10 Trusted Bitcoin Exchanges to Buy BTCs Safely

In the recent years, Bitcoin has catapulted into popularity all over the world. Even though there are many Bitcoin alternatives, still it the most famous anc most expensive cryptocurrency in the market.

If you’re planning to start into Bitcoin trading, you need to have a reliable exchange platform that suits your needs and allows you to track Bitcoin value with ease.

This being the case, I’m listing below the most trusted bitcoin exchanges. The below list is compiled based on comments, feedbacks and experiences of numerous people.

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Binance is considered one of the biggest cryptocurrency exchanges in terms of the trading volume. Founded back in 2017, it has gained significant popularity among crypto traders all over the world owing to its high-speed trade execution.

Binance deals with more than a hundred cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin and offers the most competitive rates in the market. Moreover, it is a secure platform and allows different payment methods for users to buy cryptocurrencies.


  • Two-factor authentication.
  • Low buying fee (non-instant and instant).
  • A wide range of cryptocurrencies.
  • Numerous extra services.


  • A bit overwhelming for beginners.
  • Hiccups in account verification.
  • Not available in seven U.S. states.
  • Non-transparent corporate structure.
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Coinmama supports exchanging bitcoins, enabling you to buy bitcoins using a credit or debit card. What I like is, it secures and encrypts your personal information on dedicated servers as its traders’ security is its prior motive. You can also buy bitcoins with cash after you’ve provided the required documents and verified your account.


  • Easy navigation and attractive user interface.
  • Allows purchasing bitcoins with cash.
  • Your privacy and security is on Coinmama’s priority list.
  • Coinmama supports various credit or debit cards including VISA, MasterCard, etc.
  • Good affiliate program that offers 15% of Coinmama’s commission to the referrals.


  • Fees are high.
  • You cannot sell bitcoins.
  • All of its functions are not available in some countries.
  • It supports payment by only credit/debit cards and not PayPal.



Coinbase is one of the effective mediums to trade bitcoin, ether, and litecoin. Coinbase supports over 32 countries; letting you trade using your local currency. Amazingly, your digital assets are stored in an offline storage, and its multi-signature vault gives you more control over your funds. It also provides apps for Android and iOS devices.

What I like is; Coinbase protects your digital assets with its insurance policy, i.e., you’re protected even if the exchange lose your funds due to a hack or system failure. Moreover, it also lets you schedule your purchases monthly or weekly to invest with discipline.


  • It has easy and clean interface suitable for new users.
  • You can set automatic payments to buy cryptocurrencies.
  • Coinbase maintains high security towards your stored digital assets.
  • Its insurance policy protects your digital currencies stored on its servers.


  • Various countries are not supported including India, China, Russia, Germany, etc.
  • It has limited payment methods like credit/debit cards, bank deposit, and PayPal.
  • It poses certain limitations on trading bitcoins.
  • Its transaction fees are high.
Easy Low Average Average Trusted High



It is a peer-to-peer exchange that enables you to post exchange ads stating exchange rate and payment methods for trading bitcoins. That means, LocalBitcoins is a person-to-person bitcoin exchange where you can buy and sell bitcoins. Its web wallet stores your bitcoins from where you can sell them or transfer them to your personal bitcoin wallet.

What I like is all online trades on LocalBitcoins are protected with escrow system to avoid frauds and scams, similarly to escrow system on freelance job sites or other peer-to-peer sites. Interestingly, you can also enhance your account’s security by enabling 2-factor authentication and login guard to protect your account from unauthorized logins.


  • It lets you trade bitcoins in 248 countries including Bangladesh, Belgium, Brazil, Greece, India, Japan, Switzerland, and many more.
  • It supports various payment methods including PayPal and credit card.
  • Its escrow system protects you from online frauds.
  • It provides various methods for improving security.


  • Chances of scams are high if precautions aren’t taken.
  • It’s expensive to buy with credit cards and PayPal.
  • Fees can be higher if you’re trading using cash because people are ready to pay extra for the privacy offered while trading with cash on LocalBitcoins.



CEX.IO encrypts your complete data and provides strong security to your account. It supports almost 99% of countries and executes orders quickly. What fascinated me about CEX.IO is, it supports the popular payment methods and avails downloadable reports.

Surprisingly, it also supports margin trading and automatic funds borrowing along with numerous features for professional traders. CEX.IO protects your account against DDoS attacks, and it’s compliant with PCI DSS standards like above given secure exchanges.


  • CEX.IO supports the various payment methods including credit/debit cards (VISA and MasterCard), bank transfer (SWIFT and SEPA), and coins (BTC and ETH).
  • 0% trade fee for makers, and special conditions for high-volume traders.


