Published on February 22nd, 2021 | by Sumit Bhowal0
How To Stay Anonymous Online
Protecting your identity online has become increasingly important as technological innovation interlaces with almost every portion of our daily lives. While the internet was initially almost entirely anonymous in its early years, the advent of social media and the immense amount of money made from the collection of user data from multiple different platforms has increased the need for internet users to protect their identity online. While there may not be an inherent danger to using the internet with an open identity, becoming more aware of the ways in which your data is used and tracked, and how to protect yourself from social engineers and bad actors is critical to developing a fundamentally more secure identity online.
Be More Aware Of Your Online Presence
One of the most critical components of creating a presence online while also maintaining control of your data and online identity is to stay constantly aware of the information that you’re putting on the internet. Social media has become a staple communication tool for most people in the modern era, so it’s no wonder that this is the perfect place for attackers to steal your information and sell your personal data. It’s important to become more aware of exactly the kind of information you’re sharing in public spaces online. Do research into what kind of data that the platforms that you’re using collect on you, and make a conscious decision to become more aware of the information that you share online. While it’s nearly impossible to bar yourself completely from the social interactions that have become so intrinsic to our daily communication efforts, making a conscious decision to only share the information that you’re comfortable with being accessible online by anyone and at any time is a necessary part of controlling your online presence.
Use a VPN
A virtual private network, or VPN, hides your actual IP address from internet activity from websites by tunneling your data between your local network and an alternate location. Using a VPN will secure your internet browsing location and habits from interested data miners and bad actors. They also give users the ability to encrypt their data, so when using a public connection, there is no room for attackers to steal secured information. The use of a VPN can make it difficult to track all of your usage, especially if the location is changed frequently. While the majority of data tracked through your internet usage without a VPN is usually sold to other companies to sell you products, there is a chance that hackers and data manipulation experts can create an environment that leaves your private information vulnerable to attackers.
Invest In a Password Manager
One of the most common ways that people suffer attacks from bad actors on the internet is through the lack of strong passwords and the reuse of old passwords. Because the internet spans so many different websites now, it’s not common for people to be able to remember long complicated passwords that are different for every website. This is where a password manager comes in. With a password manager, you’ll be able to access multiple different websites with much stronger passwords that change often. Password managers are software that are used to frequently change passwords with much stronger alternatives and with a frequency that is hard to track.
Use Alternate Email Accounts
A simple way to make sure that you are less traceable is to use alternate email accounts with no personal information attached to it. By doing this you are less susceptible to the infiltration of data collection by companies that you buy from or sign up to. You can also use your email account to stay safe from phishing attacks as your personal information is less accessible to attackers. When accessing your email, you should take simple safety measures like going to your bank account instead of clicking through links on any banking or financial information. This is important because phishing attacks are often very difficult to detect, as attackers have perfected their craft of replicating realistic looking emails.
Install Ad Blocking Software
When you’re browning the web, protecting your information should be your highest priority. Not only are unwelcome ads annoying, but they can also often have software that installs on your computer and tracks your data. This is one of the most important things that you can do to protect your important information in your email accounts as well as your passwords.
Encrypted Messaging Apps
If you’re worried about the information that is shared when you’re messaging your friends online and whether or not that information is being sold to sell you products, you should consider downloading an encrypted messaging app. Most of these apps require that both parties download the app. However, this gives you the ability to have end to end encryption where messages are unable to be decoded. Most of these apps also now have video and voice call features as well.