We all yearn for different levels of anonymity when browsing the internet for reasons that are best known to us. But while most browsers offer privacy features, they still fall short of expectations. Overwhelmingly, social media and other apps that use network access also seem untenable when it comes to tracking and sharing your data.
You want to browse the web without being seen and become completely invisible while transacting, browsing social media, sending emails, etc. We have some tips and tricks for you to use the internet anonymously.
1. Prevent browsers from tracking location data
Allowing browsers and apps to track your location is toxic to your anonymity. It not only exposes your online activities but also makes it easy for apps to share the places you visit.
Conventional browsers such as Chrome, Firefox, and Microsoft Edge, when allowed, also use your IP address and geolocation information to send your location data to visited websites. Location data on these websites, however, is used to personalize ads and suggest locations around you. But the people and agencies you don’t want can still use this information to monitor you.
Even if you use VPNs, you might want to turn off location tracking in your browsers to help keep you anonymized. For example, you can do this in Chrome by going to Settings > Privacy and Security. From there, open Site settings, scroll down and select Site. So choose Do not allow sites to see your location.
2. Use private browsers
While browsing incognito on traditional browsers erases your browsing history and cleans up your cookie clutter, that doesn’t mean you’re browsing the web anonymously, after all.
Websites can still track your network traffic for personalized advertisements. And even worse, your IP address is blatantly visible, even to third-party applications. So anyone can always pin you this way.
You can avoid all of this when using dedicated private browsers. These browsers do not need any additional settings to take you on your anonymous visit, as that is their default purpose.
Some of them not only prevent data sharing but also hide your location. Fortunately, private browsers like Thor are even free.
3. Use premium proxies
Proxy servers are popular Internet personality correctors. Instead of routing directly through your client, a proxy network picks up a response from a source through multiple channels and sends it back to you.
Essentially, they mask your internet presence by asking on your behalf without exposing your IP address. Thus, the IP address of a client becomes redundant in such a connection, since it is not actively involved in the exchange.
In cases where you don’t intend to request only over HTTP, you can take advantage of SOCKS proxies, a more versatile option. Unlike HTTP proxies, they offer mileage to connect over any protocol. In addition, they do not record your browsing information. And they’re faster and sometimes more secure than HTTP proxies.
Still, while there are free and paid proxy options to hide your online presence, there are plenty of reasons you might want to avoid free proxies.
4. Use VPNs
Using virtual private networks (VPNs) is one of the best ways to browse the web anonymously. They encrypt your connection on a public network and make it appear private.
In addition to hiding your IP address, VPNs dynamically switch it to a different web address. Therefore, they allow you to access content related to the region.
VPNs also offer generic IP masking and adjustments for third-party applications. And many VPNs allow you to customize your IP to the region of your choice.
This way, third-party apps and websites cannot monitor your traffic as they cannot determine your browsing preferences or location. While there are a lot of them, you should avoid using bad VPNs.
5. Stop browser cookies
When cookies are active, browsers exchange cookie data across the web for traffic monitoring and personalized advertising. And given the information they keep, they could become a haven for sniffer malware and hackers.
To disable cookies on Chrome, open Settings > Privacy and Security, go to Cookies and other site data, and select Block all cookies.
You can also activate Clear cookies and site data when you close all windows to automatically delete cookies when you close your browser. Then turn on Send a “Do Not Track” request with your browsing traffic to limit tracking.
Personalized ads can be a watch route if left unchecked. Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, among others, if allowed, capture your traffic on your networks to personalize the ads you see.
Plus, they collect data about the posts you like, the people you follow, and the content you post to personalize your experience.
In the worst case, some social media apps can monitor the links you click, the sites you go to, and the places you visit. However, many of these social media platforms have the option of opting out of personalized ads. So you might want to start from there.
7. Use private search engines
It’s not news that search engines like Google and Bing store your search history. Not bad. Also, they do this for indexing, which helps them recommend the best search results when making queries.
But to veil yourself completely, avoiding such search engines is your best bet, even if you are using a VPN or proxy server. Fortunately, there are many private search engines. And they don’t store some of your data in their database.
Examples of effective private browsers include DuckDuckGo, Startpage, Qwant, MetaGer, and many more.
8. Use anonymous email clients
You often share your email address whenever you use third-party options to sign in to apps and websites that require authentication. Some anonymous email clients may generate a random string when connecting using third-party options.
Moreover, they can encrypt your email address every time you send an email to another person. Apple’s iCloud, for example, even offers this feature out of the box. Although they hide your email address, emails sent back to the encrypted address still land in your original inbox.
ProtonMail and Cyber Atlantis are examples of anonymous email account providers that can effectively hide your IP address.
Combine these anonymous browsing options
There are many intrusive factors on the Internet, and it is often difficult to know when they are attacking you. Thus, it is sometimes necessary to put blinders on your tracks on the internet. While these are all proven ways to hide yourself on the internet, no hat is right for everyone. So you can consider combining a few of them to fill more gaps. For example, you can use proxy servers with VPNs for better results.
Sometimes you need to hide your IP address. Here are some ways to hide your IP address and make yourself anonymous online.
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