How to be anonymous on the Internet
This page is for people who are worried about others watching their internet activity or who want to remain anonymous while doing so. Remember that there are varying levels of anonymity and that even taking these precautions does not ensure 100% anonymity. Also, the process of becoming anonymous on the internet needs various modifications like you may need to replace your email provider, messaging apps, browser, operating system, and search engine.
Additionally, this page is not for you if you are trying to hide yourself or your identity while on the internet in order to do some illegal activities. A list of different strategies is given below in order to secure your identity when using the Internet.
Following a few simple principles can help you maintain your online privacy for the most part.
Public anonymous proxy
When you use the Internet, your IP address, which is assigned to your computer or network, can trace your location and assist in identifying your visit. You can access the web with the help of using a web-based proxy to help keep your machine anonymous. You can use a web-based proxy to load a page on a separate computer and then view the results in your browser on your own computer. The following is a list of some of the anonymous web-based proxies that are currently accessible.
If you believe your connection has been hacked or sniffed, do not use it (for example, connecting to the Internet at a Wi-Fi hotspot). With the help of using an HTTPS proxy can help encrypt non-encrypted data transferred from the proxy to your computer, which can help prevent eavesdropping. You can also utilize an HTTPS connection if you are utilizing a proxy web service like Proxify.
There are various good proxy add-ons available if you regularly need a proxy and use Mozilla Firefox as your browser.
It is possible that the proxy server you use to access the Internet keeps records of who visits. A legal authority may be able to get identifying information in order to locate you. A person in control of the proxy could capture your information as well as use it if you submit sensitive information into a proxy, such as credit card numbers, usernames, or passwords.
Use secure email services
We utilize Gmail as our personal email provider since we are so immersed in the Google ecosystem. While we appreciate how simple it is to use, we do not like that Google saves all of our personal emails on its servers. There are, however, secure solutions, such as ProtonMail, which is owned by the same company that created ProtonVPN. ProtonMail cannot be ordered to pass over customer data to the government since it is based in Switzerland, which is not a part of the Five Eyes surveillance coalition. Rather, all email is encrypted from beginning to end using open source code, and the service is available for free on Android, iOS, and the web.
Don't use voice assistants
In your smart home, voice assistants make home automation simple. They are, however, well-known for invading people's privacy. For instance, the Google Assistant-compatible Nest Secure security system4 contains a hidden, unreported microphone, and employees at Amazon have acknowledged listening in on Alexa recordings3. Instead of utilizing voice assistants, use your app to manually control your IoT devices, such as smart lights, smart garage, smart locks, and others.
Check for HTTPS
If at all feasible, only visit websites that begin with "HTTPS" (Hypertext transfer protocol secure) instead of HTTP. HTTPS encrypts all communication between your browser and the websites you visit as it uses a secure socket layer (SSL), whereas HTTP does not.
Boot from Anonym.OS LiveCD
Anonym.OS is a LiveCD that allows a user to access the web anonymously as it boots off a CD and runs on a variant of OpenBSD. You can visit Anonym.OS website for download via the below link.
Tor, which stands for The Onion Router, is a technology that allows users to remain anonymous online. Tor was created with the intention of securing government communications for the US Navy. Tor protects your anonymity with the help of transporting data across the Internet through a network of virtual tunnels.
The software (typically a web browser) routes traffic through a router to a network of servers, letting the user remain anonymous while online. Tor is a free network that uses layered encryption in order to prevent the original data from being decrypted during transit. You can download Tor by using the below link.
Whonix is an operating system that values privacy, security, and anonymity. It is split into two portions, one of which runs Tor and acts as a gateway, and the other of which is on an entirely other networks.
Alternate computer or connection
Alternate computers or connections can also help to remain anonymous while on the internet. For example, if you connect to the internet with the help of using the network of another person like a café, library, school, or business, it can help you stay anonymous. You're logging in as their IP address, not yours when you use someone else's connection.
Keep in mind, however, that if you used a login to gain access to the computer or network, that login might be linked to you.
Use a VPN
VPNs encrypt all online traffic from browsers and other web programmes, unlike Tor, which encrypts just web traffic from browsers. Your internet service provider (ISP) will be unable to observe any of your online activities because VPNs hide your browser history as well as your IP address.
