This is one of those I am in the air and preloaded posts. It really has fuckall to do with mongering but I find that I use the stuff listed below in my daily life which, to be honest is mostly about being a monger.

Keeping Notes

I think I wrote before about me using Evernote to keep shit for this site organized. Over the time I used it more for other things to keep shit I wanted. It was quick and painless. The downside was that Evernote was costing me $49 a year. Not worth it.

There is a free version but it has limited upload capacity. I hit it at one point and started to pay and I just kept it. Then I discovered Google Keep.

With Google Keep I don’t have to pay shit, it’s tied into my already existing Google account and for the most part does the exact same thing. If you have a Google account you already get 15gb of storage so you don’t have to pay for shit more and there is not upload limit other than your storage space.

With Google Keep I use it bookmark stuff, keep images, notes for myself, and stuff I need to keep around. It works great and the free price is rather attractive for someone like me already invested in Google’s shit.

If you want a 3rd option you can always check out Microsofts One Note. It’s free as well but I’m not sure of limits on it or anything else. When I used it professionally the company was licensed for it and part of the Office 365 solution.

Take your pick. There is no right or wrong here. I just use Google Notes because it’s on my phone and easily accessed via a web browser.

Staying Anonymous

I really don’t exist online. I use Chrome as my browser of choice. This allows me to sync my browsing, settings, and passwords across all my devices. If I move to a new device I’m done and dusted.

With that said I use a plethora of Chrome extensions to help keep me anonymous. They range from ad blockers, to tracking, to a whole host of shit.

Here is the list of the ones I use. Feel free to use them. Some may need some tweaking but go forth and prosper.

Ad Block Plus
Extensions Update Notifier
Ghostery
Google Analytics Opt Out
HTTPS Everywhere
Personal Blocklist
Pixel Block
Privacy Badger
Protect My Choices
Web Mail Adblocker
Web Of Trust

Here are some helpful extensions that I use but aren’t privacy related.

Google Keep
Google Translate
Facebook Purity
Tab Suspender
View Image

Enjoy anonymity and productive surfing!

Get A VPN

Let me be clear here when I say get a VPN. Don’t cheap out and use a freebie. Get a real freaking VPN client you actually pay for. Too many of the free VPN services are throttled or are just collecting your data. If they can see your data they can report you. So if you don’t want to be tracked get one.

I personally use Private Internet Access. It has rated highly with Torrent Freak which is why I have it because I pull in torrents. I also use it to hide myself online.

Living in Thailand where internet is censored I use it to bypass their filters. Trust me, it’s not nefarious, they will block news sites and stuff like that. Also, when I have to do shit in the US I switch to a US address and I can access my banking and other services.

I really can’t stress using a VPN when you are out mongering or hell even at home. You can surf without your ISP seeing everything you do so when you look up midgets having sex in wetsuits while covered in cream cheese no one will call you a freak.

If for some reason you don’t want a VPN and you are marginally crazy you use 1.1.1.1 which is Cloud Flares DNS service. It encrypts your DNS requests. If you don’t know what DNS is just click on the link above. You can get the app for your phone and tablet and it will walk you through setting it on a computer.

Email Privacy

I know many of you have “monger email accounts” which is fine but keep in mind that that unless you are using a private email service, your shit is tracked. If you want a true monger email account use Hushmail or similar services.

When you use one of the freebies you are setting yourself up to get tracked. If you do something borderline or are paranoid as fuck a word of warning, the companies will usually turn your info over to a government without notifying you.

The big boys will fight a government request by rejecting it at first but if a government pushes back they will turn it over. So don’t think you are safe.

You can always self host your email account but when you register a domain name you are required to turn over info. With that info they can track you. So my suggestion is if you are the paranoid type and are worried used a paid service.

Monger Social Media Accounts

I think all of us have monger social media accounts. It’s a right of passage for all mongers. One reader of this site seems to have one for each geographic area.

Here is the deal with any social media. You are tracked the minute you hit their site and unless you are using a VPN and a secure email service they will easily be able to track you down. Fake account or not. Even with the VPN and secure email, they are good, very good at tracking you.

I already gave the privacy extensions and suggested using a VPN and secure email. My suggestion is don’t use social media for mongering. Yes, Facebook Messenger is end-to-end encryption meaning, Facebook can’t see the contents of the message but keep in mind they can see everything else.

I personally use WhatsApp and Line for my mongering communications with Facebook Messenger being the choice of last resort. In full disclosure WhatsApp is owned by Facebook.

Line is mainly used in South East Asia. My line is full of bar girls from multiple countries. Hell even I don’t know half of them or I was drunk when I got their info. Like WhatsApp, Line is encrypted but the person on the other end must have encryption turned on else it goes over clear.

Online Storage

There are lots of services out there. Dropbox, Google Drive, iCloud, Box, and One Drive. I personally use Google Drive.

Google Drive is what I use to keep files on hand that I need access too. It’s also handy for personal storage as I can keep my laptop free of sensitive data. I sync the files from a folder then remove the sync from my computer. The files stay in the cloud and I have nothing on my laptop.

If I get stopped and searched big deal. If I am feeling really paranoid I would kill the service and not have it autostart on boot up on my laptop.

The same can be done with photos from your phone. Mine being Android I just tell it to sync to Google Photos which is tied with your Google Drive storage. If you select to compress the images which is lossless (meaning nothing is lost) you get unlimited storage for photos.

Your Phone

Guys are always paranoid about their phones. You can always use an app to hide the photos on your phone. I personally don’t recommend that because if you know I can guarantee you anyone searching it will know too.

While I can’t attest for other countries, the United States cannot force you to unlock your phone. Same can be said for your laptops and everything else. You cannot be forced to login. Sure they can make you life hell but you aren’t legally required.

So with that said don’t use a finger print scan use a numeric code that it 6 digits or higher. Keep your phone turned off when you go through customs. That way they can’t access your phone without that passcode. It will wipe after so many attempts. Sure there is the drunken chance you screw it up but you be surprised at muscle memory.

Data Encryption

Data encryption is a requirement in this day and age. All my drives and devices are encrypted. I do this to prevent anyone from just making a copy of a drive and having my data. With encryption it looks like a bunch of data.

There is a tradeoff for using encryption. It does slow your computer down but it’s marginal at best. Having secure data is worth it in my opinion. If you are wanting to encrypt your data here is a handy walk through.

While I don’t have anything nefarious on my drives I do have some content I rather not be questioned about. Mainly from photographic work. While I keep my main drive at home, I do have stuff on my portable drives that would raise eyebrows. So it’s just easier to encrypt them

Encryption is a peace of mind thing for me. It’s really not required but I run to the realm of paranoid from being in IT for so long.

Digital Mongering Conclusion

I recognize that this is a long ass read but if you take the time to do so you will start to cover yourself while you roam the world. Many of us go to sketchy places with questionable governments. It’s better to err on the side of caution then not.

So as you physically monger remember to get your digital monger safe as well.

Spanky