Block everything. Period.

Privacy online
Privacy online matters

Face it, privacy is a hot topic these days in all layers of society. The world is watching every move you make, not only online but also offline. People tend to forget that in their daily business or are surprisingly unaware of it. We are the generation that should change the public opinion about what privacy is and how companies can use our private data. Because the big buzz word “big data” is actually a translation of “your data” chopped into bits and binary that is able to predict your next move even more accurate than yourself, partner or family.

Scary isn’t it? Let’s try to reclaim our private data with my guide to privacy.

Reading time: ~5 minutes
Implementation time 90% privacy: ~15 minutes
Implementation time 100% privacy: ~60 minutes

How are we going off the grid?

As said before, we should make people aware of the fact that big corporations like Google, Facebook, Linkedin, Uber, Microsoft, and all their substitutes are following you online. In addition, governments are making use of the technologies developed by these corporations and collect private data about your habits and movements. Just to maintain crowd control and order, and no it’s not only the Chinese, Russian or other authoritarian regimes that do it. In the United States, Britain, Europe and other well developed countries it’s happening just as much. Don’t believe me? Take a look at this meta overview of surveillance states around the world.

By now you are probably worried about your own privacy online, which is a legitimate concern as even I am tracking you along the way through my website. I know how long you’re staying on my website, what pages you visit, your ip, geo-location, what browser and device you are using, your average age and interests. All anonymized as big data. Scary isn’t it? But we’re going to change that. By adopting the following toolset you’ll be off the grid in no time and your private matters will be your own again. Follow the steps in my guide to privacy and reclaim those constitutional rights that are getting abused.

Six steps to 100% privacy online

Google tracking via Youtube
Sneaky Google tracking the unaware users

By implementing the following programs or practices you’ll create breadcrumbs for companies like Google, Facebook and governments that lead to nowhere or even completely block them in stealing your private data. Let’s make the web safe again, for ourselves and our children as we are all easily manipulated by the big companies.

Step 1: Download an Ad blocker for your browser

Ad blocker stops all ads

Of course this is the first step to freedom online, my website isn’t called just for fun. You can download the best ad blockers available online (for free) on my website. I can recommend you uBlock Origin as this plugin will also block Adwords and BingAds in the search engine results. Next to that it’s also blocking Google Analytics tracking, which is great as now the majority of the websites can’t track you while browsing the web. The uBlock Origin ad blocker is a free plugin and you can thank me later. So what browser do you use? I have the ad blockers available for Google Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Edge and others.

Unfortunately there is one minor caveat. Smart/big companies are aware of the fact that ad blockers are messing up their tracking pixels. Because of the simple fact that the ad blocker is restricting access to third party request. So for example, when you are browsing on the ad blocker will restrict access solely to this domain and block any third party request to or the Google Analytics JavaScript Library. This way the ad blocker makes sure the Google Analytics tracking is unable to load which in turn stops the tracking process. However, smarter companies have found a way to circumvent this by hosting the tracking pixels on their own servers or by analyzing the log files, this is seen as a first party requests from the domain itself and the tracking is up and running again.

Luckily the majority of corporations is still oblivious for the latter or are too slow to adapt. But it does show us that an ad blocker alone isn’t enough to defend your privacy. So let’s crumble their data into mashed potato with the following steps.

Step 2: Use DuckDuckGo as a search engine


DuckDuckGo is a perfect example of a privacy fighter. They are the sole search engine that is tracking absolutely nothing. So all your searches are safe, unlike with Google, Bing, Yandex, Baidu or others.

Now you’re probably going to complain that DuckDuckGo isn’t as accurate as Google or Bing. But think about your last searches online. How many of them are the really difficult ones? Majority will be about; where is Timbuktu, how many people live in Amsterdam, who is that weird grey president of The United States (seriously Americans stop voting for grandpa’s) and so on. DuckDuckGo can easily without errors provide you those answers. Don’t think I explained this well enough? Read on via Wired why you should ditch Google for DuckDuckGo.

How to change? Just change the default search engine of your browser from Google/Bing/Yahoo or whatever monitoring search engine you’re using to DuckDuckGo. On their site they even help you with the install, when you land on the homepage, with a small popup. Just a few clicks away from searching all that naught stuff without big brother watching you. That wasn’t too hard right? Let’s move on to step 3 in our quest for privacy! Now we’ll proceed to the more hardcore privacy stuff.

Step 3: Install a Virtual Private Network (VPN)


Are you wondering why your employer wants you to use a VPN nowadays for business operations that are managed from home? There are two reasons for this, one is personal and the other is more focused at data safety.

Firstly, by installing a VPN you’ll create havoc in the data of everything you do online. How? The VPN will masks your location (ip) to a virtual randomized one in the world. This makes it impossible for websites to follow you based on your geo-location. I can recommend you NordVPN as this one is cheap, easy to use on every device and doesn’t slow down your internet.

