buddy of mine just emailed this en masse saying it is a good way to avoid google tracking. Your choice.
1) Don't go online from your local ISP--they can easily monitor everything you do online. Use an encrypted VPN service, such as Hide My Ass, Witopia, etc. Doing that means that all your ISP can see in terms of your internet activity is a stream of meaningless encrypted packets. And all that the "outside world" on the internet can see is that your IP address is not really where you actually are. E.g. at the moment my IP address appears to be in Hong Kong--I'm not really there. (Such services are not free, but they are super cheap--Witopia is costing me US $5.83 per month.)
2) Block any site you choose from displaying to you unwanted adverts, etc. by using a hosts file such as the MVPS Hosts File. (Pro tip--when using such a hosts file, many links displayed on search engine results will be blocked because they are filtered through some kind of tracking/ad serving thingy such as "googleleadservices." Just look down to the actual web site URL at the bottom of a search result and copy/paste it in your browser to go directly there.)
3) If you're a Firefox fan, install Better Privacy to get rid of those persistent "LSO" cookies that are deposited on your hard drive by Adobe Flash apps. (Not really needed if you do 1) & 2) above, but hey--why not?)
4) Install some "protective" apps.
a) One of the best I know of is WinPatrol, a real-time protection app that lets you be the one to decide what your browser home page will be, what apps will autostart, etc. There's a free version and a paid "Plus" version. Check out the link and decide what's best for you.
b) The free Microsoft Security Essentials provides additional real-time protection against a variety of online threats.
c) Get additional protection by installing the free versions of Emsisoft AntiMalware and Malwarebytes Antimalware. Use these to scan your files for malware offline. (The Emsisoft will start out as 30-day trialware, then revert to the free version if you don't elect to purchase.)
d) Hey, what about keyloggers that may have somehow been installed on your system? No problem--check out Keyscrambler. Three versions--one free--to suit whatever security concerns you may have.
5) Next, have a look at What's My Computer Doing? and What's Running?. Puzzled by strange HD activity? Want to know exactly what internet connections are active? These apps will give you the straight skinny.
6) Semi-finally, even if you're not a geek like me (and be advised that I am not anywhere near the top of any geekpile I'm aware of), you should make it a practice to do frequent internet searches on security/privacy issues and any other similar concerns you may have regarding keeping your online profile as low as possible.
7) And finally:
a) If you're on Facebook or participating in any other of the various social media apps, do select the security options available in such apps and apply whatever options that are provided to "lock down" your page.
b) If you're using Outlook or any other popular POP3 email client, go elsewhere. Use webmail, but not any of the popular ones, e.g., yahoo, gmail, hotmail, etc. Look to other free websites that offer good anonymity, privacy, security, storage, etc. Couple of examples would be Privacy Harbor or gmx. Both offer many options and seem to be pretty reliable. There are of course many other options available--do some online searching.
c) Speaking of online searching, please stop using Google or any of the other popular search engines (Bing, Yahoo, Ask, etc.) Ixquick neither records nor stores (well, doh) your IP address when you search there. It does seem to use Google as it's primary search engine/device, but of course Google only sees the IP address of Ixquick during any such search.