Some might presume that the internet was built on complete anonymity and control, creating a space where freedom of expression leads the way, however, in today’s day and age, the internet isn’t as liberating and harmless as you might think it is. Privacy and anonymity are lost concepts in today’s data tracking world.
Anonymity is not limited to protecting yourself against your government spying on you, preserving your identity on the internet shields you from big corporations stealing your data and tracking your activity on the internet, to direct targeted ads towards you.
Acquiring complete anonymity on the internet can only be done by not being on the internet at all, however, that is an unattainable option for most of us. Having an absolute concealed identity on the internet is impossible, but there are still a number of things you can do to add an additional layer of privacy to your online persona. Here’s a list of things you can do to hold on to your privacy, minimize spying, restrict corporations from stealing your data, and identity theft while exploring the internet.
Delete Cookies Regularly
Cookies simply are files stored on your device containing data that helps websites identify your device. Cookies are automatically downloaded and stored on your device whenever you visit a website, these cookies allow websites to track you and follow your activity on the internet to get a more detailed look into your online routine, which they later use to target you with advertisements.
Although this may seem harmless, some cookies are a bit more invasive and collect and examine your data, from your logging information, to the kind of content you prefer. Rather than having your personal data collected by third party websites, it would be a lot easier to occasionally delete these cookies from your system. Wiping cookies does not contribute a lot to protect your anonymity, however it will prevent websites from tracking your activity, and examining your online habits.
Conceal Your Identity
Search engines constantly keep track of your searches, the data stored contains your habits and interests, and also provides data to third parties that may use it against you. Whenever you visit a website, it automatically collects your IP address, this is necessary because otherwise it wouldn’t be able to show you any content. In most cases, it even detects your location, your time zone and even your language. Now this information being out might seem minor to you, but all of your personal information is then given to agencies to target specific advertisements towards you.
An unprotected online persona offers up your complete operating system, browser type, and even the version of software you’re using. The primary way to conceal your identity is by using Anonymous Search Engines, searching anonymously evades the risk of third parties from tracking your search results, as well as unneeded cookies being stored on your device.
Using this limits your digital footprint since it prevents third party websites from storing your data and limits data breaches containing your personal information. Admittedly, it is not a flawless shield, Anonymous Search Engines like DuckDuckGo limit your risk of data breaches, and your private information in someone else’s hand.
Browse in Private
As established, each time you visit a website, you leave cookies through which websites track anything you do on the internet. A private browsing mode, also called Incognito Mode, gives you autonomy to surf the web without having to worry about your activities being tracked, and used against you. Having said that, a private browsing mode only improves anonymity locally. A private browser doesn’t provide absolute anonymity, but pairing it with a VPN adds an additional layer of security to guarantee better privacy.
Use a VPN
Using a VPN creates a barrier between you and any third party that wants to store your activity on the internet to use it against you. VPN for Windowsgrants you the access to surf the web anonymously because using a made-up IP address provided by the VPN you are using will restrict websites from locating your identity and blocking them from storing any of your information.
Basically, using a VPN will avert websites from stealing your personal data, encrypt your activity to sell it to agencies, and even fend off hackers from attacking you with malwares to hack into your system. All in all, VPNs provide you the access and ease of surfing the web without having the worry of putting your vulnerable information at risk, and provoking hackers to get into your system.
Use Ad Blockers
Ad blocker plugins restrict websites from constantly bombarding you with annoying pop ups that usually have hidden malware that can expose your data and make your system vulnerable. Through an ad blocker, you remain protected from unnecessary, mind-numbing pop ups, malware, and eventually hackers looking for unguarded systems.
To summarize, absolute anonymity on the internet in today’s world is a fantasy, you can reduce the chances of hackers prying on your vulnerable information and stay protected against cyberthreats.