Yeah, I know, you’ve all sat through the talks at school telling you never to tell strangers your credit card details or whatever. But it has come to my attention that there are a worrying number of people who don’t know the actual practical things you can do to stay safe and secure while on the web. These tips cover invasions of privacy from anybody including big companies and hackers. It’s probably worthwhile to give ‘em a go.
Password Safety - Use a different password for every website. I’m not kidding. If you think you’ll struggle to remember that many, you have two options. Firstly, you can use a password manager such as OnePassword, which is probably the safest option. If you’re like me and can’t quite bring yourself to trust one (there’s no reason not to, it just doesn’t sit right with me) you can use variations on a password for unimportant sites, and then come up with secure ones for sites you share more personal info with.
Have I Been Pwned? - This is a website which tells you if your email has been involved in a data breach. Don’t worry if you have been pwned - you have different passwords for everything, remember! Just be aware of what data has been leaked, and change a password or two if necessary. Sign up for their email notifications to stay on top of recent breaches.
ProtonVPN - A VPN, if you don’t know, stands for virtual private network. Picture all the different connections between devices in a network, linked through WiFi or cables, as highways. VPNs section off a lane for your own private use, so nobody can see what you’re sending or receiving. It’s unlikely that anyone will be looking on your home network, but on public WiFi networks it’s important to prevent anyone seeing anything they shouldn’t - it’s not hard to packet sniff! You can also use them to bypass school and workplace website blocking, and access sites blocked in your country. Obviously ProtonVPN isn’t the only one, but I’d recommend em as they encrypt everything and have some pretty beefy systems in place to prevent tracking. It’s available on all devices for free.
ProtonMail - Yes, yes, more ProtonStuff, but this is a really good one. I’ll get onto why Google tracking you is a bad thing later, but if you want to break out of Google’s ecosystem, ProtonMail is a good alternative to GMail. It encrypts all your emails, which means nobody intercepting the email will know what it says. That means it’s great for private matters that you want to keep secret or avoid Google telling people about, like banking and stuff. It’s also a bit more customisable than GMail.
Social Media Checkup - Do you know exactly how much someone can find out about you, just by looking at your social media? Facebook is a special offender for that one (I don’t even have an account there anymore - and dear lord was deleting it a struggle) but Insta, Snapchat, Twitter and yes, even Tumblr, might provide a creep more info than you bargained for. Think about how much you want to make public, or how much the app has on you at all. There are plenty of tutorials on how to adjust your settings.
HTTPS Everywhere - A very handy extension that forces websites to encrypt all your data as you send it back and forth.
Why? - I know it might seem weird that a large company, or even the government, might want to keep track of little old you. Sure, they can target you with relevant ads, but whatever, you use an ad-blocker anyway. That is, until you realise that behind the scenes, on almost every website you visit, data-brokers are collecting info on you and what you do online, and building a profile of you. It’s not anonymous. And it can be used for anything from determining your creditworthiness and insurance premiums to detailed surveillance. Yeah. With all the protests going on lately, it would make sense to keep these people from learning about you for your own safety and your future.
DuckDuckGo - Start by using this search engine instead of Google, and installing the Privacy Essentials extension. It’s a good search engine, for one thing. For another, it prevents tracking and lets you know whose schemes you’ve foiled, you meddling kid. It gives each site you visit a privacy rating, and lets you know how much it’s increased that by. For example, Tumblr usually receives a D, but DuckDuckGo has blocked some trackers and improved it to a B. It has also informed me that trackers have been found and dealt with on over 50% of the websites I visit. Google is unsurprisingly the main culprit.
Alternative Browsers - There are lots of things you can use instead of Chrome, and many of them work really well! I recommend Firefox, since it’s almost exactly like Chrome but open-source, and it also protects you from trackers and has lots of fun extensions. There are some other good PC ones too like Opera and Vivaldi, but I haven’t used them before so I wouldn’t know how good they are. DuckDuckGo has its own mobile browser which is currently my main one.
Adblockers - You can’t get targeted ads if you don’t get ads! You can choose who to show ads for too, so if you want to support a certain site you can whitelist them. Try UBlock Origin, or Adblock Plus. Install ‘em as extensions for whatever browser you’re using.
Privacy Checkup - Go through your Google account with a fine-toothed comb and check what is being tracked about you. Pause your YouTube history, your Maps history, your Google Assistant history. Clear what you can. Check Amazon too. Also, never ever use Cortana or Siri or Alexa or anything like that. Ever. No matter how cool having a robot assistant is.
And that should be that! I’ll try to keep updating this post with new tips as I find them, but this is everything I do for the minute to ensure I’m protected online.
Hey does anyone have any suggestions for online craft stores that I can order from instead of amazon? I need crafting supplies for hobby stuff but I don’t want to support amazon any more than I have to! Thanks!!!
I cannot for the life of me find men's overalls anywhere, any ideas?
Oh boy, the last pair of men’s overalls I wore was when I was a kid wearing the hand-me-downs from my best friend, Kenneth. It’s been a while.
If something isn’t “in style” right now (and/or all the shopping malls are closed because of the coronavirus) then online shopping is your best friend!
