Some questions regarding privacy and Mullvad services

Hi PG community! First post here.

I engage in private investigations and journalism alongside my primary occupation. Recently, I’ve delved into privacy-oriented software to enhance my personal security. Despite having the will to do good researching, I’m no tech-savvy and have encountered contradictions in some areas.

I operate on two computers, one of which is integrated with Windows, a preference I’m (almost) obliged to maintain. Mullvad VPN is installed on both computers and my cellphone, functioning 24/7. Additionally, I employ Mullvad Browser and Firefox with the recommended PG configuration (excluding ArkenFox). I deal with highly sensitive information from my clients and often have to connect to public Wi-Fi networks in different countries.

Understanding that privacy-oriented software is most effective when employed within a comprehensive strategy, I pose the following questions:

  1. How frequently should I change my VPN location? Should all devices run the same location simultaneously, considering consistent logins across apps and browsers?

  2. Is my browsing through Mullvad, Firefox, and Brave (on Android) isolated from the operating systems and installed apps?

  3. Does adding themes from addons.mozilla and adjusting uBlock settings (for enabling cookie annoyances blocking) significantly impact my fingerprint and other privacy measures in Mullvad Browser?

  4. As a time-sensitive researcher who, frustratingly, often have to rely on Google searches, do Google services affect the privacy and security of Mullvad Browser when not logged in? Btw, I’ve tried multiple search engines and filters, and aside from being more difficult to find the results found in Google (I get privacy+security comes with downsides), some of them won’t even appear.

  5. Considering my intention to set Mullvad Browser as the default, does it make sense to log into accounts on MB, or is it more appropriate to consider adding Firefox for this purpose?

  6. Is it redundant to use both Firefox + ArkenFox and Mullvad Browser? I often need a less restrictive browser for accessing sh¡tty government websites and similar pages, which become unusable with enhanced security settings.

  7. In the broader context, am I expending effort in vain by employing these tools (VPN + MB) on the invasive Windows OS and/or my googled cellphone (Xiaomi - MIUI, with minimized services)? I occasionally need to enable location services for GPS purposes.

Thanks for your time!

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As I understand it, Mullvad clears cookies and site data on close, thus meaning you would have to log in each time. It is frequently recommended here to use a hardened (but customized to your usecase) Firefox for sites that require less strict privacy settings or logins.

As I understand it, no. That’s part of the reason why the OS section was made less prominent on PG. Essentially using privacy respecting tools and services has more of an impact on your privacy than your OS, all things considered.

I do not have any experience with VPNs, so take this with a grain (or more!) of salt, but from a privacy perspective, if you’re logged in, it would seem to me that having the same or different locations wouldn’t matter because your behavior can be tied to your accounts.


Thanks for the input and for taking the time!

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