Unfortunately, cookies will still be present and able to remember you on returning visits unless you have an ad blocker installed. So a VPN + ad blocker is the away to go to disrupt almost everything and protect your privacy online.

Secondly, your employer wants you to make sure the company data is safely stored behind a wall of protection, which is offered by the VPN. You can only access the data from a managed IP address by your employer which ensure a managed online environment. Everyone trying to enter that managed environment will get noticed by the IT nerds (no offence brothers) at the office and potentially blocked if they aren’t able to prove they are employee. Effectively blocking them in reaching/stealing sensitive business information. You can of course also apply this practice to your own netwerk at home. But that is a story about IT security rather than masking your online DNA profile.

Why you want a VPN;

  • You can access blocked sources or websites from countries that restrict their Internet usage like China or Russia, as you’ll just select a country that has less censorship online as your source of origin.
  • You can view episodes of your favorite series that aren’t available in your country on Netflix, by selecting a country via your VPN that does have them in the inventory.
  • VPN’s are used by big companies to protect their own data, it’s now also available for everyone to protect theirs.
  • Back in the days a VPN often slowed down your Internet, NordVPN doesn’t slow down your surfing speed. You can even limit this further by choosing a server near you.

Stil got some questions about a VPN? Here are the answers on your FAQs about VPNs.

Using a VPN is probably the easiest way for 99% of the people to hide their internet usage. However, the VPN provider will know your IP address and if a government forcibly asks them to hand it over. They will have to obey the law and show your real geolocation based on your ip. Fear not! You can fix this by using Tor, this program will route your signal through a series of nodes, each of which is only aware of the ip addresses ‘in front’ of the node and ‘behind’ it. This way nobody can know the full path between your device and the website you are trying to connect with. It does slow down your internet speed.

Step 4: The great Pi hole

Pi Hole ad blocker

The Raspberry Pi Hole is the One. It’s the only ad blocker that blocks every third party injected into your network. This little device and program blocks everything from third parties on a network level (before it enters your home via your router). Meaning that no advertisements will ever get through unless the websites hosts them on their own server (what almost nobody does). However, might they host it on their own servers we already dealt with that by using a VPN to scramble their data. The Pi hole is the true ad blocker and ensures a safe and fast browsing environment. You can easily buy a cheap Raspberry Pi on and install Pi Hole on it.

Read my guide on how to install a Pi hole ad blocker on your Raspberry.

Step 5: Delete Google Chrome

Delete Google Chrome

These jokers at Google can’t be serious… Firefox & Safari are blocking third party cookies by default since 2019 but guess what Google Chrome doesn’t. It’s their intention to do it within the next two years (jep it’s 2020 now). That is just a big middle finger to everybody that is concerned about their private data being resold. During the next two years Google will be cooking up something evil again to circumvent the third party cookies blocking via Google Chrome. You’ll probably need to agree on another malicious endlessly long terms and conditions that nobody reads, eventually selling your secrets again. Please guys just stop supporting them, there is no need as the alternatives are mighty fine. Just download Firefox or Safari, it’s free!

Step 6 install Signal and delete Whatsapp

Yep, ditch Whatsapp as fast as you can. This messaging app is reading all your private messages and sending them to the big Facebook manipulation machine. Isn’t it a coincidence you get ads on Instagram and Facebook when you chatted about your new shoes or kitchen-aid with your friends on Whatsapp? Yep, thats the meta-tracking baby!

The fix? Use Signal as a messenger. Signal encrypts your messages end-to-end and nobody is able to decipher the information. Calling, texting or sending voice and video messages has never been so safe. You can read more about Signal on their own website Fun fact, it works exactly the same as Whatsapp, no difference.

Step 7 hide your bank account information

Yep, the hype is real I know. Cryptocurrencies are booming and Bitcoin has a higher value than ever before. Reality is that the blockchain is there to be as transparant as possible but can also be used to anonymized transactions. Which is exactly what we are trying to do. The largest cryptocurrency exchange Binance can help you mask payments online. This is especially helpful when you live in a country without solid laws and lots of corruption. But the most obvious reason is of course that you don’t want banks to sell your purchase history to Amazon or Google in order for them to make targeted ads even more effective and personal.

Is that all?

Ooow no I’m not done, not nearly. But I was just too lazy to finish this article but didn’t wanna wait putting it online as we need to stop the collection of private data by companies and governments. Come back later for more extensive tips and tricks on matters around privacy online. Still need to talk extensively about the Tor network, Intelligence Tracking Prevention (ITP) and Enhanced Tracking Prevention (ETP) for example.

A lot of people always ask me why I show ads on my website. I don’t know as I can’t see them *hint*.

26 thoughts on “Block everything. Period.”

  1. I can’t agree with the recommendation of Bitcoin, that’s a real Sophie’s Choice there. I can’t feel great about burning down a forest just to have an untraceable purchase.

