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.

Oké, let’s get off the grid 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. 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 my guide to privacy and reclaim your constitutional rights that are getting abused.

Five steps to 100% privacy online

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 ads-blocker.com just for fun. You can download the best ad blockers available online 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, this means nobody can 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 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 ads-blocker.com the ad blocker will restrict access solely to this domain and block any third party request to www.google-analytics.com or the Google Analytics JavaScript Library. This way the ad blocker makes sure the Google Analytics tracking is unable to load and stopped 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 this 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 salad with the following steps.

Step 2: Use DuckDuckGo as a search engine

DuckDuckGo

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. They even help you with it 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 hardcore privacy mode.


Step 3: Install a Virtual Private Network (VPN)

NordVPN

By installing a VPN you’ll create havoc in the data of everything you do online. How? Well 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 everything and protect your privacy online.

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 just selecting a country via your VPN that does have them.
  • VPN’s are used by big companies to protect their own data, it’s now 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 cookie injected into your network. This little device and program blocks everything from third parties on a network level (before it enters 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 Amazon.com.

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 soul 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 instead of 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 Signal.org. It works the same as Whatsapp, no difference.

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 matters by companies and governments. Come back later for more extensive tips and tricks on privacy online. Still need to talk about Tor, 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. Because you’re too dumb to block them apparently.

15 thoughts on “Block everything. Period.”

    • 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.

      Reply
  1. 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.

    Reply
    • 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.

      Reply
  2. 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.

    Reply
    • 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?

      Reply
  3. 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.

    Reply
    • 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.

      Reply
  4. 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.

    Reply

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