Privacy and security are the biggest myths in the age of digital espionage and widespread surveillance.
As we spend part of our lives online using the Internet, it is safe to assume that our privacy is not really a private thing.
Everyone from Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and cybercriminals to governments and advertisers, there are several elements watching and stalking your every move, tempting you to either go offline or become anonymous.
But a little effort and smartness, you can still safeguard your privacy and security and keep your data away from dubious collection practices. Here are some effective techniques to boost your anonymity online and stay smart.
1. Disabling 3rd Party Cookies
Third-party cookies are mainly used to collect information about user behavior across multiple websites. In reality, these are placed on your device by advertisers on the websites you visit. Not all websites support third party cookies, but you can’t take your chances.
These cookies help advertisers to create user profiles without their knowledge and then show ads based on their likes and preferences. Targeted advertisements are a controversial topic because while some don’t mind them, many others find them a serious threat to their privacy.
This is why it is sensible to block third-party cookies using your browser’s privacy settings.
2. Use a Private Search Engine
Some of the most commonly used search engines like Google, Yahoo or Bing have answers to most of our queries and requirements. Yet these companies collect vast amounts of personal information about their users and are not ideal if you are going for anonymity.
Right from recording your IP address to storing data about your search history, they collect a whole lot of information about you. And then they use this information to benefit, you guessed it, advertisers. Your advertising profile or persona is created and they display highly targeted ads to you.
But now you can bypass these problems and make your web searches truly private. Use search engines designed for privacy such as DuckDuckGo and avoid the tracking, stalking and targeted advertising.
3. Create Private Email Account
Email privacy and security has never been more important. From Russian hackers to identity theft and all the ensuing mess that has unfolded recently, it is evident that standard email users are the softest targets for anyone wanting to misuse data.
When you create private email account you ensure anonymity in the true sense. The software and service behind private email require minimal personal information to get you started.
Further, they are usually equipped with features like:
- End-to-end Encryption
- Masking IP address
- Automated email deletion
In short, private emails are created to let the user have maximum control and privacy over their emails.
If you need to send sensitive or confidential emails without the fear falling into the surveillance web, then private email is the best option for you.
4. Use a VPN
The Internet Protocol or IP as we commonly know it, provides your identity on the Internet. This information can help anyone to find out where you are located and what you are up to on the web.
Using a VPN to mask or hide your IP address is very important if you are keen on privacy and anonymity.
You can invest in a secure and trusted VPN service that helps you replace your original IP address with an anonymous one. This helps you guard your online presence and activity from prying eyes.
VPN also offers features like AES 256-bit encryption, Internet kill switch and WebRTC leak protection to bolster the security.
To sum it up
While using the Internet is always a potential threat to your privacy, you can protect your personal data and identity using the measures listed above.