The Internet was designed with the user’s privacy in mind. However, the tale has changed.
Nowadays, nothing you do online is private; it is all accessible to governments, cybercriminals, and large advertising firms such as Google, Facebook, and Yahoo, among others. Thus, once online, it’s as if you’re in an open environment where everyone can see what you’re doing.
The good news is that there are best practices you can follow to safeguard your online privacy from third-party observers such as people, governments, and advertising corporations.
Eight recommendations for anonymous browsing
- Ensure that HTTPS is enabled everywhere
HTTPS Everywhere is a Chrome, Firefox, and Opera plugin that encrypts all connections with unprotected websites, therefore securing your surfing.
When you visit an unprotected or unsecured website (HTTP website), your data is unprotected and vulnerable to interception by hackers or other third parties.
HTTPS Everywhere protects your data against third-party interception by encrypting your connection to unprotected websites.
- Using your browser’s privacy options, disable third-party cookies
Third-party cookies are kept on your hard drive by third-party websites (websites that are connected to the website you are now browsing) in order for those websites to access data about you at a later point.
Third-party cookies store information about your browsing activities, preferences, and tracking information with the intention of recovering this information to give you advertising that is more relevant to your interests.
The good news is that by deactivating third-party cookies in your browser’s privacy settings, you may enjoy a more private surfing experience.
- Substitute private search engines for Google
At one time, I was unaware that search engines other than Google, Yahoo, Ask Me, and Bing existed. What I was unaware of at the time was that these famous search engines collect data from my browsing sessions and also follow my online actions in order to show me personalized advertisements.
When you use private search engines such as DuckDuckGo, Swisscows, SearX, or Disconnect Search, you do not have to fear about search engines collecting information about you without your knowledge.
These private search engines do not save or analyze your search terms, nor do they collect or analyze any other information about your device or surfing experience.
In most instances, these private search engines go a step further by masking your IP address, which gives you the appearance of being anonymous while using the search engine and protects you from online monitoring.
- When surfing the web, use a secure browser
You may be surprised to learn that private browsing or surfing incognito mode will not shield you from online tracking, nor will it stop third-party cookies or prevent search engines from acquiring information about you. Browser in incognito mode disables your device’s ability to save your browsing history.
Secure browsers such as Tor, I2P, FreeNet, Disconnect, Whonix, and others should be used for more secure surfing. These secure browsers safeguard your privacy by bypassing your data via a network of nodes, making it impossible to track.
Additionally, secure browsers conceal your IP address, prevent DNS leaks, and block websites that use trackers.
If you do not want to switch from your current browser to one of these safe ones, you may subscribe to a premium VPN service like NordVPN. Additionally, NordVPN includes client software for Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS.
NordVPN preserves your online privacy 100 percent, keeps you anonymous, shields you from trackers and intrusive advertisements, and disables websites that provide you with third-party cookies.
- Avoid sharing your personal information on social media
I am not going to urge you to abstain from social media sites. Rather, you should remove any sensitive information from social networking sites, such as your date of birth, phone number, and address, to protect yourself from identity theft and to keep your data secure from unauthorized third-party access.
You should create a fake profile on social media networks such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat. This way, your data will remain secure and unaffected by unauthorized access. Finally, always verify friend requests before accepting them. Accept all requests from strangers or those with whom you have no relationship.
- Utilize secure email services
Encrypted email services use end-to-end encryption technology to encrypt all incoming and outgoing email communications. Encrypted email service providers such as ProtonMail, Mailfence, CounterMail, and Lavita, among others, do not track IP addresses associated with your account and do not demand sensitive information from you prior to signing up.
- Make online transactions using cryptocurrency
Transacting with cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, Monero, and others provides a greater level of anonymity, since its primary objective is to make transactions anonymous. As a result, trading with cryptocurrency provides a sense of online anonymity.
- Connect to the Internet through a VPN
Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) are the most effective method of maintaining complete online privacy and anonymity. A VPN operates in the following manner:
- Encrypt your data securely using a military-grade AES-256 bit encryption tunnel. Even your ISP will be unable to view your data after it has been encrypted.
- By concealing your IP address and geographic location, you may appear anonymous online. When you connect to the Internet using a VPN service, the VPN provider gives you a new IP address that hides your old one and alters your location to match the VPN server’s location. As a result, you may be surfing from Saudi Arabia, but your location will display as New York, USA, if you are connected to a VPN server in New York, USA.
- Defending you against DNS leaks. A DNS leak might reveal your physical location and jeopardize your privacy. As a result, you should use a reliable VPN such as NordVPN to protect yourself from DNS leaks. You may perform a DNS leak test to ensure that you are not at risk of a DNS leak.
- A reliable VPN, such as NordVPN, safeguards you from spam messages, third-party cookies, online tracking, third-party espionage, hacking attempts, and other online risks.
NordVPN is an excellent VPN that you can use to ensure complete online privacy and anonymity.
Apart from the purposes stated above, a reliable VPN may be used to circumvent censorship and geo-restrictions, giving you access to unrestricted blocked content and geo-restricted streaming services.