Why You Should Care About Your Online Anonymity?

Nowadays data security breaches and privacy scandals are more or less a daily occurrence. With a great extent of our daily activities revolving around the internet, our online privacy is highly at risk of being compromised.

Advertisers, service providers, government agencies and, above all, the hackers are increasingly snooping and spying around - tracking every movement that we make online. If you are someone who hates the idea of third-parties scrutinizing your browsing history, then it's high time you should learn how to be anonymous online and protect your digital identity.

No matter how much you cover your tracks, establishing complete anonymity is virtually impossible. Right from your ISP to the search engines, social networks, email services and even most of the websites that you regularly visit, collect your personal information such as name, age, gender, contact details, IP address, and geographic location and so on. You must realize that there will always be some sort of information available to track and identify you. In other words, you can at best hope to reduce the amount of available information. 

This guide is aimed at helping you learn effective ways to cover your tracks while browsing the internet. Let's find out 5 expert tips that can lead you to online anonymity.

  • Browse Behind a Firewall

Connecting your laptop/desktop PC directly to a broadband modem is a bad practice. It gives the snoopers a relatively easier entry point to break through. Ideally, you should have a router on your home network that can mitigate the risk with a built-in firewall. Routers use Network Address Resolution (NAT) to provide each of the connected devices a unique IP address, which is visible only within the network. That way you can suppress your IP address from being accessed externally.

  • Use a VPN Service

VPN, or Virtual Private Network, enables you to establish an encrypted connection between a web server and your browser. It can be visualized as a tunnel through which you can directly connect with a server - without disclosing your IP address and location. 

It can also double up as a way to get access to location-specific content as your actual location always gets shielded from the server. You can use a reliable service like VPN Unlimited to achieve your objective. It's a good idea to check NordVPN rating, reviews, and usage terms before deciding to engage with such a service.

  • Turn on Private Browsing Mode

Most of the popular browsers have anonymous browsing modes. Chrome has 'Incognito' mode, while Firefox prefers to call it 'Private Browsing'. On Microsoft Edge and IE, it's known as 'In Private Browsing'. If you browse in private mode, the browser doesn't save your browsing history, passwords, cookies, and cached content. In addition, you should turn on 'Do Not Track' option in your browser settings, if it is available. It prevents search engines from monitoring your search pattern.

  • Connect to a Proxy Server

A proxy server is configured to collect and then reroute network traffic. This method allows you to connect to the proxy server and then send a request for different web pages through the proxy server. Only the IP address of the proxy server is visible to the third-party sources, thus hiding your actual details from being made public.

  • Use the Tor Browser

No article on internet anonymity is complete without a mention of the Tor browser. Tor is an acronym of 'The Onion Router' and like an onion, it has multiple layers of security to prevent unauthorized parties from stealing your personal information. It's a comprehensive system, comprising tools, browsers, APIs and network, dedicated to promoting anonymous browsing. It basically acts as a network of proxies, bouncing your requests through multiple relays before reaching the destination. While it's significantly slower compared to the normal browsing experience, it is one of the most effective methods to cover your digital footprint.

The Final Words

We live in a world of mass digital surveillance. If you are worried about being tracked as you surf the internet, then it's important to take control of your personal privacy online. There are several effective ways out there which can prevent your online activity from being exposed to unintended and malicious parties. The tips discussed above can go a long way to help you remain anonymous while browsing the World Wide Web.