12 Effective Ways to Stay Anonymous on the Internet.
Believe it or not, your every move on the Internet is recorded and sold to hundreds of companies. There are many websites that track your online activity, the government blocks and monitors your logs, hackers try to find out your identity, etc.
Sounds scary, right?
As a result, we often use a private browser or VPN to protect ourselves from prying eyes. But this is not enough. There are many things that can track you online, whether you are using a VPN or not.
Note. You can never be 100 percent safe or untraceable, but these are some of the best industry standards for online anonymity. So let us know, at no additional cost, what things might be tracking you and how to disable them individually.
How to be anonymous on the Internet
1. Use a secure file sharing system
Let’s say you want to send files to your customers or friends on the Internet. The first thing that comes to mind is email or cloud storage services like Dropbox. But both of these platforms are inimical to privacy and also require you to first register in order to use their service. Of course, you can use an alias for registration, but this is too much work.
Therefore, we recommend using a cloud service that offers zero knowledge encryption when the company itself does not have access to the content, for example Spideroak, which offers a limited trial as well as a subscription package for $ 12 a month. Or, if you want to share files on the go, you can also try OnionShare.
With OnionShare, you can share files of any size anonymously. Start by downloading the app (it’s free and available on all platforms) and then just drag and drop the files into the app. OnionShare will generate a temporary URL that the recipient can access through the Tor browser.
2. Using a safe operating system
Your browser information is not the only thing sent over the Internet. Each website you visit can also track which operating system you have installed. Speaking of which, the OS that most of us use is Windows, which isn’t very privacy friendly. Microsoft has also stated in their Privacy Statement that they collect your personal information (including your credentials, name, contacts, demographics, location, etc.
So, to protect your privacy, you can boot from a live operating system like Tails . This is similar to using a Live CD with Linux, but specifically designed for privacy and anonymity. So here’s how it works – just boot the iso, burn it to a CD or USB stick, and then boot into Tails OS from BIOS. Trails routes all your traffic over the TOR network by default and has an encryption tool for instant messages and email.
Whonix is another popular OS aimed at privacy and anonymity.
3. Block third-party cookies
Blocking cookies will make it harder for websites to learn and understand your browsing habits. Fortunately, you can easily block cookies in your browser settings. For example, in Chrome, go to Settings Show Advanced Settings under Privacy ( Content settings “Block third party cookies and site data.”
And while you are doing that, also delete existing cookies from your system using an application like CCleaner. It’s completely free and works well.
4. Use different email services
Many websites require you to register your email address before using their services. In this case, it makes no sense to use the original email address if you want to remain anonymous. Keeping your original email address away from spammers is important to protect your online identity.
For this reason, we use disposable email services such as Guerrilla Mail or Mailinator . They allow users to quickly create a new email address when needed and delete after a while.
However, if you are interested in a long term solution. For example, you want to provide a proxy email address to a stranger and want his or her email to be delivered to your real email address, then use email masking services such as Blur. They are anonymous, secure, and allow free email forwarding.
Related: Disguise your email address when using it on shady sites
5. Use incognito mode in your web browser
Yes, we know that incognito mode does not make you anonymous, but it is still useful if you forgot to delete your cookies or browsing history. All popular web browsers support incognito mode (sometimes called private browser) and is available in both desktop and mobile browsers. With private browsing enabled, your browser history and cookies are automatically deleted after you close the window, so websites have no information about your online activity.
Related: Private Browsing: What It Is and What Not
6. Use private search engines
There is undoubtedly no search engine better than Google when it comes to speed, accuracy and efficiency. But the reason why Google is so good is its aggressive privacy policies. It uses a personalized search algorithm where it tracks your previous search history, websites you visit, and tracks all of your personal information (like who you are, your name, your interests, age, gender, phone number, home address, your current location etc. In general, Google knows everything about you.
Therefore, if you can compromise your search results for privacy reasons, we recommend using a private search engine such as DuckDuckGo or lukol. These search engines never track your searches and focus on privacy and anonymity.
RELATED: 5 Best Private Search Engines That Don’t Track You Like Google
7. Using extensions
Browsers are just a tool for connecting to the web, but to make it powerful, we use add-ons, right? Therefore, we use some extensions here that ensure security while browsing the web and help us stay anonymous on the web.
Also read: 5 Extension for sites with temporary blocking in Google Chrome
Ghostery Browser Extension
It is a simple and highly customizable extension that blocks trackers from all over the internet. It displays which tracking services the website is using and allows you to manually disable them as needed. This is a must-have if you are serious about protecting your privacy.
HTTPS Everywhere extension
Most HTTP websites can be easily attacked by session hijacking and many other attacks because they are unencrypted and unsecured. But this can be overcome by using the HTTPS Everywhere browser extension. It enforces encryption (SSL connections) on many websites to keep your online activity secure and encrypted.
9. Block location data
Many websites use your location to display location-based ads, but this can also be used against you if you want to stay vigilant online. While enabling this option has many benefits, it can also be used to identify you. Therefore, it is recommended to disable it completely.
Turning off geolocation in Chrome is easy. Go to your Settings Show advanced settings under Privacy ( Content Settings Location “Don’t allow sites to track your physical location”
10. Disable WebRTC
Not many of us know that your browser can open some of your network information to websites, regardless of using any kind of VPN or proxy server. With WebRTC enabled, websites can access your internal IP address, thereby exposing your real IP address on the Internet even when using a VPN.
You can disable it by downloading the extension from WebRTC for your specific browser.
11. VPN server
VPN (virtual private network) is one of the most effective ways to stay anonymous online. It creates a private encrypted tunnel over the Internet to a web server, so your real IP is hidden from the world. A VPN has several benefits such as improved security, improved privacy, and access to geo-restricted web content.
RELATED: The 5 Best Free VPNs of 2016
12. Tor browser
If you want complete anonymity, then nothing beats the good old Tor browser. It uses a vast network of encrypted tunnels to route your online traffic through its layers in order to erase its origin. Tor has all the benefits you could get from a VPN. Plus, it is a secure browser, so you don’t need to make any changes to your browser settings or install any additional extensions. You can download Tor from TorProject.org and it’s completely free.
Related: Surfing the Internet Anonymously with the Tor Browser Bundle
some important web sites
DnsLeakTest.com: Even if you use a VPN, you can still track your identity through DNS traffic. Under certain conditions, the operating system continues to use its default DNS instead of using the anonymous DNS servers provided by the VPN.
To resolve this issue, go to dnsleaktest.com and run an advanced test. If you see your ISP’s DNS in the results, then you have a DNS leak. You can fix this by following the steps listed on the “ How to fix a DNS leak ” page.
BrowseRLeaks.com: It gives you a detailed view of all the objects that could leak your identity. It has simple categorical sections that detail this person.
After all, the only way to stay anonymous on the Internet is to not go online at all. But since this is not possible for most of us, the tips above will help you control your privacy.
However, if you feel like I am missing something, let me know in the comments. Also, if you have any questions regarding the installation or configuration of any of the steps mentioned above, ask them below.
Also Read: How to Access Blocked Websites