Complete online anonymity is important, especially in this age of cyber warfare and ever increasing crimes like hacking, identity theft, snooping, illegal spying, DDoS and so on. And, staying anonymous online is the best way to keep off trackers. You can discourage people or institutions from knowing what you do online. It is simple if you browse in the right manner.
Online anonymity pros and cons
First, while the government keeps checking who or how you are using the internet – you need to be anonymous. Second, there are many ways of going about this. You remember how Apple and the Federal Bureau of Investigations have been at loggerheads. While FBI wants the tech giant to hack into a client’s personal data, the latter has refused.
But, how sweeter can it be than defeating the FBI at their own game? However, this is not to encourage any delinquent behavior. The tips below should help you boost your Internet anonymity. It is for your very own safety. Especially, in these days when hacking and cyber warfare has become the order of the day.
Hackers out there want to steal your personal data; also, they want to have your logins so that they can impersonate you. Moreover, they would like to take part in a fraud scheme using your name. If you do not stop them, they could succeed! So, the following is a list of well-explained ways in which you can remain anonymous on the web.
How to Stay Anonymous Online
First, you can do your browsing in safe countries. Isn’t it amazing some countries will never bother to track you? America and the United Kingdom have invested in eavesdropping. But most countries in the world do not care much about their citizens’ online activities.
For instance, what citizens do online does not bother most Asian and African countries. Most of these countries have good internet connection but less investment in tracking technology. They are a safe ground for doing your online stuff without fear!
Clear Cookies Data
Second, clearing browsing data increases online anonymity. Do you ever remember to clear your cookies? If not, please do! Cookies are the trails that websites leave on your computer as you browse. They help increase the speed of browsing, especially in following times.
Clearing your browsing data ensures that such websites cannot track your location or history. Also, it makes you become anonymous online even if you visit them next time – a great deal! To get there, use the settings tab on your browser.
Third, avoid websites marked as sensitive. If they pick your data, you may not know what they might end up doing with it. But, if you must, then you had better use the incognito (in Chrome) or private browsing for Mozilla. You can find these options at the main menu tab area. Or, to make it simpler, just use the shortcuts:
CTRL+SHIFT+P or CNTRL + SHIFT+N. It depends on your browser, though. Nevertheless, you can always reach to such tweaks from the settings tab of your browser if you try.
Change the Smartphone
Fourth, nothing could be harder than remaining anonymous while using a smartphone. Android, iOS and Windows phones all have several apps and updates. These end up compromising your online anonymity, in various ways.
Not even the sophisticated encryption iOS 10 Apple and Android Lollipop can help. Instead, you need an NSA-Proof phone to stay anonymous online. The BlackPhone is the best bet! The $400 phone has features that enhance privacy.
Use a VPN
Fifth, there is the VPN! Virtual Private Network tricks trackers about your geographical location. You can browse in Dallas, and convince trackers you are deep in a deep place within the Egyptian Giza pyramids. By hiding your IP address, VPNs keep off trackers from finding your data.
Also, the VPN encrypts online data in secure virtual tunnels. This helps keep yourself safe over the Internet! Premium VPNs like ExpressVPN or Hide.me are the most preferable. They have a subscription fee, but the investment is well worth it – you can get trial and free accounts with them too.
Another way to fool websites about your location and stay anonymous online is through the free web proxies. Proxy servers act as an intermediary between your computer and the internet. So, anyone who wants to track you finds the proxy server instead.
The proxy server is usually hard to hack. Thus, you remain secure from the online eavesdroppers! If the server is in a different country, you can be sure of confusing the trackers. For sure, they will think you are on a different continent.
Use Anonymous Search Engines
It is important to understand that sophisticated search engines have more tracking abilities. No doubt, Google is the world’s number one search engine. In their bid to keep you updated with relevant search results, they collect data from you.
So well, they know the kind of things you search. Every time you want to get information on the web, they use what they know about you. So, why don’t you keep off Google? Try a search engine less sophisticated and focusing on the anonymity like DuckDuckGo!
Avoid Credit Cards
PayPal and Payoneer could be the Market’s best online banks! Everyone wants to use them when doing shopping. But did you know they also can be a dangerous way to shop online? Well, both need connection with credit cards or banks.
So, a person who knows this pretty well can follow the leads. They could blackmail you, or even steal money from you! The best you should do is try anonymous currency. Bitcoin serves your purpose the best way for that. Yet, even BitCoin could have you tracked by smart hackers. So, if you try DarkCoin – the better!
