This week at Open Form Games has been all about privacy. Internet privacy. Today, we took steps to protect our community from the privacy overreach and inappropriate tracking behaviors of some of the 3rd party software we previously relied on. While it may seem like a small thing, we take the privacy and security of our community very seriously and are always looking for new ways we can help make their internet lives a bit easier. Today, we made three changes to our website that will hopefully help.
First, we removed google analytics. We do not need to track our users to understand how they use our site -- our site is fairly simple -- and we do not need to hand that information over to large corporations, lest we become a villain of one of our own dystopian cyberpunk games. We can use our own, anonymous information to understand how to improve our site without tracking users.
Second, we removed YouTube from our landing page and our press-kit. YouTube has an aggressive tracking system in place and we don’t want to serve our community to that system. We switched to Vimeo for now, as they do not appear to be engaging in any inappropriate tracking behavior.
And third, we made this post to let you know why we’re changing things around and what are some of the resources available to you to take control of your privacy. You can probably find more exhaustive information than this, and we encourage you to do so, but we wanted to include information to get you started.
Switch to a Browser made by a Non-Profit
We would typically suggest Mozilla’s Firefox, over Google Chrome, Apple’s Safari, or Microsoft Edge. If you’re able, switch to an open source browser built and maintained by a non-profit and generally avoid leaving your privacy in the hands of companies whose primary revenue is from digital advertising.
Avoid Online Tracking
Most mainstream browsers offer “do not track” features, but you should consider adding an online tracker blocking plugin like Ghostery or Privacy Badger. Include ad blocking technology in your list of extensions and add-ons, like AdBlockPlus or uBlock Origin.
Protect Your Browsing on Public Wi-Fi
Some public wi-fi will monitor your traffic and engage in sketchy privacy behaviors. Consider using a VPN, especially when using public internet. We love hanging out at coffee shops and reading up on Vegas Prime Retrograde too. There are lots of great VPNs out there, and it’s not a one-size-fits-all, so you’ll need to look into it. If you just want something easy to use and fairly secure, something like PureVPN will work.
Consider connecting with privacy-committed groups like Mozilla and the EFF and participating in educating your friends and family about internet privacy. There are a number of groups that welcome a variety of skill and knowledge levels, and many of them are committed to educating people.