you can't, even if you do, everyone else around you is leaking info about you, on social media... the great collection system. So many cameras everywhere, so many microsophones, always on, always listening...
have to go live in a hole with no electronic devices and record all your thoughts using pen/paper... hard to live like that. Give up so much to keep your own data yours.
I don't know about completely, but there's some ways to try and minimize privacy breaches. Apparently I should be completely OK for everyone and their moms to know what sites I use, what things I read, what stuff I like and sell this information without my knowledge of permission and them making incredible profits out of i. I'm not and this is what I actively try to prevent.
If you're really paranoid:
You could use a VPN, just don't use a free one, they're free for a reason and I wouldn't trust them further than you can throw them. I've used Mullvad with great satisfaction. However VPNs comes with downsides (every site will think you're a bot and request Recaptcha's to name one).
I no longer hide behind a VPN and I don't use TOR, the inconveniences are so great that it just angered me. At the end of the day, it's all about what you're willing to sacrifice to keep your private things private. This was too much for me.
Instead, because my grievances lie with privacy spionage conducted by, what in my eyes are criminal companies, I focus on that by using a whole host of browser addons, which is why I came to reply, as this is somewhat of a hobby of mine at this point. (Note that none of these will effectively block anything or anyone who REALLY wants to know what you're doing (the FBI or something lol), but at least you're minimizing privacy breaches as well as chances to get any malicious stuff from ads and site-scripts.
- Scriptblock- this stops any script from running automatically. Lots if not most of the bad crap comes from scipts. Having this off does break sites. A lot of sites. So yes, it means you have to enable it manually for the sites you want to function correctly often. This can be tedious, but for me personally it's absolutely worth the effort. Then again, I'm not a huge surfer.
- Ghostery / Privacy Badger / etc - This will block tracking of any kind, as well as social media plugins as those really leak tons of your information even if you're not even registered on those sites. I've used Ghostery for many, many years and as a creature of habit, I haven't really checked if the alternatives are better.
- Https everywhere - obvious
- Adblock addon of some kind - Let the controversy begin. TL;DR: ads can carry malware and they're also the reason we need all these privacy measures, so f* them.
I use adblocks not even because ads are this annoying anymore, but the fact they are the ones that encourage and facilitate the collecting and trading of my private information is enough reason already. I know the small sites are the ones who end up paying for my little rebellion, but I don't surf actively though, so I have no moral issues with this whatsoever, and for sites I really care about, I'm completely OK paying for.
Not to mention, the amount of hidden crap and malware ads can carry, and the amount of grief they have caused me really does not make me want to support this type of revenue in any way. On top of that, they're single-handedly the reason why the internet is becoming this incredible bog full of crap that is becoming harder and harder to navigate, by spawning sites that blatantly plagiarize other sites for the purpose of farming ad revenue, and encourages ineffective layouts just to maximize ad-output . It's getting harder and harder to find what you really want and need. Don't even get me started on e-mail spamads.
And now ad-companies and sites are whining. Honestly, they should of friggin' thought about the possibility we'd get fed up with their shenanigans before they continually breached our privacy, jeopardized our security, installed a million ad-popup software and make us crazy with their obnoxious blinking crap, eating your (then) very limited bandwidth, for 15 years straight. Yes, the ad-monsters are to blame, but at the end of the day it's the sites who were completely ok pasting several huge banners with music and flashing content left and right, too. They've tried to be better, but for me personally, too little and way too late. What would make me unblock ads? The announcement that the collection and trading of our data will cease immediately would be an excellent start.
- No Coin - It's a thing apparently where sites just secretly start using your cpu to mine bitcoins. Not really widespread yet afaik, saw a couple of reports of this happening on certain illicit downloading sites (I'm actually a good girl and not a pirate, so I can't verify). This one doesn't block everything yet but it's a start. I honestly don't know how effective or necessary this is, but i just added it for good measure. Call me paranoid.
- LastPass and the like - To help you create strong passwords and/or stop the frustration of having to click I Forgot My Password on every other site
- Vanilla Cookie - Clears all the useless cookies but keeps the useful ones
- Lastly, if you hate e-mail spam and if you're worried about Lastpass/etc losing you all your generated passwords: it's impossible to think of your own unique password for every site without an addon. So, create a couple of bs e-mailaddresses that you don't care what happens to, and a couple of bs passwords completely different from your real passwords for those sites that you know will end up leaking your info anyway (almost every site and forum, really). I lost about 1 real e-mailaddress and would have lost 2 more if they weren't bs emails this way, because they sold my address to spammers and they became unusable, and in 1 case I even lost access to my account completely. Sure, big companies/sites that should be trustworthy also get breached (hello, Wildstar), but even though I use my appropriate e-mail, I use separate passwords so the damage is contained.
Moral issue: The downside of this is that this kind of behaviour of ours is encouraging them to get more and more addresses because it's so easy to use one login from one site, and then try them on other sites until they get a free login. For example, they acquired my email + password from a certain forum, and they randomly tried it until they actually got access to my old Twitch account I completely forgot I even had. Twitch had to ban that account for spam.
There's many more I can't think of right now. Anyway, whenever i do see ads, which is never, none of them seem to "target" me - ads seem to be completely random, from male beauty products to big sized shoes to cat food (none apply to me), my mail is pretty much spamfree even without a filter, so all of this must be doing something, I hope. All we can do is hope. Virusscan, my many malwarescans etc have come up with 2 hits in the past 6 years too (..of which one I installed myself, hello backup from the early 00s..), so either they're all bad or I'm doing something right