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First steps toward online privacy

In this guide, we focus on the first steps you should take in order to improve your online privacy.

This guide is part of a series about online privacy:

  1. Privacy is a universal right – an introduction to what privacy is and why it's important.
  2. First steps toward online privacy – you are viewing this guide.
  3. Second steps toward online privacy – how to enforce encryption, block trackers and ads, and more.

When protecting your online privacy, no single-step solution exists. Instead, it is about changing your habits and using certain tools. Below are a few of our recommendations:

  • Think about and discuss aspects of your privacy in order to increase your awareness of potential dangers. Read our introductory post on the fundamentals of privacy.
  • Use a VPN service like Mullvad.
  • Use the Privacy Window feature of your browser to prevent cookies and other tracking techniques from being used. We recommend Firefox. Once open, use the shortcut command Ctrl+Shift+P or click on the hamburger menu and choose "New Private Window”.
  • Close and open a new privacy window frequently. Ideally, open a new window for each site that you visit.
  • Disable WebRTC. Read our guide.
  • Protect against DNS leaks. Read our guide.
  • When using a commercial service (such as a bank or online shopping), make sure that the prefix of the URL is https:// (signalling that the service is end-to-end encrypted) and use a strong password.
  • Think about which services you use. Think about what kind of business model they have and how they make their money – nothing is free!
  • Always be careful and mindful about which sites you visit, which attachments you open, and which links you click.
  • For extra protection, configure your browser to use our SOCKS5 proxy. With this setting, your browser is denied internet access if Mullvad isn't running properly and therefore keeps you from accidentally leaking any information.

Next step

Continue with our guide Second steps toward online privacy.