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Is It Really Possible To Be Anonymous Online?

Monday, May 5th, 2014

Online privacy means different things to different people. While some users want just a little bit of privacy to post anonymous opinions on their favorite websites, others are looking for a significantly higher level of anonymity to avoid getting tracked by the governments, search engines and marketing companies. In this article, we will discuss whether it is possible to achieve privacy on the internet as well as discuss few methods that can help you to be anonymous online.

In order to be anonymous on the internet, you need to stop transmitting your personal information to websites and online service providers. It is worthwhile to note that most governments, marketing companies and criminals track your online activities through your IP address so you can protect your web sessions from a vast majority of surveillance techniques and security threats simply by changing your IP address.

Apart from changing your IP address, you can also protect your privacy by using a disposable email address and fake contact details while signing up for online services. However, a lot of websites including Facebook ask you to provide your real information during the signup process so using fake information would obviously violate the terms of service of such websites. So before you provide fake details to a service provider, make sure to read its terms of service and privacy policy in detail.

Now, that you know that it is possible to be anonymous on the internet, let’s check out few methods that can help you to secure your privacy.

1) Virtual Private Networks – Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) are considered synonymous with online privacy and it’s not difficult to see why. A VPN not only allows you to change your IP address but also protects your web sessions from all types of surveillance and censorship. What’ more, VPNs also allow you to protect your sensitive details from all types of security threats when you are connecting to the internet through unsecured wireless networks. As an added bonus, using a VPN provides unrestricted access to blocked websites and premium On-Demand services.  Some recommended VPN services include companies such as: VyprVPNPrivate Internet AccessIPVanish, and ExpressVPN.

2) Secure Connections – Connecting to a secure website (starting with https instead of http) ensures that your personal data cannot be compromised by hackers or middlemen. There are several tools like “HTTPS Everywhere” available on the web that allow you to route your traffic through secure channels.

3) Use anonymous payment methods – It is possible to protect credit card numbers and banking information from theft and misuse by switching to anonymous payment methods. There are many crypto currencies available online (example, bitcoin) that allow you to buy things anonymously plus you can also pay for merchandise via prepaid Virtual Credit Cards.

4) Change Browser settings – It is possible to achieve a fair degree of privacy online simply by changing the privacy options available on your browser. For instance, you can tell websites not to track your personal data, automatically delete cookies on exit and use Private Mode of browsing to stop sharing your personal details with others.

5) Keep Security tools up-to-date – Last but not the least, you must keep your firewall and anti-virus updated. These days, new viruses and malwares appear on a daily basis so by not upgrading your security tools, you are keeping the doors open for hackers and criminals to steal your private details.

On the whole, it is possible to achieve a fair degree of privacy on the internet by changing your browsing preferences and by using dedicated privacy tools. However, do not expect 100% privacy since you are always leaving digital footprints behind which can be traced back to you in case the need arises.

May 5, 2014

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