  • It supports US dollars, euros and rubles only.
  • High fees is charged for trading bitcoins.
  • Bank withdrawals might be expensive.
  • Its interface may not seem easy to new users.
Average Low Average Average Trusted Average



Bitstamp is a safe bitcoin exchange that secures your digital funds offline like many others. What I like is, it offers transparent volume-based pricing with zero hidden charges. Users can trade instantly using the major credit cards or the popular cryptocurrencies. Bitstamp supports trading in various coins and suits newbies as well as professional traders.


  • Boasts to be first fully-licensed exchange by Luxembourg’s Ministry of Finance.
  • It supports instant trading with the major credit cards like VISA and MasterCard.
  • Provides strong security by storing 98% of funds offline and having yearly audits.
  • Supports exchanging using the major fiat currencies like US dollars and euros, and popular cryptocurrencies like ETH, XRP, LTC, etc.


  • Withdrawals are not instant and may take 2 – 5 days.
  • Trading fees are higher if you are trading lower volume.



Kraken is a professional bitcoin exchange that offers high liquidity and implements high security and keeps funds in cold storage. Surprisingly, it offers leveraged bitcoin margin trading and features advanced order types for professional traders. This exchange’s funds are cryptographically verified and maintains very robust security standards.


  • High liquidity in trades.
  • Charges as low as 0% based on volume.
  • Kraken offers solid security including encrypted cold storage.
  • Supports numerous currencies including US & Canadian dollars, pounds and yens.


  • Support response are delayed at sometimes.
  • Depositing currencies can be expensive in US and Canada.
  • You may require documents like identity proof and residence proof for opening an advanced type of account on the Kraken platform, like opening a bank account.
Hard Low Average Low Trusted High



BitBay is an easy-to-use trading platform that supports fast withdrawals and deposits. It keeps your account secured using 2-factor authentication, and notifies every account activity directly for safety purposes. I liked its “Instant Buying” and “Instant Selling” options which works just like you’re buying from or selling to BitBay immediately.


  • “Instant Buying” and “Instant Selling” options lets you trade quickly.
  • Supports trading using popular fiat currencies like US dollars and euros.
  • Various tools are integrated with BitBay such as Bitcoin Ticker, TabTrader, Bitcoin Checker, etc. for advanced trading on this platform.
  • Good affiliate program that offers 20% of BitBay’s commission to referrals.


  • Fees can be high for international customers.
  • Beginners might find the interface as difficult.
  • You need to verify your account to avail all of its functions.



It is a bitcoin exchange which is feature-packed and built on the best technology, letting you buy and sell effortlessly. HitBTC incorporates advanced encryption technology and 2-factor authentication to give you peace of mind and help you trade safely. It consists of a fast and responsive interface that lets you trade easily without any registration process.


  • 2-factor authentication is enabled.
  • No registration is required to start trading bitcoins.
  • It provides robust security including advanced encryption and cold storage.
  • Supports trading many cryptocurrencies like BTC, ETH, XMR, DASH, LTC, BCC, etc.


  • Its interface is not as easy as Coinbase.
  • Its account verification process can be time-consuming.
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Here are a few more:


This Hong Kong-headquartered bitcoin exchange is appealing for both traders and investors. The website is less flashy than the rest but practical. OKCoin is best for experienced traders with high familiarity with trading tools and platforms.

Best for: Traders

Choose another exchange if: You are not a trader.


As the name suggests, BitQuick is all about speed. How it operates is similar to LocalBitcoins where you buy and sell from other individuals. Buying bitcoins will incur 2% fee. However selling bitcoins are free.

Best for: Fast transactions

Choose another exchange if: Speed isn’t a factor.


Circle is a pretty-looking platform and suitable for light to casual bitcoin users. Marketed first as a user-friendly payment platform with chat integration, you can link debit card, credit card or bank account to send money via Bitcoin’s blockchain to friends and family.

Best for: New bitcoin users who need funds transfer solution rather than holding bitcoin

Choose another exchange if: You truly want to keep the bitcoin or blockchain part invisible.


This bitcoin service provider is known better as one of the top bitcoin debit card providers. E-Coin is included in this list as they allow indirect bitcoin purchase with PayPal, which is rare. You can also buy bitcoins with PayPal with other services such as Paxful – both options incur higher fees.

Best for: Buying bitcoins with Paypal (by topping up the virtual debit card with funds from PayPal)

Choose another exchange if: You don’t want or like the idea of bitcoin debit cards.

Which should you choose?

Well, it depends on your requirements. What I mean to say is first of all, think what are your requirements apart from safety and security, and then choose one of the above services. For example, do you need to exchange or trade, do you need to use mobile app, etc.

If you ask me, if I’d need an easy to use exchange service, I’ll go for Coinbase. If I’d need total privacy of my identity and funds, then I’ll choose LocalBitcoins and trade directly with the seller in cash. And apart from your requirements, you must also check if your chosen service is available and supported in your country before looking for any more info.

Hope you find this post helpful. Happy trading!