Try Privacy Browsers
Typical browsers are only oriented for the public. Most of them override the interests to remain private. Google Chrome, Safari, Firefox or the Explorer are not close to being safe! They keep sending crucial data to websites. To avoid this, you need a surfing experience that is well guarded.
SRWare Iron is one of the most formidable browsers for you! Also, privacy-oriented browsers include Dooble and Comodo Dragon. Check out our list of best security browsers and start using one today!
Secure your Mail by Using Browser Extensions
You can never be sure about remaining safe when it comes to the cyber world. But, some of the premium extensions to your browser can get you there! Avoiding most of the browser extensions is important. Mailvelope and SecureGmail help you keep your emails private.
This is especially important to those who use popular browsers, and not alternative web browsers or the security ones that I mentioned above. Also, those who cannot switch to the more secure providers. The extensions should help you safeguard the mail in such a way that it can never get to the Google servers.
Don’t Submit Info on Social Media
Social media is free, and we love the fact – right? But wait, that is only but what they tell you. In the real sense, they pay themselves by keeping your personal data and using it against you. They provide you with excellent platforms where you can talk to and make friends.
Yet, what do they need from you? They insist that all you have to offer for the services is your personal data. Avoid submitting this! Do you doubt that social media is a lucrative way that multinationals use to track you? Download your Facebook or Twitter data, now. It is no surprise that this will surprise you!
Most websites you visit keep a detail about you, no second thoughts on that. They keep records of their visits for their statistics and better marketing. Yet, this means they have to get your privacy compromised. While it is almost impossible to keep such trackers away, Ghostery could help you out! It is a free extension for your browser. Ghostery keeps the website off your browsing data.
Use Anonymous Operating Systems – Live OS
Windows, Linux and Mac OS, are popular operating systems. However, they allow trackers to get you! It is a little difficult to be private as long as Windows or the other OSes are what you are using. Try something different, like the IronKey WorkSpace.
Also, Windows to Go and Whonix are other providers of private OS. The Live OS is reboot-able from a remote media. This means that you can carry on a USB disk. Thus, it is not easy to track it.
Use the temporary email when you are in situations requiring communication with email users. Disposable Email Addresses (DEAs) like the ones provided by temp-mail.org are private, unidentifiable and provisional. This means that you don’t have to key in your actual email. They are secure, anonymous and free of advertisements or tracking.
Avoid Ordinary Plugins
Most of the plugins that your browsers use are unsafe; they will compromise your identity. They come along with enhancement that allows them to communicate with their maker. Furthermore, they send data to remote servers. They do this in the name of trying to improve your speed and experience. So, always double check your installed plugins and avoid any unnecessary and ordinary installation.
HTTPS/S Protocols – Others Tell Your IP
For anonymous browsing, it is important to use the HTTPS protocols. Most of the other protocols broadcast your IP address. They reveal more information to third parties that you would ever imagine. The Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS) is the secure and encrypted form of HTTP. The two protocols determine how data communicates to or from a website.
The priority to safeguard your logging details is paramount. You need to ensure they are always safe. Avoid any plugins or processes that may steal this sensitive data. But how? It is simple. A password manager helps you keep all your details safe.
This is best if you have thousands of passwords and can’t remember. The manager requires only a single master password. With it, you will open several accounts without fear of forgetting! One such app that I can recommend is, LastPass.
WikiLeaks founder Edward Snowden says that DropBox is very ‘hostile to privacy.’ And, he’s right. It is easy to get caught while using DropBox. Even so, there are several alternatives. One of some quality Dropbox alternatives is, Spideroak.com. It gets your files shared in a way that no one else can ever access. To use it, you need to subscribe monthly.
Avoid Ordinary Apps
Also, the common applications you use for your device need to be uninstalled. You may love them so much. But, as long as you are using these applications, third parties receive data from you! Applications such as word processors ‘dial home’ and thus compromise your privacy.
In conclusion, you may have tried all the methods above, in vain. But have you tried avoiding social media? Well, what about using credit cards? Have you given up on ordinary extensions, apps, and browsers? Also, if your VPN has become convenient. A secure and fast VPN like ExpressVPN, works great if you want to become anonymous over the Internet – I use it to achieve that daily!
In short, if all the methods can’t work for you, there is one sure way of remaining anonymous online. It is a hard choice but, trust me, it works! Delete all your online profiles. Do not deactivate- it only keeps the accounts on hibernation. Are you done? Pick your computer and phone. Throw them in the river! As long as you are not using the net, how will they track you, uh?
Top/Featured Image: By geralt / Flickr