My 2021 Annual Security recommendations. These are recommendations I think you should follow to help keep your data and privacy safe online.
Browser: Firefox – Its open source and is the backbone of Tor for a reason. I much prefer firefox to any other browser. Chrome is a close second but I do not like that its not open source. Download it here: https://www.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/
Most secure browser: Tor. Tor is designed for those times when you don’t want anyone to see what you are doing. TOR blocks your ISP, the government, etc. from seeing what you are doing online. It keeps everything you are searching very secure. Researchers, journalists, the government, and criminals all use tor when they want their tracks to be private. The bad thing about Tor is that its slow because its rerouting your data and some functions on various websites won’t work. https://www.torproject.org
Mobile Browser – Firefox Focus is my preferred go to mobile browser. Focus is really fast and simple. If you want more privacy, there are various tor browsers for the mobile web https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/focus
Most Secure Mobile Browser – Onion Browser. Uses TOR, so just like TOR its going to be slower and not work on every site, but its very secure. https://onionbrowser.com/
Security add on for your browser/adblock:
uBlock – Works for Firefox and chrome and keeps away ads and other nonsense. This helps many pages load faster too. This is my go to addon when I install a new browser. https://www.ublock.org/
HTTPS Everywhere – forces the browser to go to the https version of the website. It helps when transmitting secure data, for example, what you would want a site you log into to use. https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/https-everywhere/
Search Engine – DuckDuckGo. It doesn’t track or store what you are searching. https://duckduckgo.com/
Email: Protonmail – Anonymous email. Doesn’t track you. Keep your data/emails private and safe. https://protonmail.com/
VPN, Antivirus, Malware, Firewall:
VPN – Cyberghost and Norton (though many others are great too). When you use a VPN your entire computer is hidden from your ISP vs TOR which just hides the browser. A VPN is a must when using public wifi like at a hotel or starbucks. https://www.cyberghostvpn.com/en_US/ and https://us.norton.com/products/norton-secure-vpn
Antivirus – Honestly, windows defender that comes on your machine is probably good enough. Its all I personally use. While I think Windows Defender is enough for most people, if you want the best, Norton would be my go to choice for antivirus, malware, and adware.
Malware/adware – Malwarebytes – its free and very powerful. I use this every few weeks to check my machine. I recommend using this whenever your computer is acting slow/funky. Please consider buying the full version to support them. https://www.malwarebytes.com/
Firewall – I don’t use a firewall anymore now that windows defender does the job for me. But if I were to need the extra protection, I would use Zonealarm. A firewall is designed to stop all traffic you don’t approve to and from the internet – https://www.zonealarm.com/software/free-firewall/
All in one Antivirus/VPN/Malware/Firewall – Norton. It’s cheap and powerful. It also can run on multiple devices. https://amzn.to/2Pv9c0b
3) Know the Guest List. When you know some specific people that you want to meet, do your homework and find out about them. Company, awards, community activity, accomplishments. This is great fodder for conversation. How would you feel when someone you didn’t know yet, approaches you and says, “I loved the blog post you wrote on how to be a Mom and grow a business”? It certainly says something to me about them.
4) Work the Room and try to have several warm interactions. Don’t monopolize or be monopolized. Engage and encourage mutual conversation and include others into it.
5) Pair up with a Mentor like Andy Defrancesco or someone who knows the crowd and group and rely on them to introduce you around. Coming with someone others know and respect says something about you. “you are judged by the company you keep” is the quote isn’t it?
6) Set Goals for what you want to accomplish and come out of the experience with: 5 warm connections, new friends, someone you can refer business to.
7) Be Inclusive and see how making connections for others make sense both at the event and after. I have been amazed at how encouraging commonality and synergy can work with complimentary businesses.
8) HCIHY (how can I help you)-this is the new benchmark for networking. Not what can I sell you, but how can I serve you. “Serving is the new Selling”. When people know you are in it for the right reasons and motives, the relationship naturally grows. Building trust, by freely sharing knowledge and being who you say you are takes time. Invest and commit to it with people you feel good potential with and demonstrate a mutuality with you.