Use an encrypted messaging app
Instead of sending a text message to a buddy on your Android, use an encrypted messaging app like Signal. Signal's open-source technology encrypts all messages from beginning to end. There is no advertising or tracking, and the company does not have access to your messages or phone conversations.
Adware is the program that displays advertisements on your device, such as a tablet, phone, or computer system, and most websites and apps contain advertising even if you do not have adware. These ads can be irritating. In addition to removing adware, an ad blocker like AdBlock or Adblock Plus can be used.
Private mode or Incognito mode
In most current browsers, private mode, often known as incognito mode, is accessible. Incognito mode, often known as private browsing, InPrivate Browsing, or a private window, is a browser feature that prevents the storing of browsing history. When you view a web page, the text, pictures, and cookies it requires are often saved locally on your computer. While this mode does safeguard what you do locally and does not protect you from others with access to the server or search records. Any completed searches or forms may also be saved in autocomplete areas. When you close the browser window in Incognito mode, the data is either forgotten or not stored at all.
Cookies are small pieces of information about your online behaviour that are used to produce targeted advertisements; they are anonymized and aggregated in some cases, but not always.
Stay off social media
More than three-quarters of parents use social media and share tales, photographs, or videos of their children on social media, according to research on social media and parenting. Worse still, more than 80% of these parent's post using their children's real names. This is not a good habit to share their children information on social media; this exposes their children to child identity theft; also, social media companies keep this data for a long period of time.
Block and manage trackers
There is a number of websites that keep track of and gather information about their visitors' surfing activities. Because these trackers are undetectable, most individuals are unaware that they are being followed. Ghostery is a free browser plugin that will show these trackers, often known as web bugs., and is available for all major web browsers. Then, you may choose which you want to prevent and which web bugs you want to track. In total, Ghostery monitors approximately 1,900 businesses. In the Ghostery Knowledge Library, each business has a profile that can assist you to figure out who is monitoring you and why, as well as what action you should take.
Hotmail, Outlook, Gmail, and Yahoo Mail are popular and widely used email services, but these are not very privacy-friendly. Consider switching to more secure service for full Pretty Good Privacy (PGP) encrypted emails. Hushmail is a popular email service that offers users a private account with unlimited email aliases, no advertisements, built-in encryption. There is a basic free service provided, with additional capabilities available for a monthly cost. Hushmail, on the other hand, has already been compelled by a court to pass over user data to US authorities. Users' IP addresses are also recorded by the company. Although MyKolab is a comparable site that has never disclosed any user information, they are required to offer access to genuine interception requests; thus, this is still a possibility.
A proxy server is a computer that serves as a conduit between a computer and the internet, allowing your online activity to be processed. As a consequence, because the proxy replaces your IP address with its own, it can be a great method to keep your online identity safe. If the proxy is in a different nation than your own, you can fool websites and trackers into thinking you're surfing from another continent. Proxies can be used in a variety of ways, with both free and commercial services available.
Dropbox, a cloud storage provider, has been dubbed "hostile to privacy" by Edward Snowden. That's a really devastating statement. There are a few viable options that provide more privacy if you are worried about sharing your data with the help of this method. Snowden recommends Spideroak, which touts itself as a zero-knowledge encrypted data backup, sharing, sync, access, and storage service. This is accessible in a restricted version as part of their free trial, which you can find on their website. A full-featured membership costs $12 per month. Give OnionShare a try if you simply want to swiftly exchange little or large files anonymously for free. It gets the job done; however, it has no feature-rich as Spideroak.
Destroy all technology and live in a cave
Finally, the only effective approach to maintain online anonymity is to avoid going online at all. Delete all of your accounts, and shut down and break your computer if you have already used the internet. Hopefully, you may leave a digital footprint; however, it may not be particularly significant. You should also shatter your phone, iPad, and smart TV if you are going to go this far. You could choose to live in a cave, in self-imposed exile, now that you've eliminated all connected technology from your life and aren't tempted to return to the online world.
Other software products
For consumers who discover that the solutions above do not fulfil their needs, are a variety of non-free software choices. A couple of these services are listed below.