Staying private in the modern era of surveillance and data aggregation is the new mission impossible. If you want to cover your identity and enjoy a more anonymous experience online, then this article can become a source of good ideas and lifehacks on improving your anonymity and integrating cybersecurity practices in your day-to-day life.
Why Do Some People Want to Hide Their Online Activity?
For quite a long time anonymous browsing has been associated with hacking and other illegal activities. In fact, some companies and governments try to promote such a worldview to make spying on their citizens easier and more convenient.
However, the times when VPNs, Tor browser and other privacy-related apps were only for geeks and military-level cyber specialists, are long gone. Now everyone wants a piece of your life, and not in a good way.
Government agencies, advertisers, hackers, and snoopers are all trying to get as much data as it’s only possible, and the consequences range from mildly annoying to outright dangerous. For example, some countries limit access to certain websites and services, and breaking the ban can result in everything from fines to incarceration. To hide their activity from the nosy government agents, many users all over the world hide their traffic.
Another reason people use anonymizing tools is to protect their data from hackers and snoopers.
Basic Tips for Private Web Surfing
Use a private browser window
This is the easier way to protect your data, especially if you are browsing from a public computer or a device used by different family members in your household. When you activate this mode in your browser, you are preventing it from storing the history on the computer. This way you can eliminate the possibility of someone knowing which websites you accessed by looking at the history or due to a website popping up as an auto-completed suggestion.
Moreover, when you are using the private mode, third-party cookies (small files tailored to track your movements between various websites) are blocked. First-party cookies (the files that track your movement and interactions within one website) are deleted at the end of the session, thus concealing that you have visited this website.
What to do: Go to the menu section of your browser (typically three dots or lines at the top-right corner of the screen) and choose “Open new incognito window.”
Forbid your browser to send location data
Do you remember those notifications popping near the URL on all sorts of websites, asking you to share your location data? Well, don’t allow your browser to do so. Why would a calligraphy blog or an educational website want to know your location anyway?
Many websites do so in order to provide you with the most relevant content, including latest events nearby, closest store addresses and so on. However, as with everything on the Internet, the data can be easily misused. For example, if marketers get their hands on it, they can bombard you with “relevant ads to provide you with the best experience.”
Remember to deny the permission to location tracking for every website you visit, unless the ones you absolutely trust your data with.
If you care about your privacy and still don’t have a VPN, you definitely should get one now. VPNs are great tools for ensuring maximum security with little to no effort. All you need to do is find a great service, buy a subscription plan and enjoy your newly found privacy.
How does a VPN service help you stay private? It creates an encrypted tunnel over your existing network (hence the name – Virtual Private Network), so you can do online whatever you want without the fear of being exposed. VPN ensures two important things – that your data are secure by encrypting it, and that it is private by changing your location and rerouting your traffic via a server of choice.
For example, you can use VeePN, which offers 2500 servers in more than 48 countries. Such a broad server network allows accessing any service in the world, and VeePN offers affordable pricing plans.
Go Darknet with Tor
The Onion Router is the epitome of online security, as it allows nearly untraceable online browsing. Again, it is heavily associated with illegal activities, darknet markets and all the awful things that happen there. However, people often forget that using Tor may be the only way for whistleblowers and fugitives to share valuable information with the world without risking their lives.
Staying private on the web is becoming harder these days. Luckily, alongside with the Big Brother and giant corporations spying on all your activities, there are still people who believe in the freedom of speech and personal privacy. Incorporate these practices in your everyday routine, and you will notice as you manage to make your personal info more private and safe.