- Use VPN
VPN is an acronym for Virtual Private Network. Its duty is to prevent the receiving servers from ascertaining your location. This way, everything about your location is made impossible for the internet to detect and Anonymous . If you want to know how effective this could be, use any modern browser to search anything using Google search engine. Scroll to the bottom of the page and you’ll discover that even Google reads an incorrect location for you.
Moreover, if you’re in a location that is blocked from enjoying certain services, the VPN will allow you access to it for free. Some manufacturers offer paid or premium services which I recommend for optimum personal data protection. Of all ways on how to be completely anonymous on the internet, using VPN is the most practiced.
- Go Incognito
You must have been across a setting labeled ‘Incognito’ while going through your browser. Well, this option instructs a user’s browser to instantly delete any browsing history. It is not so much of a method to stay anonymous online but helps a lot. How incognito mode helps is that it makes sure that no malicious software accesses the history of your browser.
If any malicious software gains access, it may be able to extract vital data such as passwords and stuff that you like. It will forward this info to its manufacturers who will either target a particular advertisement at you or sell the data for money.
- Mind the Plugins
There are lots of tempting plugins available on browsers such as Chrome, Firefox, and Opera. The plugins are often accompanied by good descriptions which promise to do nothing with your personal data. However, these plugins anonymously collect every data entered either directly on its path or any other path or location in the browser. Such data could be your name, date of birth, hobbies, location, and as much as it can take. When such data departs from the computer or mobile device, it is monetized and could victimize an individual in any way.
How to Know a Good Plugin
Checking for the recommendation is a good way to know a good plugin. However, this is still not to be trusted as you will be unaware of the plugin’s activities while they are installed. Even the browser in use will warn against installing the plugin which means that the browser manufacturers are just as uninformed as you.
Check for Number of Downloads
Another way to know a good plugin is to check for the number of downloads. Funny enough, this works for virtually all plugins. Even after downloading such a plugin, try to run a scan to see if there is any tracker or data theft function installed.
This is a good way to find out what others have to say about a particular plugin. View reviews optimally by setting the viewable reviews to single stars. This will display all negative reviews of such a plugin. Go through and search for reviews that point towards personal data theft.
- Avoid Google
Avoid Google if you intend to stay anonymous. In fact, a good way on how to be completely anonymous on the internet is to dump personal data requesting networks. Apart from Google, there are a few others that are insincere. What impresses me about Google is that they are a sincere company. They inform a user of every personal data access and give reasons supporting why they must access such information. In truth, some of the information required by networks such as Google is always important so that they can serve you better.
How to Hide Your Identity Online from Networks Such as Google
The only way is to provide such networks with a fake ID and whatsoever else they require. The mistake most internet users make is to trust their details to these top networks. In as much as they are trustworthy, issuing them personal details would mean exposing one’s identity online. Therefore, it is either you issue fake details or avoid using any of them.
- Abandon Http Websites
Time and time again, internet users are being warned from entering details or even using any website without an SSL certificate. It is very unsafe to carry out data exchange on such websites to prevent your info from being stolen. Whether such a website belongs to your bank, a trusted company, Facebook, YouTube, etc. avoid and do not perform any activity on it until it changes to https.
To know whether a particular website uses Http or https, look towards the top left side of the display screen and click on URL. Move the cursor backward and confirm whether it is Http or https. Most modern browsers now save internet users the stress by marking such a website as ‘unsafe’.
- Use Tor
The Tor browser is like a VPN but offers several other false IP address features. The services rendered by Tor tends to be most trusted in the world for any activity or for anyone who intends to stay hidden on the internet. Simply download the Tor software, fill the necessary fields (if required), connect and do whatever you wish with protection from data thieves online.
Note that Tor protection does not extend to the personal details you input on various platforms. What Tor does is to block any tracker, government or nongovernment, from figuring out where your computer is visiting from. As earlier stated, you could well visit any restricted platform by switching your IP to the countries they support. Isn’t technology just interesting?
- Transact Online Using Another Person’s Account
If we could dodge any platform easily by not using correct details, payment platforms would be the most difficult. One of the reasons why it will be difficult is because of the banking feature called authentication. Recall that once you are about to create a bank account, you are required to equally submit your thumbprint data.
Failure to do so would mean an incomplete registration. On this note, to successfully avoid exposing your details to the bank, create such an account using another individual. Also, the disadvantage of using another individual is that if a phenomenon like death befalls them, it will be difficult to retrieve the money. Of course, you will be required to make some personal data submissions.
Banks are fond of updating customers frequently to keep their users away from being victimized. Signing up directly would mean giving these details to them and having to receive messages which could sometimes turn out to spam. What I’m insinuating is that for every online transaction, you must use another person’s account to trade.
- Restrict Apps
Gone are the days when consumers had no control over the activities of their mobile phones. In Android phones, for instance, beginning fully from Android KitKats, users are able to decide what function an installed application can perform. Some of such modifiable functions that have to do with user identity include:
- App access to location
- Access to the contact list
- Reading of mobile phone messages
- Access to front and rear cameras
- Voice recorder access (some apps anonymously record what you say)
Restricting apps from gaining access to any of the above-mentioned functions reduces the chances of personal data theft. Do not ignore so as to fully block malicious applications from stealing your data. These features are equally accessible on iPhones, enable or disable the functions, to remain anonymous online. Simply, go to apps under your phone’s settings to enable these instructions.
- Use Fake Details on Several Networks
Using correct details on any social or nonsocial network is good but not when a company seizes the opportunity to take advantage of your information. The networks to use fake details does not exclude the likes of Facebook, Twitter, etc. Although these networks request for permissions, there may still be anonymous data retractions that you are not aware of.
Recommended Privacy Tools
There are a few privacy bound tools that help to stay below the radar. Here are a few of them to keep your identity away from the internet.
- Tor browser
- VPN apps available on Play Store or Apple App Store
- Proxy Servers
- Redirect checker
- Location block plugins
- Incognito browsers
How to Clear Existing Identity Details Online
Clearing an existing identity online is very simple. Once, I signed into a spam website unknowingly. A few days later, my official mail address suffered spam mails from various sects of internet fraudsters and criminals. Today, I have a spam-free email after doing the following:
Check the Link Embedded in the Spam Mail
For most of the spam emails you receive, it is either your data on a particular site is being sold to spammers or it’s an attempt to draw traffic or hack your account. Stop this by checking the entire email for the link pointing to such a website. Go to the website and find the option to ‘Delete’ or ‘Deactivate’ account. Most websites will prevent you from deleting your account. However, you could get around this by editing the registered mail or whatsoever and entering an invalid ID to null the account. Save the ID and exit.
Unsubscribe for the Email
Some websites allow you to ‘unsubscribe’. Simply hit the button and you’re free.
Note: If possible, delete your details on such a site before unsubscribing.
Mark Such Senders as Spam
When there are no options to unsubscribe, don’t panic. To be sincere, you can never do away with such mails permanently but you can instruct your mail provider to redirect such messages to a spam folder or permanently block the servers from reaching you with fraudulent messages.
Thoughts on Hiding Your Identity Online
This article has answered the question, “can you be anonymous on the internet”. Although it is smart to stay anonymous, it is also disadvantageous to stay anonymous online.
It is recommendable to go anonymous occasionally rather than for life. The principal reason is the reason that most activities we do online now require our personal details to function.
My Last Word
Instead of going fully anonymous, be mindful of the networks you sign into and avoid visiting malicious sites with a traceable IP address. Moreover, do not constantly provide original details for networks that are irrelevant or that you do not require any vital occasion.
Meanwhile, consider sending anonymous emails only to hide your presence on the internet