Hackers are all around us. We all hear frequent news about big companies and personalities getting hacked and a lot of private data getting leaked out on the Internet. Thousands of people can get affected in such situations and can even end up with their social security numbers being available online or getting their identities stolen.
Reading all this news makes you wonder if living off-the-grid might be a better solution for protecting yourself against hackers. No one will know where you stay, what you do, or how do you earn.
Wouldn’t it be exciting to experience one such day?
But frankly, it’s not possible because most of us need to use the Internet to work and survive. At this time, most businesses and consumers will find it hard to continue if we didn’t have the Internet to support us all. So, the only thing you can do is try to find ways to keep your identity and information protected from hackers and keep it out of the public eye.
And well, it is completely possible to live off-the-grid with the help of a few anonymous tools.
Remember, your number one priority is always to keep your emails, important documents, files, and browsing data safe and secure. It will be slightly tricky to keep your files private but you don’t have a choice.
To help you out, we have mentioned a few amazing ideas below so that you can stay online anonymously as well.
Let’s face it, web browsing is essential for us these days. After all, how else would you know how to bake delicious cakes at home or dye your hair on your own?
However, that doesn’t mean that you cannot be careful and use a safe web browser to stay online anonymously.
Use a Proxy server
It is easy for anyone to track your location and hack your information with your web browser IP address. Hackers will then use this information to figure out which websites do you frequently use and how often.
But you can prevent the hackers from getting your information with the help of a proxy server. A proxy server acts as an intermediary computer that will allow you to connect to network resources like websites, files, etc. indirectly. These proxy servers hide your IP address with their own IP address and then connect to your desired network resources.
This way, you could be using the browser from the USA but hackers would think that you are accessing the Internet from France.
A Virtual Private Network is another great way to protect your information and browse the Internet anonymously. In a VPN, you are able to access a public network’s data through a private network. Similar to how a firewall keeps your data protected on your computer, a VPN keeps the data protected that gets transferred between your system and the Internet.
That’s not all, you can easily use a VPN to hide from the government as well. You can use the multiple networks and nodes in the VPN to protect your web traffic information too. A VPN network works by modifying the outgoing IP address similar to how a proxy server works. So, whoever sees the IP address never finds your correct IP address and information and has your false data with them.
One of the best resources available for people who wish to stay anonymous is Tor. Tor, standing for The Onion Router, uses a huge computer network to encrypt your browsing history. And the best thing about Tor is that it has a series of private tunnels as well through which your information is passed to ensure privacy and security. So, instead of using popular web browsers in Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer, and so on, use the Tor web browser for staying online anonymously.
Tor software service with its web browser offers you better security while safely browsing the Internet anonymously.
Avoid Using Google
One of the best ways to stay online anonymously is by not using Google. Did you know that Google stores all your information? Yes, you heard me right!
Google servers can be found everywhere and are definitely one of the web browsers to choose if you wish to live anonymously. Google can easily keep a track of your location and other information as well that can be used by hackers to find you and hack your data.
So, what can you do? Stop using anything that’s Google made. This means no more Google Maps, Gmail, or any other Google application that you would normally use. You can start using the DuckDuckGo web browser that acts like a VPN and protects your privacy when surfing the web.
Once you have secured your web browser, you need to focus on securing your email accounts because it is another great source of information for the hackers.
Just follow these steps to stay anonymous by keeping your email account private and protected.
Use an alias email account
Create an alias email account for yourself where you can forward the emails with the required message. This is basically an alternative account for yourself. Once you have forwarded the email from your real account to your alias account, you can send this data to your recipient.
While your recipient thinks that your alias sent the message, but you are the real message sender and they never get to know your real identity.
Get a disposable email address
Do you know how in spy or crime movies people buying disposable phones and then throw them away when the work is done? Well, the same is possible for emails as well.
Create a disposable email address for yourself and then use it to create different email accounts for different senders and receivers. You can have a different email account for your family, friends, and untrusted websites. This way, no one gets to know your real identity and you can always delete an email account if there is a risk of being identified.
Reply using BCC
Also, make sure that you always use blind carbon copy (BCC) and not carbon copy (CC) while replying and sending emails. This is because BCC keeps the recipients hidden and protected from hackers, trackers, and the normal public.
I am sure a lot of you would have downloaded movies, TV shows, games, etc. from a few websites and might have also used a peer-sharing system. In a peer-to-peer system, you can upload or download files with your peers. But the worst part about this system is that anyone can see what have you shared and when, which makes it a horrible for people who wish to stay anonymous.
But don’t worry, you can use the below methods to hide your information while sharing data with your peers.
Use Proxy server or VPN
One of the simplest ways to hide your identity while sharing data on the peer-sharing system is to use a proxy server or a VPN. In order to download from sites such as MediaFire, both of these options will work perfectly for you.
Now, if you are using BitTorrent to download files, then you will need to use a proxy server or VPN along with a Seedbox. A Seedbox is basically a private dedicated server that allows you to upload and download files anonymously. And since Seedbox operates separately, you save a lot of bandwidth and experience a faster download speed as well. Later, you can download the files to your PC and stay anonymous.
You can use SeedboxCo which offers several features apart from providing security when downloading files. This seedbox also comes with an OpenVPN tunnel that includes automation tools and helps you in browsing the Internet anonymously.
It is a free world mostly so you have the freedom to allow or block any request that comes to your IP address. And blocking cookies and data is the best way to stay anonymous online.
A cookie is basically a piece of information that gets stored in your computer’s web browser to understand your needs and demands better. Websites usually use these cookies to track your visits and the information that was shared with you on your visits. This information is later used by marketers for displayed personalized ads to you any time you browse the Internet.
