Sometimes a client asks what I use when going on the Internet, so I guess I’ll tell y’all what I do, and why.
First I use two browsers, Firefox and Brave. I have two screens so this allows me to have one in each monitor. Firefox is my primary, mostly because of a little add-on (also called an extension) called Tree Style Tabs. Rather than having my open tabs across the top, it puts them along the left side of of the screen, making it much easier to find a particular page when you’ve got a lot of tabs open. Brave is a browser based on the same engine as Google Chrome, but does a better job with privacy. I have Facebook open in Brave and that’s about it. Facebook is NOT open in Firefox, that way Facebook isn’t tracking what I do in Firefox via cookies.
The extensions that I use in both are the following:
uBlock origin: an excellent, lightweight ad blocker.
Bitwarden: my password manager. As good (maybe better) than Lastpass (that I used to recommend) and their free version will always be free. DON’T let your browser store your passwords, you need something more secure, like Bitwarden.
Pay by Privacy: Unless you use your credit card because you want the points/miles/whatever, you should consider using Privacy. Privacy is not a credit card, but is linked to your debit card or bank account. Then when you want to purchase something online, you use Privacy to create a unique card number that can only be used for that merchant. In addition, you can set a limit amount by each use, month or year and can change it anytime you need. For example, I signed up for a 30-day trial to a streaming television network and of course they ask for a credit card, so I created a Privacy card for it, and once signed up I set the limit for $1. I didn’t want to use the service after the 30 days so now the billing gets rejected when they try to charge me, and they cancelled the subscription.
The reason for all this is if a particular merchant gets hacked and the bad guys get the credit card information, it will only work at that one merchant—it won’t work at Amazon or anywhere else online because it’s tied to that merchant.
I have an account with 1-800-Flowers, and on file they have my card number, my Privacy card number. When I want to send flowers, I get what I want and then set the limit down to $1 until I need it again. Makes it much nicer when leaving credit card information on file with merchants. At least no one is getting REAL banking or credit card information. I highly recommend it and if you want to try it, here’s a link to use and they’ll give you $5 to spend just for signing up: https://privacy.com/join/XDWLD
The personal account is free, if you spend a lot of money online each month their paid versions can pay for themselves, but the free version is what I use.
All this makes my time on the Internet nicer and safer. If you need help installing these or other extensions into your computer’s browser, give me a call.