Updated: Mar 6
This post contains affiliate links. For more information, see my disclosure here.
(Updated: February 16, 2020)
Growing up, my dad never really gave me a lot of privacy in my life and so he was very snoopy in my activities and around my room which eventually affected my mental health. This led to my heavy issues on privacy, both online and offline.
Thankfully, my uncle had introduced me options on my Chrome browser to tell websites to not track my activities. Not only that, but I switched to Firefox/Opera not because it's faster than Chrome now (my 2nd reason) but it's built towards safeguarding your privacy with automatic protections and built-in VPN (Opera only) whereas Google Chrome is a RAM eater (takes up too much of your RAM) and sells your data to the government without permission.
I've added to my life: AdBlock, Ghostery, HTTPS Everywhere, Privacy Badger, CCleaner (to delete online data), and a VPN along with Advanced SystemCare (which includes the ability to change DNS servers), a cryptocurrency mining blocking extension, and the usual anti-virus, all of which to safeguard my privacy and my PC.
What if it's not enough?
It still definitely is not enough, especially when you have social media accounts or browsing in your personalized Google accounts that can still collect your data based on the information you provided on your profiles and sell it to advertisers and companies without our permission.
Do you even know how much money data on your browsing activity costs??
Wait, hold on.. It costs money??
It's essentially your online DNA apart from your health insurance companies that cannot deny you coverage based on how easily you get sick or the likelihood of getting cancer, costing them lots of money + the companies you pay to get those Ancestry kits to see the composition of ethnicities that make up you, unless you share that data to the 3rd party public website such as GEDmatch which was used to catch the Golden State Killer.
So wait?... Where's the compensation for those people who shared very private information that helped identify the Golden State Killer?
Exactly, there's no compensation whatsoever when those people's privacies were invaded.
Any Current Actions I Could Do Right Now?
Cocoon is a new browser I've encountered as an ad on Facebook. It's based off the Google Chrome browser like how the Tor browser is based off Firefox but the company doesn't use it track your activity like Google nor do they sell your data to the government unless you choose to opt-in to monetize it which you will be compensated as money that can be sent to your PayPal account (currently US only). They only track your browsing history but that data is carefully removed from all PII (personally identifiable information) before the data is passed to a buyer. Plus, the browser is significantly faster than Google Chrome and not much of a RAM-eater at all.
So it's definitely better than using the DuckDuckGo browser since you can sync all your personalized content from your Google account onto this browser and still not have your data be associated with it. This is as close as to using a VPN. 😱 👍🏻
Furthermore, here are the benefits:
Cocoon uses patent-pending, advanced isolation technology to protect your computer from malware by keeping it away from your hard drive. In addition, the browser utilizes antivirus scanning to check for viruses before they even reach your computer. These isolation methods keep you safe.
Your history, downloads, and cookies are never stored on your computer. You log in to access your browser.
Cocoon maintain a constantly updated database of virus and malware definitions. Their servers use this to scan content before it gets to your browser.
Any malicious code, images, and downloads are caught before they ever reach your browser by our servers.
Your privacy is protected from companies who are tracking you around the Web, compiling data based on your browsing history and behavior. Cocoon's proxies, cloud, and encryption keep you in a secure and private environment. Your data belongs to you!
Their self-contained browser transmits no unique, identifiable information. The browser communicates only with Cocoon servers.
Cocoon's servers make you a part of our cloud, handling requests, and shielding your identity. Websites see Cocoon's proxy cloud instead of your IP and location.
Browse the Internet without websites knowing who you are. Your Cocoon session stays in the cloud when you’re finished, or vanishes altogether.
Your valuable data—credit cards, social security number, bank usernames and passwords—are at risk of being stolen from the very networks you connect through. Cocoon encrypts your connection to our servers, so you can be sure every WiFi connection is secure from intrusion.
The Cocoon Browser establishes a highly secure 2048-bit encrypted connection to our servers.
All of your browsing information that you choose to store is encrypted using your password.
Websites never communicate directly with your Cocoon Browser. Your identity is masked by our servers: IP Address, cookies, browser type. Everything.
Traveling has never been this easy! Cocoon lets you take your online experience with you—from computer to computer, even overseas. Our proxies give you access to U.S. content, no matter where you are (excluding China at this time), even with our encrypted connections.
You want to browse the Web from anywhere in the world--like France.
Cocoon's secure servers, located in the United States, secure your connection with the browser and act as a proxy.
Maybe you’re sitting in a coffee shop in France, but it’s as if you’re at home in the US--get your social media fix, read news, or watch videos.
