It’d be swell to think that you could go online, look at whatever you want, and think that you’re doing it in complete anonymity. Obviously, that’s not the case, though. Every time you go on a website, there are tracking cookies. Each time you use a Google function, the company’s gaining more information about you. Let’s face it, you’re never ‘alone’ when you’re online with so many companies (and unfortunately hackers) out there trying to get your information.
But that’s not to say there aren’t ways for you to gain this anonymity – we unveil some in this article.
Did You Know?
- That 21% of internet users have had their emails or social media accounts compromised?
- Or that 11% of users have had important information stolen, like their credit card info?
- 68% of users don’t believe that current laws are good enough to protect online privacy?
- And 59% of users don’t believe it’s possible to stay completely anonymous?
If most people using the internet for work, streaming, or playing games like Fortnite, don’t think they can enjoy privacy or rely on US laws to protect them, what hope is there? Thankfully there are actually some; it just means you have to take extra steps to stay safe. Let’s have a look.
Don’t Always Rely On The Big Names
Google. Microsoft. Dropbox. All big names, and no doubt you’ve probably used these companies’ services on a day-to-day basis. But did you know that Google reads every email you send via Gmail? Office 365 has access to what you write, and Dropbox knows what you’re uploading and downloading. You don’t have any privacy on these services, so you should be aware that they all work alongside mass surveillance programs.
Yes, it helps keep the country safe,but they know what you’re up to. That’s why it’s always worth looking out for different services that offer ‘zero-knowledge,’ meaning they won’t keep track of you, such as Protonmail, for example. Maybe use a search engine for ‘zero-knowledge services’…but just don’t use Google for it.
Try Encrypted services
You’ve probably heard by now the controversy surrounding WhatsApp and Facebook with the new terms and conditions to accept to continue using WhatsApp. The surrendering of yet more personal information to Facebook. You’ve probably also seen the massive increase in downloads of Signal and promotion of the services (thank you, Elon Musk). And we can see why. Signal uses cutting-edge encryption technology to ensure everything you send is not shared. Likewise, browsers like Tor are also becoming popular due to the level of anonymity it offers.
Make Sure A VPN Has A No-Logs Policy
Virtual private networks (VPNs) are often seen as the main source of online security, allowing you to remain anonymous when you’re online. And while that is true to an extent, again, like web browsers and other online services, you need to do a bit of research. Like big organizations are known for tracking your online usage, some VPN services can also do that. So to make sure you can get the best out of a VPN, you need to make sure your online activity is 100% private. You need to look for the best no logs VPN; that way, you know they take your privacy details seriously and will never share any of your information. Do that, and then you can use the VPN to stay anonymous online.
Turn Those Cookies To Crumbles
If you like to keep yourself to yourself when online, no doubt you’ll go through the cookies on a website when you first visit. You’ll make sure everything’s off apart from the mandatory functional cookies, but then after a while, it’s easy to fall into the trap of just ‘accepting all,’ just so you can quickly get onto a site. Even if you think you’ve turned all of them off, it’s always a good idea to make sure you’ve wiped them from your system. Get a cookie removing app for your device and mop up the crumbs.
Get Off Social Media
Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram, TikTok – all perfect places to tell the world about yourself. And they are also places for the world to find out the information you might not want them to know. You can either play it safe on social media, limiting your profile to just your friends. Or, if you want to be truly anonymous, say goodbye to the likes and delete your accounts. If you’re after a viral hit video, though, maybe wear a disguise?