The post 10 Trusted Bitcoin Exchanges to Buy BTCs Safely appeared first on Hongkiat.


5 Ways to Connect Wireless Headphones to TV

Having a fairly new model TV, I expected it to have built-in Bluetooth support so I could connect my wireless Bluetooth headphones. But, I was proved wrong after spending multiple hours messing around with TV settings and the manual.

However, after digging up the internet I actually found multiple ways to connect wireless headphones to your TV, even if it’s an old CRT TV which I am going to share with in this post. Let’s get into it.

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1. TV’s built-in Bluetooth support

Bluetooth is the best way to connect your wireless headphones to your TV. Many TVs don’t have Bluetooth support enabled by default but it can be found in the service manual.

All TVs have a hidden service menu that technicians use to enable/disable features and fix issues. However, accessing the service menu isn’t really that easy. You will need the specific service menu code of your TV brand.

Not to worry though, you can search for service menu code for your TV on this website. They have service menu codes for LCD, LED, Plasma, and even CRT TVs of all brands. Use the search bar at the top to enter your TV brand and model.

  1. Once you are inside the service menu, look for Bluetooth section inside the Options. Usually inside the Engineering menu (for Samsung TVs at least).
  2. Enable the Bluetooth option and restart the TV.
  3. Go to sound options of your TV and you should find the Bluetooth option under the sound output section.
  4. Use this option to search for your headphones and connect.

Although this solution didn’t work in my case, but people do find the Bluetooth option through the service manual.

2. Using a Bluetooth audio transmitter

A simple Bluetooth audio transmitter can give your TV Bluetooth support. It’s a tiny chargeable device that plugs into the 3.5mm audio output jack of the TV and gives it Bluetooth audio transmission capability. Afterward, I just had to connect the two devices and boom, music to my ears.

These Bluetooth adaptors are available in abundance and you can get it for as low as $ 5. However, I will recommend you to buy a quality product if you are going to use it for watching TV. Audio latency can be a huge issue when picking up the right transmitter. Even a slight latency can really kill your experience.

My recommendation would be to go for Trond Bluetooth Transmitter. It has two-way audio transmission and you won’t notice any latency at all. You can easily get a similar high-quality Bluetooth audio transmitter.


3. Take advantage of any secondary devices

If you use any other device along with your TV, check if it has Bluetooth support. Devices such as media streamers or gaming consoles usually have Bluetooth support to transmit audio over Bluetooth.

For example, Roku has a jack on its remote where you can plug in the headphones to listen to audio wirelessly. And both Playstation and XBox have Bluetooth support to transmit audio.


Chromecast can also be made to transmit audio via Bluetooth. You just need to connect your headphones to the phone/laptop that is working as Chromecast controller.

4. Use an RF wireless headphone

If all the above methods don’t work for you, you might like to consider buying an RF (Radio Frequency) wireless headphone. These headphones have a wireless transmitter that connects to your TV’s audio output jack and sends audio to the headphone using radio frequency.

Of course, they come with their own advantages and disadvantages. Their main advantage is their huge range, as you can listen to the audio up to 300ft. Additionally, they are also quite cheap, even the best RF headphones are under $ 80.

The problem with RF headphones is that their audio quality can be affected by other electronic devices that are working on similar radio frequency. Usually, they work on radio frequency anywhere between 900 MHz to 3200 MHz. So the devices such as cordless phones, microwave, and even another RF headphone can mess with the audio quality.

However, if you can keep such devices away from the RF headphones, then they can be a perfect alternative to Bluetooth headphones that is actually more powerful and cheaper.

If you’re convinced to give RF wireless headphones a try, then I’ll recommend you to try out Sennheise RS175 that’s both affordable and offers reliable features.


5. Use Infrared wireless headphone

Infrared headphones are a good alternative to RF headphones as they face no audio quality degradation no matter how many interfering electronics are nearby. Their setup process is same as RF headphones, you attach a transmitter to the TV audio output jack and the headphone catches infrared signals to receive audio.

However, you may have to separately buy an infrared transmitter if your TV does support infrared output or the headphones don’t come with one. Infrared IR Audio Transmitter is a good infrared transmitter if you need one.


The problem with infrared headphones is that you need to make sure nothing physical comes directly between the headphones and the transmitter. Which means, you cannot move to another room while listening to your favorite show. Although someone passing by between you and the transmitter won’t cause any problem.

Infrared headphones are also known to offer best sound quality and never face latency issue. You can also connect a single transmitter to multiple headphones. Best of all, you can easily get a high-quality infrared headphone for less than $ 50. Just check out this XO Vision Infrared Headphone, for a low price you get comfortable headphones with reliable features such as auto shut-off and volume controls.


Overall infrared headphones are great alternative wireless headphones that offer high-quality audio for a cheap price with a tiny drawback. As you will be using them with your TV, you should have no problem making a clear connection while sitting in front of the TV.


