Most folks have their own computers these days. Between smartphones, tablets, laptops, and desktops, you probably have internet access pretty much all the time. However, sometimes you’ll find yourself using a computer that’s not yours – perhaps you’re visiting a friend, using public resources at the library, or your work requires you to log into different systems all day.
Don’t Save Login Information
Additionally, be sure to sign out once you’re done working on a site that requires a login. Don’t assume that just because you close the browser window that your session won’t be preserved for the next person that comes along. Even if you don’t save your password, leaving your email around for others to peruse could lead to spam or other annoyances.
Be Mindful of What You’re Doing
Consider Alternate Booting
The above technical advice is all important, but don’t abandon common sense. While using a shared computer, it’s probable there will be others around you. Be sure you don’t walk away from the machine and leave it unattended when you’re working, and be wary of those who might be looking over your shoulder.
The Problem With DNS and Privacy
The Domain Name System (DNS) is often called “the internet’s phone book.” It’s the technology responsible for linking the domains we all use every day (e.g. makeuseof.com) with the IP address of that site’s web server.
Of course, you could enter a site’s IP address and you would still end up at its homepage, but text-based URLs are much easier to remember, hence why we use them.
Unfortunately, DNS technology comes with many privacy issues. The issues can undermine your online safety, even if you take all the usual precautions elsewhere on your system. Here are some of the worst privacy issues associated with DNS.
How to Use Cloudflare DNS
How to Use Cloudflare DNS on Windows
To change your DNS provider on Windows, follow the steps below:
- Open the Settings app from the Start menu.
- Go to Network & Internet > Status > Change your network settings > Change adapter options.
- Right-click on your connection and select Properties
- Scroll down, highlight Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4), and click on Properties
- Click on Use the following DNS server addresses
- Enter 18.104.22.168 in the first row and 22.214.171.124 in the second row
- Hit OK
You may need to restart your machine.
How to Use Cloudflare DNS on Mac
If you have a Mac, follow these instructions to change your DNS instead:
- Go to Apple > System Preferences > Network
- Click on your connection in the panel on the left-hand side of the window
- Click on Advanced
- Highlight DNS and click+
- Enter 126.96.36.199 and 188.8.131.52 in the space provided
- Click OK
How to Use Cloudflare DNS on a Smartphone
To use Cloudflare on Android and iOS, you can download the free app from the respective app stores. The app is a more recent project from Cloudflare; it only went live in November 2018.
Called 184.108.40.206, the app provides an easy-to-use on/off toggle for the company’s DNS servers. Of course, you could up the DNS using your phone’s native tools, but the settings aren’t always easy to find and some manufacturers even block access to them. The app is much more novice-friendly.
And Remember to Always Use a VPN
More important than a good DNS, you should always use a strong VPN in the battle for online privacy.
All reputable VPN providers will also supply their own DNS addresses. However, sometimes you’ll need to manually update your DNS using the methods we detailed above. Failure to do so will result in a DNS leak.
But just because your VPN provider provides its own DNS addresses, you can still use Cloudflare’s addresses instead. In fact, it’s recommended; it’s very unlikely your VPN’s DNS will be as sophisticated or as robust as the new 220.127.116.11 service.
If you’re looking for a solid and reputable VPN provider, we recommend ExpressVPN, CyberGhost, or Private Internet Access.