You should make your online privacy a priority. There are many threats online that can track your behavior or IP address, while putting your sensitive data in the wrong hands.
Can you really protect yourself online? While you might not be able to be 100-percent anonymous online, you can take valuable steps to increase your privacy and anonymity.
It’s really up to you to take that first step! With that in mind, let’s explore what you can do to increase your privacy and anonymity, and start following healthier online habits.
Why Do You Really Need To Stay Anonymous Online?
Although there are privacy threats on the internet, you might wonder if there are other reasons that should motivate you to want to be anonymous online. There are some good ones to consider! These include the following:
- You want to avoid being tracked: No one wants to be monitored online, and that can happen in a variety of ways, such as by retail stores and even advertisements. By being anonymous, you can engage in a range of online activities, such as shopping or P2P file sharing, without being in danger of getting monitored.
- You want to secure your private data: If you’re anonymous on the internet, you can ensure that your sensitive information, such as your credit card details and passwords, will not get into the wrong hands.
- You don’t want to get into trouble: If you post lots of private information about yourself online, this can put you at risk of security attacks. Similarly, you could post things on websites or social media that can incriminate you, which we’ll get to in more detail later in this article.
Tips On How To Become More Anonymous Online
Now that we’ve looked at some common reasons why you would want to be more anonymous online, let’s see what you can do to increase your safety and security.
#1 Use A VPN
A VPN will be able to give you a few layers of privacy online.
You can find many VPNs that are worth subscribing to because they give you a variety of security features, such as hiding your IP address so you can’t be tracked online.
They are offering a Kill Switch feature that drops your internet connection if you lose your connection to your VPN to prevent your data from being leaked, and not logging your personal details that can be sold to third parties.
Note that while free VPNs can offer some security features, they won’t be as comprehensive as paid-for VPNs. To find out more about the most effective VPNs, read our guide, “Best VPN For Multiple Devices.”
#2 Use The Tor Browser
Tor is a completely free browser to use and it’s highly secure because it redirects your online data through the Onion network. This helps to make you untraceable online so that you can’t be monitored or tracked.
What further helps you to stay anonymous online when using the Tor browser is that it uses DuckDuckGo. This search engine doesn’t share or collect user data, and it avoids ads.
This is important because many online ads can disrupt your online experience, track website visitors, and can contain malware.
#3 Use An Ad Blocker
You can make your online browsing much safer and more anonymous by using an ad blocker. There are many quality ad blockers that will eliminate a variety of ads from websites, such as pop-ups, pop-unders, and banner ads.
It’s really beneficial to install an ad blocker because it will prevent trackers from monitoring your online activity, while also blocking ads that contain malware that can infect your device.
To find out what are the safest and most effective ad blockers, read our guide, “Best Ad Blockers For 2021.”
#4 Check App Permissions
If you make use of mobile apps, you might not realize that they request many more permissions than what they need, such as by accessing your location, address book, and microphone, and this practice can be used to collect personal details from your device.
This is why it’s important to take a look at what permissions apps on your device are using. Consider what they really need the permissions for and prevent them if you feel that the permissions are unnecessary.
#5 Use A Temporary Email Address
Otherwise known as a disposable email address, a temporary email address allows you to create new email addresses when you need them and then you simply discard them afterwards.
This enables you to avoid receiving spam on your real email address. It also prevents your real email address from appearing on websites where it can be used to spam you.
You can find temporary email address services, such as Mailinator, and you should definitely use one to prevent giving out your real information.
Temporary email addresses are a great way to create a buffer between you and spammers.
#6 Be Careful When Using Social Media
You might visit social media sites every day, but what are you posting to your friends and followers?
It’s easy to assume you’re sharing content with close friends and family, but it can easily become accessible to other people.
In addition, the posting of comments on some pages can be accessed online via an internet search of your name, which is quite alarming.
It’s also worth noting that social media platforms provide hackers with data about you so they can steal your identity. This is why it’s crucial to avoid sharing personal information.
By trying to stay as private as possible, you can prevent being the victim of fraud. But, doing this will also prevent you from making a mistake that you could regret.
For example, research has shown that approximately 70 percent of employers will look at job candidates’ social media accounts to see what they’re posting, and 57 percent of companies have confessed to not hiring people because of the content they posted!
#7 Install Anti-Virus Software
You should never overlook installing anti-virus software on your devices as this will ensure that you protect your online activities.
Anti-virus software will also prevent malware from infecting your devices.
Top-quality anti-virus software will go one step further by protecting you from keyloggers who attempt to hack your password while notifying you when you’re on unsafe websites.
#8 Use A Safer Messaging App
Some popular messaging apps sometimes find themselves in hot water with users for their lack of privacy and security.
Think of the messages you send to loved ones and friends on a daily basis – you don’t want anyone to access your private information.
Some of the safest and most private popular messaging apps include Signal and Telegram.
- Signal uses end-to-end encryption that keeps your conversation content private and safe, preventing anyone from being able to access it. You can choose to make your messages, both sent and received, disappear so that no one can trace them. The Signal app is password-protected so that you don’t have to worry about anyone who’s gained access to your device. You can also use a tool to blur faces or other sensitive information in your messages.
- Another safe messaging app that will help to make you more anonymous online is Telegram. It offers a secret chat feature, and these conversations aren’t stored on the app’s servers for greater privacy. Telegram’s secret chats are encrypted and self-destruct, so you don’t have to worry about any personal messages that can be traced back to you.
You might think you don’t need to be more anonymous online, but this is important to increase your security. You never know who could be tracking your online activities.
In this article on how to stay anonymous online, we’ve looked at ways to boost your online anonymity and security, both when it comes to software you should install on your devices as well as healthy online habits to start following so that you don’t allow your private information to get into the wrong hands.
Is Private Browsing Safe?
Private browsing doesn’t hide your online identity or your browsing activities. In addition, your IP address can still be tracked, so you shouldn’t rely on it.
Do Device Updates Protect Your Online Security?
Updates, such as for anti-virus software or your web browser, are important to do regularly because they offer better protection against viruses and other threats, therefore ensuring your device is safe from attacks.