Bluetooth connection is the best way to go thanks to its reliable connectivity. So you should try to focus on first three methods in this post. Like me, if you already have a Bluetooth headphone, then investing in a Bluetooth transmitter is a sound choice.

However, the affordability and quality sound RF headphones and infrared headphones have to offer should not be neglected.

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The post 5 Ways to Connect Wireless Headphones to TV appeared first on Hongkiat.


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The Best Free Cryptocurrencies Portfolio Tracking Spreadsheet

If you’re into cryptocurrencies and have a portfolio of assets lying around in one or two or more marketplaces, at one point I’m sure you’ve thought about having an all-in-one dashboard where you can just login and see if everything is going to the moon or not.

Sure, you can have your phone widget or ticker that will show you the price changes in the past hour, or you can simply open Binance to check the prices… but will you see how much you have, your assets’ value in fiat, the daily changes, charts, and other attributes you’d like to see at a glance, in one page? I don’t think so.

Sure, you can build one yourself if you have decent skills with Google Sheets or Excel, but why should you invent the wheel from scratch when you can just copy these free templates?

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1. /u/Fly115’s Cryptoprices Spreadsheet

Cyptocurrency spreadsheet tracker Cryptoprices

Reddit user /u/Fly115’s live crypto tracker can track up to 5000 cryptocurrencies, and supports moons on /r/cryptocurrency subreddit. With this spreadsheet, you can track your trading gain and loss in BTC and fiat.

The great thing about this? Fly115 has been working on this tracker for a couple of years now, and it is already on its 14th version.

That said, you can compare how altcoins are faring compared to Bitcoin. Not only that, it can also keep track of all the amount of coins you’ve had since you started, and how the balances have worked throughout. This is particularly useful if you live in a country that actively taxes your crypto gains.

Aside from the rows and columns that you’re used to seeing when it comes to spreadsheets, it also has charts so you can visually see the dips and spikes of your coins.

Key Features:

  • Can track up to 5,000 coins.
  • Tracks trading gain and loss.
  • Constantly being updated on Reddit (now on its 14th version).
  • Has nice charts for easy visual analysis.

2. Ahmet BÜTÜN’s Crypto Tracker

Cyptocurrency spreadsheet tracker Ahmet BUTUN

Ahmet’s crypto tracker is a straightforward tracker that you can use to keep a close watch of your crypto portfolio. The setup is a bit technical, but if you have a bit of knowledge in Google Sheets or Excel, you will fare well.

The tracker does not give you live tracking, but it is near-live. You can automatically update the prices in increments of 5 minutes or more.

In order to add cryptos, you will have to use Google Sheet functions, which are available for copy/pasting on the link above. You will also need to edit the script a little bit to adjust the trigger for refresh, but it shouldn’t be too difficult to do.

Key Features:

  • For technical users since it utilizes Google Sheet functions to make changes.

3. Tario Sultan’s Crypto Tracker (Google Sheet + Add-On)

Cyptocurrency spreadsheet tracker using Cryptofinance

Tario Sultan’s crypto tracker is another comprehensive portfolio tracker for cryptocurrency investors. The only downside here is that it piggybacks on the paid service Cryptofinance, but it has a free trial of 1 week.

Once that trial expires, you can still use its free features to keep track of your coins, but you’ll lose access to advanced tools that are useful for active trading. But then again, if you’re making money through your trades, a few dollars won’t hurt for a premium experience, right?

Key Features:

  • Uses Cryptofinance.
  • Tracks trades, volume changes, portfolio value changes.
  • Has nice graph indicators at a glance.

4. Cryptosheets (has free tier)

Cyptocurrency spreadsheet tracker Cryptosheets

Cryptosheets is a SaaS that does all the grunt work for you. It appeals to both hobbyists, analysts, and investors, so you can imagine how in-depth its features are.

It can integrate with both Google Sheets and Excel, and has pre-built templates and functions that you can use with just a few clicks.

It also supports hundreds of crypto exchanges, over 200,000 crypto assets, and derivatives. Compared to other services that tracks crypto for a fee, Cryptosheets’ free tier is extensive enough to keep you happy, but if you’re taking things seriously, then the price for upgrading isn’t bad either.

Key Features:

  • Supports over 200,000 crypto assets.
  • Has pre-built templates you can use immediately.
  • Uses Cryptosheets’ free plan.

5. CoinGecko

Cyptocurrency spreadsheet tracker Coingecko

Who doesn’t know CoinGecko? It’s just one of the biggest cryptocurrency trackers in the world. It tracks over 8,000 cryptocurrencies, supports 400+ exchanges, and aggregates millions of data daily to provide an accurate report to millions of people worldwide.

That said, they also have their own API which can be integrated with Google Sheets. With their API, you can build your own cryptocurrency portfolio tracker, crypto tracker (of coins you own or are planning on buying), and analysis of coins where you can track the volume changes, price changes, and other indicators.

If you’re not very familiar with coding, you’ll probably need to spend a bit of time understanding CoinGecko’s guide linked above, but it shouldn’t be too difficult!

Key Features:

  • One of the biggest crypto tracker in the world.
  • An actual dashboard that will help you analyze risks, price changes, volume changes, etc.

6. CoinAtlas’ Investment Tracker

Cyptocurrency spreadsheet tracker CoinAtlas

CoinAtlas’ investment tracker is a free Google Spreadsheet template for crypto and stock investors. That’s right, it’s not just for cryptocurrencies, but actual stocks. It piggybacks on the Google Finance function where it pulls data directly from the stock market, and from CoinGecko for cryptocurrencies.

It is a 100% free tool that does calculations automatically and updates your history and the coins you are tracking dynamically.

The setup is relatively easy too. The template itself has the guide you’ll need to set up everything.

Key Features:

  • Pretty spreadsheet with charts and graphs.
  • Can be used for both Cryptocurrencies and the Stock Market.

7. Yogofubi’s Crypto Market Cycle “What If” Spreadsheet

Cyptocurrency spreadsheet tracker, visualize risks

Compared to the previous entries, Yogofubi’s crypto market spreadsheet is not a tracker of your trades, history, and coins, but more like a tool that helps you visualize your risks.

If used correctly, it will help you decide whether it’s time to sell or buy, or if you’re at risk of losing money based on the trades that you’ll want to make. But of course you’ll still need to keep an open mind and do your research.

Think of it as a “what if I buy X coin at $ 50,000, but days later it goes up to $ 60,000, how much would I be losing or earning then?” kind of thing.

Key Features:

  • Not a trade or asset tracker, but a risk assessment spreadsheet.
  • Prediction spreadsheet.

8. Transilvlad and MindupLife’s CryptoBooks

Cyptocurrency spreadsheet tracker CryptoBooks

Cryptobooks is a spreadsheet designed by Redditors who are deeply into cryptocurrencies. It utilizes Google Finance functions and CoinGecko, so you can keep track of both stocks and cryptos with a little bit of tinkering.

It also hooks up with CryptoCompare, which is a paid service but its free account enables users to make up to 100,000 requests, so if you are a light user, this might just be the perfect tool for you.

Key Features:

  • Has an in-depth structure with graphs, colors, etc.
  • Utilizes CyptoCompare. Allows for 100,000 requests for free users.

9. Emmte’s Cryptocurrency Portfolio Tracker

Cyptocurrency spreadsheet tracker Portfolio tracker

Without going much into the technicalities that built this tracker, you can just simply create a copy of the spreadsheet and fill in the Config sheet with the necessary information so you can get started with pulling your data from various marketplaces.

It supports Kraken, Bittrex, Poloniex, Binance, Cryptopia, Kucoin, and Bitstamp. You just have to get your Key and Secret from your accounts in those marketplaces and the spreadsheet will start keeping track of your coins for you, including your deposits, gains and losses, etc.

Key Features:

  • Supports 7 of the biggest marketplaces: Binance, Kraken, Bittrex, Poloniex, Bitstamp, and others.
  • Tracks deposits, gains, losses, trades.

10. Shan Eapen Koshy’s Crypto Portfolio Tracker

Cyptocurrency spreadsheet tracker WazirX

For cryptocurrency investors in India, WazirX remains to be one of the primary crypto marketplaces, but it is not that well known outside of the country so there isn’t much chance to create a tracker out of their API unless you make one yourself.

So it’s really great that Shan Eapen Koshy published a guide on how to make one, and provided a free template to keep track of your portfolio in WazirX through Google Sheets.

Key Features:

  • Built for WazirX users in India.
  • Straightforward tracker of assets.

To End

So, did you find the perfect crypto price and trade tracker for you? Most likely if you’re heavily invested in this, you’ll need more than the items listed above, but hey, it’s a good start for hobbyists! While you’re at it, you might as well start tinkering and learn how to work with spreadsheets – it will come a long way!

In any case, I hope your portfolio goes to the moon!

The post The Best Free Cryptocurrencies Portfolio Tracking Spreadsheet appeared first on Hongkiat.


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Advanced Tips and Tricks for Better Online Privacy and Security

With social networks and tons of places to spend time online it is important to be aware of security measures you can take and what pitfalls to avoid. With the default stock configuration of your systems and browsers, you should be safe but whether you are safe enough depends on how seriously you take your safety and privacy online.

The need of the hour is to move beyond simple security measures and opt for advance techniques like data encryption and two-factor authentication etc. to have a safe, secure and private online experience. Here are some of safety measures you should know of and take heed, to make yourself safer online.

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Check for telltale signs

There are a few telltale signs that indicate a problem or something fishy with a site.

Always Check for Telltale Signs
  1. Padlock icons: Green padlock is good but any other color (orange, yellow or red) indicates a issue.
  2. HTTPS in the address bar: HTTPS means the site is on a secure connection (and safe from prying eyes). By January 2017, Chrome will label HTTP connections as not secure.
  3. Phishing and malware alerts: Such alerts given by the browser means the site is insecure to visit and must not be viewed, in any case.
  4. Suspicious attachments in email: Emails with suspicious attachments are likely spam and may lead to phishing attacks
Always Check for Telltale Signs

These are the indicators that the website or page you’re viewing is not safe/secure, known of having malware or exploited for malicious use like cheating people, hacking into their data, etc. There is also danger in the handling of payment details leading to potential thefts or other attacks.

Avoid sharing info with strangers (or new friends)

With the increasing use of social networks, we run the risk of oversharing what we shouldn’t. If we are not careful this could lead to identity theft issues or stalking cases.

If you are not familiar with privacy or security settings, here are a few tools and posts with tips you can use to configure privacy settings in popular social networks.


Always have alternative email addresses

The selling of email addresses and personal data is rampant online, not to mention very easy to look up. Apart from that hacking cases also lead to the exposure of user data pertaining to online accounts. Here is where having alternate emails can be of use.

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Using just one email everywhere may allow malicious people to get hold of and target the email for spam or identity theft. It’s a good idea to have an alternative email, for sending mail to strangers, signing up for newsletters or to filling up forms at unknown or untrusted websites.

This second email gets all the inevitable spam or unwanted emails while the official email remains clean and unexposed. Additionally, you can always forward important emails from the second address to your primary email and set a filter to keep those mail in a separate folder.

Simply add the second email to the first email’s account (using SMTP) and send mail as the second email directly from your official email only. This way your primary email account is nicely organized, free from spam, and even you don’t need to login to another account to do less secure tasks.

For creating a side or temporary email account, you can always use one of the popular email providers or go for a temporary/anonymous email provider:

Always have One or Two Alternative Email Addresses
  1. Zoho Mail – One of the leading email providers wherein you can create a separate account for third-party emailing.
  2. Trashmail – A super-easy temporary email provider that doesn’t ask you to register an address – you just need to use it.
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Also included are tips and tutorials for managing your mailbox with multiple email ids in a single inbox for popular email providers:

  1. How to forward emails in Gmail, Outlook and Yahoo Mail
  2. How to use/configure filters in Gmail, Outlook and Yahoo Mail
  3. How to send mails from different or secondary email address or using an alias in Gmail, Outlook and Yahoo Mail

Avoid logging into personal accounts at the workplace

Keeping business and leisure separate is always a good idea, especially when it is to do with personal accounts at the workplace. Avoid using your personal email address at work and never access private accounts like your bank account while at work.

If you’re really required to access your personal accounts for any reason, then do remember to do a security check using an anti-malware app. (Check out Malwarebytes).

Moreover, if you’re the owner or admin of your system and look for any suspicious program (though it’s hard to easily find a tracking software as it’s mostly hidden).

Avoid Logging into Personal Accounts at Workplace

As an alternative solution, you can always use your smartphone coupled with data pack to send personal emails without getting tracked anyhow by your employer.

If you’re using the same on your employer’s WiFi, then do consider using Tor or a VPN (discussed below) or encrypting the mail contents for safety (discussed below too).

Enable two-factor authentication

Do Enable Two-factor Authentication

Two-factor authentication is a security mechanism that asks for a second key or passphrase in addition to the password. The same has been long used by high security systems (in the form of RSA hard tokens), but it is now generated and sent through text or email or generated using a smart app.

Two-factor authentication keeps away snoopers from accessing your online accounts – even if they get their hands on your passwords somehow. Here are some notable 2FA apps you should be using:

  1. Google Authenticator
  2. Authy
  3. Microsoft Authenticator

Use Tor or a VPN service

Do Use Tor or a VPN Service

Tor is an online traffic router and encryptor, letting everyone believe you’re using the web from a different location and encrypting your traffic to safeguard against prying eyes.

A VPN is a traffic encryptor for disguising and securing your web data to avoid tracking and censorship from hackers, employers, ISPs and governments.

Using Tor or a VPN prevents third parties from monitoring your activities and keeps you safe from various types of hacks and attacks. Both technologies route your web sessions inside encrypted tunnels to safeguard your privacy.

10 Best VPN Services to Secure Your Online Activities

10 Best VPN Services to Secure Your Online Activities

Everything is being tracked nowadays, from your activities on the internet to your phone and computer. Each click,… Read more

One can think of this tunnel as a private, self-owned phone wire between you and Tor network or the VPN provider. This guarantees that no other person can check or track your online activities or look into your data.