If you wish to keep your information safe and hidden, just delete the cookies and turn off the cookies tracking option in your web browser.
Block your location data
Another important thing to do is always keep the location setting switched off on your smartphone, computer, or tablet. While the location data is helpful in GPS navigation and finding shops, ATMs, restaurants, etc. around you, this data is also used by the trackers and government agencies to determine where and when you are.
Another important thing for staying online anonymously is to test your security and tighten it wherever you can for more full-proof security. There are a few websites that can help you test your system like domain name systems (DNS), web browsers, etc. to check whether your data and computer are protected or not.
With the help of the testing, you can also determine how anonymously do you use Internet services. A few good websites for carrying out these tests are DNS leak testing, Browserleaks.com, and Panopticlick.
Browser Extensions or Plug-ins
You can also install good browser extensions or plug-ins to keep yourself anonymous online. These add-ons are an effective and cheap solution for your privacy issue.
Use Privacy Badger extension
There are many extensions that can monitor the trackers on websites and with the help of Privacy Badget, you can do this automatically. This browser extension monitors trackers automatically and keeps on getting regularly updated so that it has information on the latest tracking devices and is able to block them for you.
HTTPS Everywhere extension
Another great way to be anonymous online is to use HTTPS for every website. HTTPS stands for Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Secure and offers encryption and decryption of information on your website for a secure data transfer.
HTTPS websites can use either Transport Layer Security (TLS) or Secure Socket Layers (SSL) under the HTTP protocol as another application layer. And you can make your website use HTTPS protocol by simply downloading an SSL certificate for your website. This is helpful for users with websites that require personal information of their readers as it keeps the data secure and private.
An SSL certificate is one of the most effective ways to stay anonymous. And yes, a lot of websites don’t have an SSL certificate so you can use the HTTPS Everywhere extension to force HTTPS on every website that you visit.
Install Ghostery extension
The ghostery browser extension is a great tool for blocking trackers from all over the Internet and even shows you which tracking services have been utilized. You can easily enable and disable tracking with the help of this extension.
Did you know that your web browser shares your network information, without your permission, with any web server that sends a request?
Yes, it is true and this can really affect your plans to stay anonymous. When your WebRTC is enabled on your PC, your unique IP address is accessible by all the websites. And this IP address is also displayed to others even when you are using a VPN.
This is why it is important to keep your WebRTC disabled on your computer.
Get BetterPrivacy extension
Trackers can easily track and find your information even if you have blocked the 3rd party cookies with the help of Local Shared Objects (LSO). Also known as flash cookies since they create problems for Adobe Flash users, these cookies store your information and can easily be accessed by the trackers.
To ensure that this doesn’t happen for you, make sure that you get the BetterPrivacy extension that can obliterate the LSO’s from your computer.
While a plug-in is good for improving your complete website experience, it is not that effective in making your anonymous. So, if you are trying to stay anonymous online, avoid running any plug-ins.
A few anonymous users are also using a hybrid method where they install safe plug-ins like Sandboxie. This application can be used for your Windows computer and is responsible for running your programs in an isolated space. As a result, the programs are unable to make any permanent changes and you can easily stay anonymous.
If you really wish to stay anonymous then avoid using a smartphone. Instead, get a prepaid phone for yourself that can be easily disposed of. These disposable phones are the best way to stay anonymous if that’s what you are rooting for.
Did you know that once you have downloaded the files from the Internet, trackers can still use these files to track your system?
Yes, it’ true! So, if you ever come across suspicious files that might be infected with a virus then the best way to access it is through a virtual machine. A virtual machine, aka VM, is a secondary computer system that you download on your primary computer to access the files remotely. You can access your file from the VM and then check whether they are safe to use or not.
If it is safe to use, then download the file and use it on your primary computer.
Don’t check spam
A lot of you might have received emails or messages where you are declared for some random lucky draw or something. These are all spam messages and are not actually real at all. So, no matter how tempted you might be to click on the flashing message to receive your reward, it is important that you don’t click on the pop-up ad. Just ignore it or close it, if possible.
You would also receive many spam emails in your email account that can be annoying and filled with viruses. Make sure that you don’t click on any link in such emails and avoid replying to the spam.
Use different passwords
Now, we might be tempted to use the same password for every website we visit but that is the best way to get tracked or hacked. So, make sure you set different passwords for different websites and don’t save these passwords on the web browser.
Write down your passwords in a secure place or keep your password in your memory but never let the web browsers save it. Also, keep changing your passwords frequently. Once a month is a good way to keep your account secure and protected.
Use a good firewall system
Finally, one of the best defenses for your network system is a firewall. While a firewall still allows you to share messages, send emails, browse the Internet, and so on, it does block unauthorized access to your PC as well. And it can be available in both software and hardware.
One of the best software with a firewall included in it is the Norton Anti-Virus System and then there is Kaspersky as well. Both the software have features that prevent viruses and allow you to safely browse the web. A few of such software plans also provide spyware protection to the user’s PC.
You can also use a hardware firewall that will actually keep all the computers on your network protected, unlike the software firewall that protects just the computed on which it is downloaded.
Now, no matter how hard you try, you can never be 100% anonymous. So, there is always a chance that you might get hacked but if you take the necessary steps, you then you can certainly keep your information as secure as possible. Make sure you change your passwords every couple of weeks. Keep deleting the browser cookies, block unwanted access, and keep testing your web security regularly.
Just follow as many steps as you can to stay anonymous. In the end, it’s all about how many methods you choose. If you choose more methods to stay anonymous, it will definitely become harder for the hackers or trackers to find you.