Nowadays there are lots of things to consider when talking about “privacy”. Ditching windows for a Linux based system is the first step to take!
If you absolutely can't leave windows because you require it for work for example there are still some things you can do - installing Windows AME for example (removing all windows bullshit to take back control!). But in this article, we will focus on Garuda Linux specific things of course. For more in depth articles on different topics, the corresponding Arch wiki pages will be linked. Even more content can be found at privacytools.io :)
A firewall is needed to stop people abusing open ports which can lead to them having full device access for example. In Garuda Linux, firewalld is preinstalled in most editions. It can be enabled via systemd:
sudo systemctl enable --now firewalld
An important thing to notice is that services such as KDE Connect or Syncthing will need firewall rules to work as expected as their incoming traffic will be blocked by the firewall as well. To achieve that open up the Firewall application from the start menu.
Another easy, yet effective application for that purpose is UFW and its frontend GUFW.
It can be operated via its GUI or easy terminal commands:
sudo ufw enable
sudo ufw allow ssh
More on this topic can be found here.
Using DNS servers is a very easy way to block ads. There are some useful DNS providers such as AdGuard which can be enabled in our Garuda welcome application. Find out what it does here.
As a bonus hblock could be used. It blocks ads and malware domains using the /etc/hosts file which blocks the domains locally rather than via a DNS server. ArcoLinux got some more information on this topic. Also, you can modify your /etc/hosts file yourself by using this database with most spooky sites including ads, tracking, porn, fakenews and gambling. You can choose what you want to block, so no need to worry, coomers.
The browser is kind of the middleman between you and the internet - while being able to log every action you take. That's why you should choose carefully here. There are lots of web browsers available so choosing the right one might be a confusing task. Generally speaking, Firefox-based browsers are likely the best choice among these nowadays. It's backed by the Mozilla foundation which has a quite good reputation and is easily expandable by add-ons. The other “big” player is Chromium - there are a lot of browsers based on chromium such as Google Chrome or the Brave browser. While the engine Chromium uses still seems to be quicker than Firefox these days it is associated with Google - a company known for massive privacy concerns. A project which tries to cut the Google out of Chromium is Ungoogled Chromium. If you want to use the Chromium engine, this browser will most likely the best bet. Since most Google stuff doesn't exist in this browser you will need this extension to install add-ons from the Web store without other workarounds. It is worth noting that we ship the privacy-respecting Librewolf browser, based on Firefox, by default in Garuda. And soon comes our fork of Librewolf - FireDragon. Also, an interesting option would be do choose a Web Browser web browser. Yeah that's not a really convenient name. It's based on Pale Moon, which is based on an old branch of Firefox. But it lacks support for modern extensions, even though presents some other obscure ones.
Browser add-ons are important and needed these days to have a good experience browsing the internet.
Talking about this topic is important - most people use very easy passwords for their accounts which can be easily brute forced by other people to gain access. Passwords like name1959, password, easy123 and so on fall into this category. You can check here if the password used is secure. Using the same password for every account should also be avoided!
The best way to generate and save passwords is using a password manager such as Bitwarden. Bitwarden is open source so it can be trusted. You can even selfhost your own instance. We provide a self-hosted instance which you can use along with its Firefox add-on. Just change the server used to bitwarden.garudalinux.org and create an account. It also has a mobile client which is very easy to use! Using 3+ different kind of characters and 14+ characters should be secure enough.
Search engines should be chosen carefully. Google, Bing or Yahoo should be avoided these days. Recommended alternatives are for example DuckDuckGo, Startpage.com or Searx. We host a variant of Searx and Whoogle (a meta search using Google search results without tracking the user) for you to use.
One of these as should be set as default search engine in your favorite browser. This can be done via browser settings.