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Five Tips To Stay Private Online

By July 19, 2014March 7th, 2023Blog, Technology News

keyboard-283232_640With all the news from the NSA in recent months, and all the reports of that agency spying on pretty much everyone, friend and foe alike, concern for privacy has become more pronounced than ever. It’s always been important, of course, it’s just that these days, there’s a very real, tangible reason to take it seriously because they really are spying on you.

If you’d rather they didn’t, and want to take steps to make it difficult, if not outright impossible to do so, then you’re in luck, because there are a number of simple,straightforward things you can do to make sure you keep you and your online activities anonymous.

It doesn’t matter what you’re doing online, privacy is your right, not just an abstract idea, and the desire for it has nothing to do with what you may, or may not be doing on the web. Here’s how you can reclaim yours:


It starts with a good firewall. Most computers come with some basic firewall software already included as part of the Operating System. That’s a good first step, but there are better options available. One especially good free one is Zone Alarm. Highly recommended, but of course, if you’d rather have something even more robust than that, there are paid options available that will server you even better. Mostly it comes down to how important you regard the issue of privacy.

Proxy Servers

Proxy servers reroute your web traffic to another location before heading to its final destination, essentially making you appear to be somewhere you’re not, and thus, making it harder to track you. Proxies come in two flavors, the basic proxy, and the virtual private network. You can find free services of both varieties, with the primary difference between the two being that the VPN encrypts your traffic, while the basic proxy does not. This makes the basic proxy ideal for basic web surfing, while the VPN is more useful for activities of a more sensitive nature. In either case, if you’ve ever bemoaned the fact that you couldn’t access your Netflix or Amazon Prime account while traveling, this is a simple way around that.


Consider TOR to be a VPN on steroids. Rather than simply one redirect, TOR redirects your traffic through a series of relays, making you virtually impossible to track. Note that TOR made the news recently because the NSA took note of them, and has begun flagging anyone who performs web searches for TOR for greater scrutiny. You don’t have to do an internet search though. To get there, you can just click this link:


The letter S at the end of HTTPS stands for secure socket layer. That’s the encryption protocol used by eCommerce sites around the globe to secure financial transactions. Did you know that you could get secure socket layer protection every time you surf, and on every site you go to? You can if you download the browser extension, “HTTPS Everywhere.” Do a search on it and add it today for immediate protection.

Change Your Search Habits

This is probably the biggest, hardest change to make, because everyone is so accustomed to reaching for Google when they want to search for something. The problem, of course, is that Google retains records of your search information. You can get around that by using a search engine that does not maintain such records. Try DuckDuckGo, for example.

Privacy is a right, but it’s not automatic, and it is not guaranteed. You actually have to take steps to guard yours. The ideas above will put you firmly on that path.

Jason Manteiga

Jason J. Manteiga, Vice President of Olmec Systems, has been part of the company for over the past 20 years. He believes that having a great work environment and supportive team, is the ultimate key to success. Since being in the IT realm for over 25 years, Jason, along with Olmec Systems, has been on the Inc. 5000 “List of America’s Fastest Growing Private Companies” and Channel Futures MSP 501 “Top Managed Service Providers in North America,” along with other awards and nominations. Jason earned his Bachelor Degree in Information Systems from the New Jersey Institute of Technology. He also holds certifications in Microsoft MCSE, VMWare VCP, and Cisco CCNA. In his spare time, Jason is a contributor for The Center for Social & Legal Research (Privacy Exchange) and a member of the Morris County Chamber of Commerce. His hobbies include cycling and kayaking. He currently lives in New Jersey with his wife, two daughters and son.