As always, weigh the cost versus the durability in your mind when you’re looking. “Fast fashion” is cheap and sometimes all we can afford, but it also falls apart after a few years. Investing in comfortable, sturdy, durable clothes that’ll last a long time might be worth the money because you won’t have to pay to replace them every other year.
Or learn how to mend clothes to give the cheap ones a longer life! This is a good skill to have anyway, and I know people think of sewing as “feminine” but sustainability is cool. When we were in elementary school, Kenneth, the same friend who gave me the overalls, also taught me to sew a little so I never thought sewing was a girl’s thing.
Its that time of year where the second you approach a smart device or computer you are bombarded with sales, catchy names, or deals that look so good you have to sign up right now. Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Winter Sale, Grab a Bargain… but take a moment to sit back and think about what you are signing up for and agreeing to buy. Is the item from an established business? What is their online presence like? If you are buying foodstuffs, do they have a Food Hygiene Certificate? Take a step back and think for a moment; “If this wasn’t Christmas, would i still buy from this person?”
Its the time of year when small craft businesses like myself are obviously competing with big multinational companies for your hard earned money, and it can be the starting trigger for new businesses to get off the ground. But there are also people out there that will take your money, sell you an inferior product, and run.
If you are buying any sort of electrical or battery operated item, ask to see it working if you are buying in person.
If you are buying online, either purchase via a registered selling site like Ebay, Etsy, or Folksy, pay via Paypal, or if over £100 pay with a credit card (not debit). All have protection against fraudsters should you end up with a faulty product or it simply not turn up.
If you are buying a food item, carefully consider what you are buying. Do you know that person? If from a friend or family, have you seen their kitchen? Do you have any allergies? Do your children have allergies? Is that something you want to risk? Is the hot cocoa reindeer cone quality cadburys hot chocolate, or is it brown poster paint powder mixed with preserving sugar? You aren’t actually going to know until you’ve parted with your money and go to make it.
Trust your gut instincts. No honest crafter or small business will be offended if you ask for more details, and if they do, then they have something to hide.
because i want to remain 100% transparent with you, an important update — i’ve been accepted into cult beauty’s affiliate program, meaning if i link you to one of their products and you choose to buy it, i earn a percentage of the purchase at no extra cost to you. i’m much happier about this than the alternatives of amazon affiliates, because i actually like cult beauty a lot; it’s my personal go-to for skincare hauls, and i didn’t want to promote a company with whose morals i disagree.
even so, i want you to trust that everything i recommend is 100% genuine; i will link to cult beauty only when products are available there, but i encourage you to shop via your favourite retailer if you so prefer! all affiliate links will be marked as such on my posts.
I’m so excited for being with loved ones and swimming I bought 2 nice swimsuits today! A two piece and a one piece. I paid $15 extra dollars total for 2 day shipping so it’ll come before we go to J’s house. I hope they fit and I love them!
When you buy a new padded jacket, a new waterproof jacket and a pair of sandals that was meant to cost nearly £200 but you get it for £90 😁 love a cheeky sale and @amyf20 judging me for making excuses on why I need them 😂😂
I am trying to shop less on Amazon. Lately, I’m finding that they don’t even have the lowest prices. My latest gel polish order was on sale at the brand’s website; clearance even so half of what Amazon was charging. Since I’m getting a real desk for my home office, I wanted a portable drafting board and found the best price at an art supply website, even with the cost of shipping.
Unless I need something like IMMEDIATELY, or the shipping cost is too high for the purchase to be worthwhile, it’s often more cost efficient to get it somewhere other than Amazon and just wait the week. Even then, comparable prices can often be found in brick n mortar stores (when there isn’t a quarantine).
@chiconthecheap & @agirlinsandiego asked what I ordered and since I’ll probably forget I even wrote about it by the time time it ships (plus dirty rooms that have mirrors, shit selfie skills, and over all self-esteem) I decided to compile the model photos and not show pictures of me in the stuff. Maybe if things end up real cute I’ll post one or two eventually.
I struggled with the adjective to use about the order bc it feels “big” wrt $$$ it’s not actually that many cute things in the end. Their shit is expensive and only a few things in my order were on sale.
I got both the night dress and the cardigan (I know it’s summer but I just like being wrapped up in stuff; I’ll use it in the mornings when we get the air conditioner fixed!) plus some black sleep shorts to go under it so I can wear it around the house w/o making my kids uncomfortable.
I got that top AND white leggings in a bold move bc while I love white pants on other people I generally feel differently about them on me! I tried to get white jeans but they were out in my size so I went for it. Leggings are more comfortable anyway. I got that purple cami to go under the kimono, which I thought would be a fun light way to cover my butt in leggings w/o being too hot.
Not pictured: plain black leggings (middle left is a textured grey) and trying two bras. My tits have been free most of the time but I do need to go out sometimes and my bra sitch is awful. I have one left that is mostly comfortable and it has a hole in it. I have 3 others that fit but not well so *fingers crossed* 🤞🏻these will work. If they don’t I can return them and get a hundred bucks back though so that’s a comfort.