Let’s face it, almost all of us have thought about leaving our online life behind at least once. Just get rid of all the technology and go off the grid.
Can you even imagine how peaceful your life would be without these regular online pressures?
Frankly, it can be quite emotionally and physically draining to be on Social media and be in touch with each friend on Instagram, Facebook, and so on.
And with so many new blogs, videos, ebooks, etc. available online, it can become difficult to live your life in the traditional manner.
Not to forget the bazillion advertisements that make you feel conscious about your body and skills and pressurize you into buying products that you really don’t need.
And don’t even get started on how much time we essentially end up wasting on file downloads, especially torrent downloads.
This is why it might be quite appealing to a few of us to go completely offline, meaning no social media, no Youtube subscription, zero online availability. But there are a few others who might still like enjoying their Internet access.
Well, what if you could enjoy Internet browsing without interacting with anyone? What if there was a possibility to go off-the-grid but still stay online? Sounds impossible, right?
Read on to know if you can actually pull this off for yourself or not.
Now, before we tell you how to go online anonymously, here are a few important things to remember.
You can never get complete online anonymity, no matter how much you try. There is no way to go fully off-the-grid. Why?
Well, because the government needs to know that you exist and are alive. So, your official information like Social Security Number should never be erased. If you even try that, the government is going to come after your life, pretty hard and you will be in a scary situation.
And ideally, you can never be 100% anonymous, that just doesn’t happen. You can do the best you can and achieve an 80% anonymity and honestly, that’s a really great deal in today’s world. So, there is always going to be a chance that your accounts might get hacked or you might get found out or noticed due to your online activities.
Our Internet world is a big, amazing system but yes, it is essentially flawed. So, here are a few steps that you can take to keep your information protected from online hackers and spies.
What does Off-the-Grid mean?
So, you might already have deduced that the ‘grid’ that we are referring to is the power grid. A power grid is basically an interlinked system that transports electricity to everyone’s household. Apart from electricity, a power grid can also include utilities such as natural gas, telephone lines, power, etc.
And one of the most popular power grid items in today’s world is the Internet. If you are contemplating to live 100% off-the-grid, then here is what it will contain:
- No internet access
- No mobile phones (no post-paid, prepaid only)
- No debit or credit cards
- Modify your complete appearance
- Produce heat, electricity, etc. independently for yourself
- No relying on public utilities anymore
Now, this might sound extreme and make you feel like a plot of a spy movie or an action movie where people stay on private islands as part of a Witness Protection Program. But the fact remains that it is quite possible to do this for anyone who wishes to live off-the-grid.
Just make sure that you don’t do anything illegal like stealing someone’s identity or Social Security Number and pay your taxes to the government on time, you can enjoy with Internet-devoid life and make the most of it.
How to enjoy the best of both the worlds
Well, it is actually possible to live off-the-grid while staying on-the-grid. Confused?
Let us explain.
If you wish to get the best of both worlds then you will need to keep your mobile phone and Internet access. However, your identity will be anonymous so you won’t attack hackers or trackers and it will become difficult for people to actually find you. For all people know, you might be at home eating dinner but you actually might be just enjoying a sunset in New Zealand.
With this off-the-grid yet on-the-grid approach, you can actually end up with a good and enjoyable life. This way, you are connected but you aren’t on anybody’s radar. You have the privacy and the freedom to do almost all the things online without anyone noticing you. And this is a great way to protect yourself from identity thieves as well because they won’t be able to find you online.
However, it is definitely not as easy as it looks or sounds. You will struggle to maintain your online anonymity and will even face issues in paying for certain applications and software that you need to use to stay anonymous. A lot of these anonymous tools are expensive and require a lot of cash which is just not possible for most people.
Also, even though you are going off-the-grid with the best intentions of simply protecting yourself, chances are you can still get hacked.
Best methods for staying anonymous
Of course, with any choice, you have to face a few risks but unlike other risks, this is a calculated one. You are trying to stay anonymous online with good intentions. If you are trying to stay anonymous online so that you can illegally steal someone’s identity of accounts, then this post is not for you.
For the others who wish to stay anonymous to protect themselves, we are here for you. You might want to stay anonymous because you wish for privacy or because you don’t want to get noticed by the public.
Whatever it may be, here are a few ways in which you can stay online anonymously to enjoy an off-the-grid life.
Stop using public accounts
Google is one of the top-used websites used in the Internet world. A lot of people can be seen using the Gmail services by Google and even more use the Google search engine to browse for content online.
And since Google is present everywhere, it can also record all your activities with great ease. They store information about you like your IP address, your browsing history, account details credentials, website cookies, and so on. This can make it really hard to go anonymous and the only workaround for this problem is to opt for other website search engines and web browsers.
You can start by using the DuckDuckGo search engine that will provide you privacy and anonymity while searching the website for blogs, articles, and so on.