So as you can see, I started using Cocoon on January 25, 2020. The page views and earnings will update after using for a day.
This is how much money I've accumulated after using it for about 23 days. And the ad or the person maintaining the Facebook ad commented that I would accumulate approximately $25 after 45 days.
And to avoid any fees from PayPal, just let Cocoon automatically pay you out every 3 months.
This is essentially the same thing as Cocoon except you get paid with cryptocurrency (Basic Attention Token/BAT) instead though I cannot say whether Cocoon or Brave is faster.
Why use Google Chrome when you can use Brave Browser. With Brave, your pages will load 3x to 6x faster in comparison to Google Chrome and Firefox with nothing to install, learn or manage.
When you turn on Brave Rewards, you give a little back to the sites you frequent most which help you earn their website's form of cryptocurrency, Basic Attention Token (BAT), for viewing privacy-respecting ads.
Brave can automatically distribute your contributions based on how much time you spend on sites. Or, you can choose to tip sites directly, and even offer a fixed monthly tip amount.
All of this works while keeping your browsing history private. Your funds are made available to site owners through an anonymous ledger system, so you can’t be identified based on the sites you visit and support.
Remember: these contributions are optional – browsing the web with Brave is free.
Import and continue where you left off
It’s easy to import your settings from your old browser. You can do it during the welcome tour or later through the menus.
All of your old browser profiles will appear in a list. You can import other browser data through the main menu item called “Import Bookmarks and Settings.”
Experience unparalleled privacy and security.
Brave fights malware and prevents tracking, keeping your information safe and secure which is their top priority.
Brave is not in the personal data business so their servers neither see nor store your browsing data – it stays private, on your devices, until you delete it, meaning that they won’t ever sell your data to third parties.
Whenever possible using the HTTPS Everywhere list, Brave automatically upgrades to HTTPS for secure, encrypted communications when an ordinary browser would use an insecure connection.
Browse confidently with default settings that block phishing, malware, and malvertising. Also, plugins, which have proven to be a security risk, are disabled by default.
Brave Sync, currently in beta, can be enabled to encrypt and synchronize your preferred settings and bookmarks. However, Brave does not have the keys to decrypt your data.
Political Actions You Can Take:
I don't mean to get political here (cause I'm actually not very political) but voting for Andrew Yang as our president of the United States in 2024 is the best chance we have about what you do with your online data.
Andrew Yang, a former presidential ambassador of entrepreneurship by the Obama administration (he's very modest about it), has a policy on data as a property right.
If he is elected president, we are given rights to know and what we do about our online data. And as mentioned word-for-word off his website:
The right to be informed as to what data will be collected, and how it will be used
The right to opt out of data collection or sharing
The right to be told if a website has data on you, and what that data is
The right to be forgotten; to have all data related to you deleted upon request
The right to be informed if ownership of your data changes hands
The right to be informed of any data breaches including your information in a timely manner
The right to download all data in a standardized format to port to another platform
So if he becomes president, companies can no longer profit off our online data if you choose not to give consent to them which brings me to my next point about how you can use it to build your personal wealth.
The Problem: Leaving Our Digital Footprints For Other People to Use
And with this, you don't need any money to get started. All you need is what's inside your brain which is essentially a lot of private information: Preferences, Experiences, Ideas.
How it works (Taken from the website):
Delphia will use artificial intelligence to analyze this data in order to look for trends in the population that can inform its quantitative trading strategies. Delphia’s data source will be stronger than the one-dimensional, static data commonly used by investment managers. More information found here.
Types of Data That Can Be Invested (Taken from the website):
In the future, Delphia will accept various data sources like: social media data, banking data, location data, browsing history, streaming data, its own surveys and more.
Members will have complete control over which data sources they link to Delphia.
Members can choose to invest all data sources, only a few, or choose none at all and invest their money instead. These selections can be modified at any time.
And you can rest assured that Delphia will never sell any data with third parties.
For example, if you wanted to watch the TV show The Mandalorian but didn't want to pay $6.99 a month or possibly $69.99 a year for Disney+, you don't have to worry about getting into trouble with the government now that your data is secure (unless you don't encrypt your connection, then yes, you're getting into trouble 😂).
Note that Delphia is insured by Apex Clearing Corporation, a member of the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC), which provides funds to meet claims up to a ceiling of $500,000, including a maximum of $250,000 for cash claim.
And I leave you off with a quote from Warren Buffett in case if you have doubts about creating an account with Delphia:
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