Privacy Essentials: Make yourself harder to track with Ungoogled-Chromium

Privacy Essentials: Make yourself harder to track with Ungoogled-Chromium

For a complete install in video format you can check out this post here on Youtube:

I recently watched a documentary on Netflix called The Social Dilemma. If you haven’t seen it yet, I strongly recommend you watch it. It didn’t tell me anything that I didn’t already know or assume, but it was interesting to watch none the less. I was recently looking for a way to increase my privacy online. I have been using ad blockers for the last 4-5 years on a network level already. I started out with a Raspberry Pi and installed pi-hole on it, which then helped to block stuff at a DNS level. I then moved onwards to run my own router using pfSense and installed pfBlocker with custom block lists. I still felt I should be doing more, so after some research I came across this awesome product: Ungoogled-Chromium.

The wikipedia entry sums up Chromium perfectly “Chromium is a free and open-source software project from Google. The source code can be compiled into a web browser. Google uses the code to make its Chrome browser, which has more features than Chromium. Many other browsers are also based on Chromium code, most notably Microsoft Edge and Opera. In addition, some parties (although not Google) build the code as-is and release browsers with the Chromium name.”

I knew this already, but then I found a project online that had developed a browser on chromium, but had basically severed the unintended communication to Google’s servers. Perfect. I liked the look, feel and more importantly, the snappiness of Google’s Chrome browser. This project was exactly what I was looking for.

You can find and download Ungoogled-Chromium from here:

https://github.com/Eloston/ungoogled-chromium

Or alternatively, if you’ve already got on the chocolatey bandwagon, you can simply enter this:

Choco install ungoogled-chromium -y

If you’ve not seen chocolatey before, look at my post or the video I made about it. It’s a fantastic package manager for Windows.

Once installed a quick search in the toolbar located the chrome.exe file (mine was here: C:\ProgramData\chocolatey\lib\ungoogled-chromium\tools\ungoogled-chromium_84.0.4147.135-1.1_windows\chrome.exe).

Once you have it, you will need to go through some configuration steps. I suggest the following.

  1. Set your search engine (by default nothing is enabled, so searching in the title bar won’t bring up any results).
  2. Set what you wish to block and allow access to.
  3. Set the browser to be able to use add-ons
  4. Download and install the add-ons that you wish to include.
  5. Import your bookmarks from your existing browser (in my case this was Chrome).

You can see how I set the browser up in my quick youtube tutorial I made as a companion to this guide. Below I will add only the links you need to accomplish this task easily.

Here are the settings I am comfortable with regarding blocking:

Ungoogled-Chromium Permissioning options
Ungoogled-Chromium Permissioning options

 

Next, allow the browser to enable add-ons…

chrome://flags/#extension-mime-request-handling

Set the top option to “Always prompt for install” and then relaunch.

chrome extension enabler
chrome extension enabler

 

To download and install the add-ons you wish to use with the browser, you can use this website to download the CRX files needed.

https://crxextractor.com/

Remember to click once to download and then a second time to get the CRX file. A popup should just appear allowing you to install directly into Ungoogled-Chromium.

CRX installation - enable?
CRX installation – enable?

To search for the various add-ons you would like to download and install you can search here: https://chrome.google.com/webstore/category/extensions?hl=en-GB

 

Add-ons that I recommend to help prevent you from being tracked are as follows:

Ublock Origin – https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/ublock-origin/cjpalhdlnbpafiamejdnhcphjbkeiagm?hl=en-GB

Privacy Badger – https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/privacy-badger/pkehgijcmpdhfbdbbnkijodmdjhbjlgp?hl=en-GB

Https Everywhere – https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/https-everywhere/gcbommkclmclpchllfjekcdonpmejbdp?hl=en-GB

Duckduckgo Privacy Essentials – https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/duckduckgo-privacy-essent/bkdgflcldnnnapblkhphbgpggdiikppg?hl=en-GB

Cookie Autodelete – https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/cookie-autodelete/fhcgjolkccmbidfldomjliifgaodjagh?hl=en-GB

Also a couple of other add-ons that help me:

Lastpass – https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/lastpass-free-password-ma/hdokiejnpimakedhajhdlcegeplioahd?hl=en-GB

Speed dial 2- https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/speed-dial-2-new-tab/jpfpebmajhhopeonhlcgidhclcccjcik?hl=en-GB

 

Once you’ve installed the above add-ons, go to a site that’s notorious for serving up adverts and cookies and then check up in the top right hand side. You’ll see how much stuff is getting blocked automatically.

Tracking blocked on the dailymail
Tracking blocked on the dailymail

I know nothing is fool proof. Data security is a continual cat and mouse game. I’d like to think that the above steps have made it harder to track me now. To be clear, I appreciate that we use these sites for free. I understand that whilst I’m on Website XYZ, XYZ can see what I am looking at. What I don’t like is XYZ being able to see what I was looking at prior to or after I left XYZ!

 

Do check out the video above, I show the exact steps and everything needed to get it all installed and running neatly. If it’s helpful, maybe you’d think about throwing me a like and sharing it onwards.

If you liked the content you can check out my other posts here, and also if you’re considering a renovation or trying to make your home smarter, then check out my most recent book “The Smarthome Book: Simple ideas to assist with your smarthome renovation”

Cheers!

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *