to stay secure, you dont just need Tor, and a VPN. You need good browsing habits.
What are Browsing Habits?
Let me tell explain. Its basically how you behave on the internet, what websites you click, your language pattern (how you speak), what websites you are registered to, pretty much anything that is used to identifying you, and how you behave towards those things. And thats where cookies come in and what not.
How Do I Ensure My Browsing Habits Are Secure?
Practice. And theres no other way to put it, other than you need to practice.
Staying Away from Malware:
Believe it or not, this is apart of browsing habits, you need to know how to stay away from malware, especially if you want to have good browsing habits.
1. Dont click on suspicious links 2. dont download unrecognizable software 3. stay away from potential danger websites 4. installing a good anti virus software 5. keeping your firewall up to date along with your AV 6. dont accept files from unknown sources or people you dont know. 7. and so on and so on
Just the basic steps that any average PC user knows how to. There are of course advanced precautions if you ask me, that I personally use. for example, if you are very paranoid you can take any of these to use.
1. make sure 'S' is included in the URL. (HTTPS) 1. Dont type in your password on unencrypted websites, as it will be left in clear text for any curious hacker to see. 1. Use a different password for all your accounts. 1. Use a different email for all your accounts 1. Use different language patterns 1. Make sure people doesnt get an idea of your timezone.
All of these are very advanced in my opinion, and are very good to use if you are a hacker that has potential enemies, i.e (black hat) or just dont want all your data on the internet. I can name many more, but I dont think you will need more.
You need to install extensions to your browser, which is a MUST. Of course depending on your level of paranoia. Me personally, I am at the very top level of paranoia, and therefore use a bunch of extensions, that keep as much of my data secret as possible.
To use these extensions you need to also get familiar with them, and understand what they do, and why they do it. I will list a few below.
Web of Trust: It provides a small circle next to the website before you click it with one of 3 colours. green; being a reliable source. orange, being reliable in some way or another. and red; being visit at your own risk. Of course, it doesnt mean you cant visit the website just because the circle is orange or red, but it just tells you that Web of Trust has deteced some sort of virus that could link to you in one way or another by visiting that website.
uBlock: It is exactly what you think it is, it block ads, and we all know it from our old friend AdBlock and AdBlock Plus. Think of uBlock as their older brother, because thats what he is.
Next up is Privacy Badger, one of my favorites. Badger tells you how many trackers and cookies are on a website, and shows you the potential danger of those trackers and cookies again in 3 differnet colours, green orange and red. You can choose to block the cookie by dragging the present color to the left (red) and the cookie wont be able to track you.
The last extension I will introduce to you is HTTPS Everywhere. It is just what it appear to be. It provides HTTPS encryption on all sites that is available to HTTPS. This means that you are safe from Man in the Middle Attacks, and SSlStripiing.
So browsing habits are ways companies and websites try and identify you online, and by installing extensions and dont use the same pattern in general, you thereby achieve this ability to not get identified by websites.