Update your password often
One of the most frequently made mistakes by a lot of users is to keep the same password for all the accounts online, regardless of which website they visit. This should be avoided because no matter how strong or difficult your password is, hackers are still able to find all about you if your password is the same everywhere.
So, make sure that you change your password often and keep the passwords the same for all your accounts. The more you change your passwords, it is less likely that the hackers will find the information to hack your accounts. Ideally, changing your password once or twice a month is a great way to stay secure.
Choose HTTPS websites for the rest of your life
I am sure a lot of you must already know but each website on the Internet has a protocol. This protocol is basically a mode of information transfer from a server to your computer using the Internet. And the most popular protocol that is used by all websites is the Hyper Text Transfer Protocol, otherwise shorthanded as HTTP.
This protocol keeps the information about the data that is being transferred between the website you are browsing and your own web browser. In the basic HTTP format, this data can easily be seen by anyone using the Internet as it is unprotected.
However, you can keep your data and privacy protected by using the HTTPS format websites where the S stands for Secure. This protocol format offers a secure connection between the website and the browser and your data is encryption protected.
So, you can get the HTTPS Everywhere extension to keep your browsing data private. This extension forces the websites to use HTTPS protocol whenever you access them.
Create a secret email address
I am sure that not many people like spam or spam emails and if you do then you are definitely one of the few people who do. In order to protect yourself from spam emails, you can create a secret email address for yourself. So, whenever you receive unwanted spam or junk email, you can simply forward it to this secret email address and keep your real email address clean and decluttered.
Make sure that only a handful of people know about your secret email address or your secret life. If you share this information with more people, you can say goodbye to your security and privacy.
Use a VPN to go virtually private
While Virtual Private Networks, i.e., VPN is mainly used by government agencies, it doesn’t mean that you can create your own VPS or private networks. How can a VPN help you though?
Well, a VPN is effective in keeping your IP address and your unique online identifier hidden. Basically, whenever you connect to the Internet, you have a unique IP address that is associated with your phone, tablet, or PC.
So, a VPN helps in hiding this unique IP from everyone when you are connecting to the Internet. Not only that, but it also ensures that the data transferred through the Internet goes through a secure, encrypted tunnel. With the help of a VPN, you can ensure that no one has any information about your Internet activity or from where you are accessing the Internet data.
Another great way to keep your identity private and secure when browsing the Internet is by using the Tor browser. This browser was created by a group of computer programmers who wanted to help people in keeping their privacy while using the Internet.
So, Tor is simply a browser that works like a VPN. Anyone who uses Tor can access the ‘hidden’ web where you can form websites or communicate with others, anonymously.
Get rid of your phone
Smartphones are the easiest way to track someone down and figure out what are they doing and where. And they definitely cannot keep your identity or privacy protected so if you really wish to go off-the-grid then get rid of your phone.
Another way to stay off-the-grid while keeping a phone is by never turning on the Location setting of your smartphone. This location setting allows you to track down the locations easily around you and vice versa. So, if you are trying to stay anonymous, keep your location turned off.
If you don’t wish to keep the location setting switched off for a long time, then buy disposable phones to stay anonymous.
Make money transactions anonymously
A couple of years back, a new source of currency was introduced which was mainly for handling Internet transactions. This currency is known as bitcoin.
But for people who want to do transactions anonymously, there is a new currency known as Dash. Dash is a private version of bitcoin and is not widely accepted by Internet merchants. However, once you find a few merchants that accept it, it is easy to do financial transactions safely and privately.
Use a virtual machine
You can also access your primary computer virtually using an application known as a virtual machine. This application acts like your secondary computer where you can perform all the tasks like checking your emails, sending or receiving information, etc. If you see any unsafe files or viruses on the virtual machine, you can simply delete the files and the virtual machine.
If the files are fine, then you can send those files to your primary computer and then delete the virtual machine. This way, you are able to access your files without leaving any trace behind of this.
Keep your cookies deleted
Another popular term that a lot of you might already be aware of – cookies. Whenever you visit or log in to a website, your information gets stored in your web browser in the form of cookies. So, on the basis of your browsing history, a lot of marketing agencies target and spam you with unwanted advertisements.
All of this is possible because of the cookies so, make sure that you delete the cookies right away after visiting a website.
A lot of us use peer-to-peer or P2P service to download content on our computer. And at a time, several users are downloading and uploading content all over the world but their data and identity are not anonymous. Anyone can easily see what is being downloaded as your IP address is visible to all.
Now, you could download using torrent protocols as it is quicker yet it doesn’t allow you to stay anonymous for a long time. This is where the SeedboxCo comes into effect. It offers a private dedicated server to you so that you can upload and download digital files privately. They also have a VPN tunnel that ensures anonymous browsing while providing you high-speed network.