if it’s not already that. Update its firmware.
Use one inexpensive computer, like Chromebook, used exclusively for paying bills and banking.
Don’t hold private conversations around your T.V., cell phone, Alexa, OnStar….
+ For common browsing, use Firefox with DuckDuckGo, after configuring its settings for security.

Safely browsing with a cell phone

+ Don’t search much with your phone.
+ Run DNScloak on your cell phone, rather than relying on VPN.
Place your cell-phone in a faraday bag when you can.
Connect your cell phone to a LAN at home.
Dan Anderson

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