Check below for how to download and setup Tor or the popular VPNs easily:

  1. Tor – Peer-to-peer, free traffic router for and by privacy enthusiasts (Download | How to install)
  2. CyberGhost – Popular and free VPN service known and trusted for its quality (Download | How to install)
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20 Free VPN Services – Best of

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Encrypt everything

Encrypt Everything

Encryption packages the private data including passwords, financials, images and videos inside password-protected containers that works like ‘a box with a lock‘. That locked box can be opened only by you and other authorized parties (having password). This will help you keep your communications private and hence avoid various types of attacks or thefts.

Check below some of the tools that help encrypt your emails, IMs, online documents, data on cloud storages, etc.:

  1. Tutanota – Inspired by the FOSS principle, it offers a completely free, encrypted email service out of the box.
  2. Hushmail – Provides enhanced security features to keep your emails safe and protected (including attachments).
  3. ChatCrypt – Encrypts your messages, making them readable only by the participants having the same secret password.
  4. Cyph – A free in-browser messenger app with built-in end-to-end encryption for having private, encrypted conversations.
  5. DocSecrets – An add-on for Google Docs that encrypts sensitive information (like passwords) and highlights the secret texts.
  6. Cryptomator – A free client-side encryption tool to encrypt your files before sending or storing them at any online cloud storage.
  7. SecureGmail – A free tool from Streak to send encrypted mails using your favorite Gmail (receiver is asked for password to read).
  8. Mailvelope – An open source mail encryption tool that works for Gmail, Outlook, Yahoo Mail and few others.
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More apps:
  1. Ghostery – Protects you from the unknown trackers and gives you the power to manage your personal data.
  2. Disconnect – Supports private browsing and searching, and prevents malware and adware from websites to track your activities.
  3. Adblock Plus – Blocks various trackers, annoying ads, compromised domains, pop-ups as well as video ads while surfing the web.
  4. Privacy Badger – Blocks the spying ads and invisible trackers from monitoring your online actions (and comes from EFF).

Use Ad-blocker plugins

Do Use Tracking-Blocker Plugins

Tracking-blocker plugins are browser extensions that help you get rid of online trackers, ad agencies and other organizations that tracks and feeds on your data. Such trackers keep record of everything you do online (which websites you visit, what searches you make, which ads you click, etc.).

Using tracking-blocker or ad-blocker plugins in your browser lets you browse the web privately with no one monitoring your online activities for monetary profits. It also minimizes page-loading time and saves your Internet bandwidth (by small ratio, though).

Find below the links to download and set up such cross-browser, cross-platform plugins:

Understand browser cookies

Most of the sites install cookies in your browser, which are used for tracking your session data and user’s login information as long as you’re browsing the same website.

Some cookies are also used for cross-site tracking, to serve adware and show irritating pop-ups. Hackers can, unfortunately, hijack these to gain access to your logged-in accounts.

Install cookie management tools

To prevent cookies from tracking your data or revealing important information, you need to manage cookies using cookie management tools.

Such tools give you total control over cookies in the browser – view, manage or clear/delete them. By storing the right cookies and deleting all suspicious or sensitive cookies (that holds login or account info), you can be sure they won’t compromise security of your data or logged-in accounts.

  1. Cookie Manager – A Google Chrome add-on that lets you add, edit and delete cookies through the toolbar.
  2. Firebug – A Firefox add-on that manages cookies in your browser and helps filter and delete them easily.
  3. IECookiesView – A third-party tool that details all cookies in the Internet Explorer and assists you in managing them.
Understand Browser Cookies

Did you find it helpful to secure your online experience? Do you know any more tips? Please share your knowledge and experience with us through comments section below.

The post Advanced Tips and Tricks for Better Online Privacy and Security appeared first on Hongkiat.


10 Reasons Why You Should Switch to Opera Browser Right Now

Opera is one of the most underrated browsers out there. Even though it usually pops up in the most-popular browser lists, only a fraction of total users use it (W3schools puts the figure at around 1% for 2016). Still the numbers add up to about 60 mil users on desktop and twice that on Opera Mini for Android.

Despite its lower usage numbers, many of the awesome features you use in your favorite non-Opera browser are either introduced by Opera or turned mainstream by it. The speed dial, private/incognito window, pop-up blocker, tabbed browsing, ability to turn off images and browser sessions are some of the features that originated from Opera.

I have extensively used both Firefox and Chrome and switched to Opera almost a year ago and never looked back. I found many good reasons to ditch other browsers in favor of Opera, and in this post I’ll share all of them with you.

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1. It’s not a resource hog

This is definitely a deal breaker/maker if you tire of browsers like Chrome and Firefox slowing down your PC. Opera is a resource-friendly browser that focuses on using less of your PC and Internet resources.

Many of its features are made to strip down resource usage (more on them later). As a result, you experience fewer hiccups and hang ups when on Opera.

2. It has a built-in ad blocker

Opera has a built-in ad blocker which eliminates the need to use a third-party ad blocker. Opera claims that their ad blocker can block all types of ads and speed up the load time of websites up to 90%.