    And have you _seen_ the people who are into Bitcoin?

    • Yeah, I know the feeling… but try to convince them as it’s really the same as Whatsapp just a different name and much safer. Hope it works out!

  2. Um, if you use an Ad Blocker then you wouldn’t even know that your information is being stolen. I literally have experienced talking about something on WhatsApp and getting the suggestions about same and some might not have a problem about that but I cannot simply allow ANYONE to invade my privacy.

    • Louis, you are right. Your messages should be safe and private. Have you seen the latest Netflix documentary The Social Dilemma? Interesting to watch how Google, Youtube and others are following and guiding you.

  3. Because they are popular and in several Security Comparisons they do not stand out particulary.
    I’d suggest paying a bit for Threema, best Messenger software regarding security

    • Pffff…. Facebook owns Whatsapp, they use the meta data from your messages to spam you with targeted ads. That is the problem with Whatsapp, not that it isn’t encrypted. Almost everything is encrypted nowadays.

  4. I completely forgot to update you. It worked like I thigh it would, if I’m on Nord I will get some adds that are not blocked by my browser user agent. This is because when you use a VPN all traffic is out into the VPN tunnel and terminates at the other end of the tunnel then uses the VPN’s DNS and internet. So it doesn’t hit your local pi-hole for ad blocking when on the VPN.
    Now if the VPN was set up to use split tunneling then it might still use some of your local internet and DNS (pi-hole) but VPN’s like Nord are not designed this way to give better masking and privacy.

    Now the good news. If you set up a VPN on your network maybe using your router and your out in the public WiFi like a coffee shop or airport then you can VPN to your house and it will use your pi-hole. Better for ad blocking, and not using an unknown and unsecured WiFi but it will be your home IP still for tracking. So I guess it depends what’s more important to you.
    Personally I know how easy it is to capture traffic on a public WiFi with stuff like DNS poisoning so I would rather connect to my home internet and router VPN in that situation.
    I hope this made some sense.

    • Awesome! Sounds solid, but how fast is the internet when you re-route the internet via your home VPN/pi-hole setup? Think this is important for a lot of folks. But agree on the VPN privacy masking, you’ll need Tor in order to do this properly. That will render your IP useless, even for VPN companies like Nord or Express VPN.

  5. It depends on where the VPN client is deployed. If it is in the access router the DNS lookup will happen before your request hits the internet and you will be covered by the pi-hole. If you are running the VPN client locally on your computer/phone you have made a VPN tunnel from your device which ends up wherever your VPN connection takes you and enter the internet there. Therefore pi-hole will not be used in this instant.

    • Makes sense. So the preferred setup would be before the request hits the internet so that the Pi-hole can cover. Else it’s kinda useless… right?

  6. I don’t use a vpn company as they can still save your information and hand it over to governments or companies. the trust is only as good as the person your handing it too and the only one I truly trust is myself.

    use a external vpn for netflix etc but not for your home network.
    I have a single pc/desktop that has pihole, openvpn and ispconfig all running nicely together. There’s no need for ssh, remote desktop or any other remoting software to access all my personal data on my network. I just vpn in to my home pc from any location using openvpn then pihole can continue to remove the adds, i can use the internet and I can effectively get on to my local network safely. NO MORE ports open of all kinds and security is tightened down!
    never freely give your web page or domain details on open forums, this is how trackers and bots start. next thing you know their sending you there advertising crap to your domain admin or looking to hack your network. all my web is hosted off the web server on my same pc and so far it effectively weeds out attempts by dodgy i.p’s. always leave a fake url or a dead page on a free site.

    No one needs your website address details ( domain ) unless, you have business with them of that nature? there’s no reason for wanting to go their except to gather info or some other nefarious nature. If i want to buy a shaver I go to ;-) wink wink.

  7. Funny, I found this site looking for ads to test my Pi-Hole install. I didn’t get any ads so I guess it’s working.
    I also use Nord-VPN. Correct me if I’m wrong, if I’m on the VPN then I am bypassing the pi-hole DNS-Ad blocking that’s on my local network. It’s still good for the rest of the people in the house I guess.
    Still good tips, I use Nord when traveling and I’m in public WiFi’s like coffee shops mostly.

    • Love it! I made this environment to test and help/inform others. Not sure if you bypass the Pi-hole DNS ad blocking with your VPN. As the Pi hole will block everything on a network level. So before it enters any device, also your VPN? Let me know if you found out how it works. It might help others and me.

  8. Thank you so much for this great piece of content! I’m working in the online marketing industry but lately Google is slowly killing it by taking over every piece of realestate in the SERPs. It’s unfair competition as you can’t do much against it. Apart from that they re-use our data to keep people in the SERPs! By blocking adwords and making sure they can’t track me I’m hoping to make (small) stand against it. Please add more insights on how to avoid being followed online. I will help spread the word! Keep up the good work.


Share those thoughts!