Western Libraries

Online Privacy

Browser Alternatives

Firefox Browser  Mozilla's Firefox Private Browsing

  • Private browsing window - does not save visited pages, search bar entries, passwords, downloads, cookies, or cached web content
  • Tracking protection  - basic and strict protection settings
  • Can set Firefox to never remember history so that you are in private browsing mode by default

TOR (The Onion Router)  TOR (The Onion Router) 

  • Free open source software for anonymous online browsing and communication
  • Tor Browser makes it difficult to track users by routing online activity through a global network of “relays”
  • Encrypts your IP address to further protect your privacy
  • Runs on Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux

Hesitant to Switch Browsers? Try Panopticlick!




  • Test how well your current browser protects against non-consensual web tracking 

Browser Extensions

Privacy Badger  Privacy Badger

  • Doesn’t block all ads, but helps to prevent advertisers from tracking browsing patterns
  • List of potential trackers & ability to control how they are able to track your browsing patterns.
  • Affiliated with eff.org (Electronic Frontier Foundation)

uBlock Origin      uBlock Origin 

  • Free open-source, cross-platform. (Safari, Chrome, Edge, Firefox, Opera)
  • Wide-spectrum blocker. Blocks ads, trackers and malware sites
  • Easy on memory footprint. Fast and lean

To download:

Add-on for Firefox

Add-on for Chrome

Add-on for Opera

HTTPS Everywhere  HTTPS Everywhere

  • “Extension that encrypts your communications with major websites”
  • Collaborative effort of TOR Project and EFF
  • Rewrites requests to HTTP sites to HTTPS

Search Engine Alternatives

DuckDuckGo  DuckDuckGo 

  • “The search engine that doesn’t track you” – unlike Google and Yahoo
  • Does not store personal information such as your user agent and IP address
  • Default setting does not use cookies
  • Bonus: clean interface and ad free

StartPage  StartPage

  • Created by Ixquick​
  • URL generator so there is no need for internet cookies. 
  • Does not record user IP addresses
  • Supports Secure Socket Layer (SSL) connections (HTTPS)

Private SMS Messaging Apps

Signal Signal by Whisper Systems

  • Secure messaging app for your phone
  • Advanced end-to-end encryption protocol
  • No SMS fees
  • Open source and free to install
  • Available for Android and Apple iOS

Password Managers

How can you keep track of strong, unique passwords for each account?

Use a password manager!





New technologies often make our lives more convenient, but what about their privacy implications? Even if you do not “do anything wrong” online, chances are that you would not voluntarily share everything you do. This is why #privacymatters and why it is important to learn about tools that will give you more control over what you do and do not share.