The Privacy Bundle (Basic Edition)
Everyone needs privacy software. You just can’t live in our digital world and be safe, without a few special tools and utilities and services that help to protect you.
As we’ve been building Priiv for the last few years, we thought a lot about this.
We know a lot of people aren’t overly technical—they see their phones and gadgets as practical and not some kind of hobby. They don’t want any more software or things to learn and worry about. So what is the *absolute minimum set of tools* someone like this needs?
We’ve decided this absolute minimum is:
- A password manager
- A tracking blocker
- A private search engine
- A data broker removal service
And there are two ‘options’ worth considering at this level:
- A mobile VPN
- Identity Theft Protection
Without any of these tools, it’s impossible to avoid many of the largest threats to your personal privacy and security. You can’t have adequate passwords across your life without a password manager, you can’t browse the web safely without blocking the trackers embedded into most websites, you can’t protect yourself from several kinds of risk if your entire search history is both known by advertisers and subject to subpoena, and it’s hard to quite literally *be private* if anyone in the world can look up your home address, names of your family members, and work history. These are not luxuries, they’re necessities.
In the optional category, we recommend a mobile VPN and Identity Theft Protection. A VPN keeps you safe from Free WiFi – the ones found in coffee shops, hotels and even stores. Identity theft, on the other hand, causes such a huge impact (ranging from mega-hassle to financial tsunami) that it’s a shame to not get both warnings and recovery assistance.
With those needs in mind, we set out to consider our favorite tools and choose partners for our Basic Privacy Bundle.
Note: We have broadly categories people’s privacy needs as falling across five different levels, as explained here. This bundle is called the “Basic Bundle’ because it represents the tools we think are right for someone who sets our ‘basic level’ as the one that matches their needs and goals.
We think of the basic level of privacy as being right, generally speaking, for people who have no specific areas of elevated privacy risk – they don’t manage millions of dollars or hold state secrets on their hard drive, they aren’t likely to be targeted for their political beliefs and perhaps want to keep the consequences of their privacy efforts – in terms of technical changes or inconveniences – to a minimum.
Password Manager Pick
If your passwords aren’t strong and unique for every account, your accounts aren’t secure. And no person can remember a dozen or more long unique passwords. A password manager is essential. To learn more about password managers, check out our breakdown here.
Dashlane Premium is one of the most popular, best reviewed, and most feature rich password managers on the market. It runs on Mac, Windows, iOS, and Android, and syncs your passwords across devices so you have them wherever you need them. It helps you to create strong passwords, to store them securely, and to quickly enter them into the app or web page where they are needed. For a complete overview and to learn more about all of Dashlane’s features, visit our overview here.
Mobile VPN with Tracker Blocker
Disconnect Pro delivers two important benefits in one app; adding a smart and powerful VPN to your iPhone and enabling powerful tracking blocking that runs on all device connections including our web browser and all of your apps. To learn more about Disconnect, Disconnect Pro, and Disconnect Premium, see our overview here.
We like Disconnect because it’s simple interface makes it easy to toggle into VPN mode whenever you need it, and it’s Smart VPN is so compatible you can even leave it running all of the time in most cases. It includes advanced features like DNS encryption so even your Internet Provider can’t see the websites you visit.
The built-in tracker blocker will stop literally thousands of websites and bad guys of all sorts from learning about you and your habits. Extra protection lets you dial up the safety even further for Facebook, Google, Fingerprinting (a newer tracking technology) and Cryptomining (an aggressive variety used by the online bad guys).
Public Data Broker Removal
Your personal information is for sale. If you’ve ever Googled yourself, you know that there are dozens of sites that have your name and personal details like your home address, email, relatives and more – and they’re willing to sell these details to anyone.
These websites scrape social media sites and public government records without ever getting your consent or permission, meaning hundreds of sites are selling your personal data without your knowledge. These sites are called data brokers, or people search engines, and they allow anyone with a few dollars to learn intimate details about nearly anyone. To learn more about data brokers and the risk they pose to you, check out our overview here.
Each of these sites offers some way to opt-out and remove your data, but they don’t make it easy. And with hundreds of these sites, it would take months of effort to find and execute the data removal and opt-out process yourself. Most of them re-load our data after a few months, so the battle would be never ending.
A much better option are public data removal services that do this work for you. For a fee, they automate the removal from a hundred plus sites, and monitor them to re-delete your info whenever it’s necessary. The one we like best is called Zoro – it takes your private data out of over 100 sites, you get quick notification of the progress as it works. To learn more about Zoro’s public data removal service, read our overview here.
Identity Theft Protection
Identity theft is an increasingly common threat facing most people today, especially as personal details and even credit card numbers are leaked, bought, and sold. Credit card fraud, identity fraud, and other similar kinds of attacks are made possible with the amount of information that’s likely already out there in the dark web.
Identity theft protection services offer credit and dark web monitoring services that will alert you whenever any suspicious activity occurs and will also let you know if your information has been exposed or compromised. These services may also provide insurance protection in case you do become the victim of identity theft or fraud. To learn more about what identity theft protection has to offer, check out our article here.
For this bundle we’ve partnered with IdentityForce to provide you with a comprehensive account and risk monitoring service (including social media, dark web, credit history, data breaches, medical records, financial accounts) that can alert you to any possible identity theft as or before it happens – so you can quickly take preventive or corrective action. This service also includes a managed identity restoration service, so in the case of an identity theft problem you won’t be on your own. You’ll have access to 24/7 support to help with paperwork, canceling financial accounts, and more. To learn more about IdentityForce and everything they offer, check out our review here [LINK PENDING]
Starting to protect your privacy isn’t easy. There’s a lot of new things to learn and do, and it can feel like it’s going to take a long time to really make progress. This bundle is a way to make progress fast, by securing the most crucial aspects of your digital life with a single purchase. You can trust that we’ve picked great tools, and that Priiv is going to help you get the privacy you’re paying for by showing you how to use and optimize each of these great services.
The fact that it’s a fantastic economic deal is icing on the cake. We use each of these services ourselves, so we know you’re going to love them.