Opera’s ad blocker is built-in and blocks ads at web engine level. So it is lighter on the resources and offers a faster page load time.

opera adblocker

Opera tested its ad blocker against Chrome running the popular Adblock Plus extension. With tests on 66 different websites, Opera’s ad blocker was 45% faster as compared to Chrome with Adblock Plus installed.

To enable ad blocker in Opera, go to Settings from the main Opera menu and enable it in the “Basic” section.

3. Opera’s “Battery Saver” mode

Opera recently added a battery saver feature that can extend the battery life of your laptop up to 50%. When your laptop is unplugged or when you enable the feature manually, Opera will tweak different settings to become light on the battery without sacrificing performance.

Some of the tweaks include, pausing unused plugins, pausing theme animations, reducing background tabs activity and less interactions with CPU by changing JavaScript schedule.

opera battery saver

Opera compared battery saver with Chrome and found it to extend battery life by 50%.

4. It has built-in VPN

Opera has a built-in free VPN without any limitations that you can start using with a click of a button.

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To enable Opera VPN, go to Settings and move to the “Privacy & security” section. Here, check “Enable VPN” to enable it.

opera build-in vpn

This will add a “VPN” button at the start of your address bar that you can click to turn on/off the VPN. You can choose from five virtual locations: USA, Germany, Canada, Singapore and Netherlands. The VPN works great and doesn’t show any ads or throttle browsing speed.

5. You can use Chrome extensions in Opera

Opera has limited choices when it comes to extensions. Fortunately, Chrome and Opera are based on the same platform (chromium) and as such, Opera can easily run most Chrome extensions. All you need is the Download Chrome Extension for Opera.

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Once you have installed this extension in Opera, you will see that the “Add to Chrome” button in the Chrome store as been replaced with “Add to Opera

Just click on it to install your favorite Chrome extensions in Opera. I am using many of my favorite Chrome extensions like Avast Safe Price, The Great Suspender, Lazarus and Note Board in Opera without any problems.

6. Opera Turbo

Opera has a built-in data compression system called Opera Turbo that uses Opera’s servers to compress data. When Opera Turbo is enabled, less data will be downloaded leading to less internet data usage (good if you have limited data). Additionally, the loading speed of pages will also increase.

However, do keep in mind that compression only works on unencrypted websites (http). Opera cannot intercept data from encrypted (https) websites. You can enable Opera Turbo from the main Opera menu at the top left corner.

7. Speed Dial

Opera’s renowned Speed Dial replaces your homepage with speed dial to your frequently accessed websites. You can simply bookmark websites and pages you need to access frequently to speed dial, and you will be able to quickly access them from the home page.

speed dial opera

IMAGE: Opera.com

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The speed dial makes the home page look really cool and your default search engine is at the top to let you quickly search the web.

8. Opera News Digest

Opera offers a curated news digest based on your interest from your selected list of news websites. Click on Opera main menu and select “News” from it

Here you can tell Opera which language and country to offer curated news about (multiple options can be selected).

opera news digest

After that, specify categories in which you are interested, including arts, business, entertainment, food, sports, science, travel, technology and many more.

Opera will then create a news digest with latest articles from categories you selected. This news digest will update frequently as the sources are update.

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9. Pop-Out Videos

On YouTube and other video sharing websites, the video is only visible as long as you stay in its section. If you will move to comments or recommended videos, the video playing will be left behind. However, this won’t happen with Opera.

Opera adds a tiny Pop-out video button at the top of videos. Click on it to pop-out another instance of the video.

opera pop-out video

Now you can scroll down the page and that instance of the video will be visible to you all the times. Best of all, even if you leave the website, the pop-out video will still be visible.

This is perfect if you need to follow troubleshooting instructions or tutorials on another tab and would like to keep the video in view all the time.

10. Customize Keyboard Shortcuts

If you are a keyboard shortcuts fanatic but don’t like the default keyboard shortcuts offered by your browser, then you will be pleased to know that Opera lets you bind your own keyboard shortcuts

In Opera Settings, move to “Browser” section and scroll down to “Shortcuts” option. Now click on the “Configure shortcuts” button and you will see a full list of supported keyboard shortcuts.

opera pop-out video

Here you can click on each shortcut to either replace it with another or add multiple shortcuts for the same function. You can also specify shortcuts for extensions and their functions.

opera shortcut keys


Additionally, Opera supports all the other important features that are essential for browsing, including data syncing over different devices, password manager, bookmark manager, control over plug-in content, block pop-ups, control over location and cookies, ability to customize interface and pretty much everything that most other browsers can offer.

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I should also mention that Opera page loading and browsing speeds are head-to-head with Chrome, Firefox and Microsoft Edge. Do let us know in the comments if you are planning on switching to Opera or not.

The post 10 Reasons Why You Should Switch to Opera Browser Right Now appeared first on Hongkiat.


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