The internet is pretty much everybody’s go-to source of information, communication, socialization, and entertainment. With over 90% of people seeing their smart devices as the last thing before they retire for the day and the first thing when they get up in the morning, it is critical that the question of safety crop up. The internet has become an incredibly convenient companion right now, but at what cost?
Every time you log in to your favorite social media site or search for some information online, you are predisposing yourself to a wide range of threats against your privacy. Some cybercriminals can use your browsing habits against you, which is why anonymous surfing is becoming an in-thing for internet users.
What is anonymous surfing?
Anonymous surfing is using the internet while masking your identity to avoid being tracked. These surfing techniques help to keep your privacy and personal details safe and untraceable from prying eyes.
Why anonymous surfing?
The internet has provided its fans with a means to obtain essential information, shop for necessary home products, date, and even show their stand on critical issues affecting them. However, as you go about all these activities online, you also leave yourself exposed. The Government, advertisers, Internet Service providers, and cybercriminals are quite interested in your online activities and the communication you send across.
- You can hide your IP address
Anonymous surfing is one sure way of masking your IP address as you surf the net. Your IP address can be used to determine your neighborhood (though not exact location) and can be used by your ISP to track your browsing activities. Hiding your IP address is one sure way of keeping stalkers and hackers off your online trail.
- Protect your privacy
Anonymous browsing is exceedingly helpful if you live in a country with restrictions on internet use. If you would like to visit websites or use apps that may be illegal in your country, you need to protect yourself from surveillance bots. Again, going anonymous helps you access all the limitless content the internet has to offer; movies, songs, and TV shows, regardless of your location.
Anonymous browsing techniques
The following techniques and tools will help you go anonymous on your next internet visit:
Search for information with alternative search engines
All major search engines (Google, Bing, and Yahoo) collect and store information about your search habits; thus, you need to consider using alternative search engines like DuckDuckGo. Such search engines are built for users with privacy as their priority, and they never profile users or sell your data to interested third parties.
Private browsing is an option that you can use, but it is not as robust in ensuring privacy as DuckDuckGo is. Private browsing only keeps your browser from storing your history, cookies, and other information; but the data will still be stored somewhere. Besides, your IP address will still be exposed.
Navigate to your browser’s privacy settings and delete and block third-party cookies. However, this is only a mild solution; some websites use supercookies that lodge themselves into your device and continually collect information about your browsing history. A better option would be to install the CCleaner tool to clear up all your regular and super cookies.
Encrypt your email
Most of the popular email solutions (Gmail, Outlook, Yahoo, and Hotmail) are not exactly privacy-friendly, which is why you should consider a service that will encrypt your email. A perfect solution would be Hushmail, which provides you with an ad-free private account. Hushmail offers a free limited service, with additional features upon paying a monthly fee. However, it is not above the law, and with a court order, Hushmail has had no choice but to submit email records to the authorities.
You can also consider disposable email addresses, which are quick to create and dispose of. These come in handy for keeping your official email addresses away from shady sites that need an email address to proceed. Mailinator and Guerrilla Mail are some Disposable email providers that you can use.
Use a proxy site
A proxy site or server will help mask your IP address by giving you a bridging or alternative IP address. With a hidden IP address, you can browse with no personal details and no deposit details exposed and simply using bitcoins for any deposits.
However, the main issue with proxy services is that they will help you hide from everyone else, but not themselves. Most proxy services are free, so you can expect them to monitor and sell your browsing data for free. Again, the security they offer is not guaranteed; apart from the anonymous IPs they offer, they do not give other security solutions like encryption.
Using a Virtual Private Network is the most surefire way of keeping your online train secure from prying eyes. Unlike proxy sites, a VPN will encrypt all the data you transfer online. It also assigns you another IP address and connects you to a server in another country, thus keeping stalkers from viewing your online activity.
One of the most reliable VPNs you can rely on is NordVPN, which brings you military-grade encryption, NAT firewall, and other superior security features, which makes it the best online privacy companion.