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Anonymous browsing practices: How to safeguard your online privacy

19.02.2024
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Knowing how to use the internet anonymously is essential at a time when online privacy is becoming more and more elusive. Many organisations, including internet service providers, hackers, and even government agents, are continuously monitoring your digital trail. You cannot completely protect your surfing history from prying eyes by using only incognito mode. This post offers thorough guidance on anonymous browsing, giving you a road map for successfully protecting your online activity.

Use a VPN for safe and anonymous browsing

A Virtual Private Network (VPN) stands as a formidable shield against prying eyes. By connecting to a VPN server, your internet connection becomes encrypted, and your real IP address is masked. This not only ensures anonymity but also prevents websites from identifying you based on your IP address and location.

When choosing a VPN, prioritise features like a zero-logs policy, diskless servers, and a kill switch. Hide Expert VPN, known for military-grade encryption and dedicated P2P servers, is a recommended choice.
Read on: Cyber hygiene key for public safety.

Choose a privacy-friendly browser

Opting for a browser that prioritises user privacy is essential. While popular browsers like Chrome and Edge may compromise your privacy, Firefox stands out as a secure choice. Firefox incorporates security features and offers a plethora of extensions to protect against tracking and privacy breaches.

For advanced anonymous browsing, consider the Tor browser. Operating on an online network for encrypted and anonymous communication, Tor ensures complete privacy, though at the cost of slower connection speeds.

Search anonymously with DuckDuckGo

DuckDuckGo, a renowned anonymous search engine, allows you to explore the internet without being tracked. Unlike major search engines, DuckDuckGo does not track your searches, providing a privacy-centric alternative. Startpage, another recommended option, draws results from Google without compromising user privacy.

Install privacy browser extensions

Enhance your online privacy with browser extensions designed to block invisible trackers and ads. Privacy Badger gradually blocks invisible trackers, Ghostery reveals and blocks tracking cookies, and uBlock Origin filters out unwanted scripts. These extensions collectively contribute to a more secure and anonymous browsing experience.

Use secure email apps

Safeguard your personal information by opting for secure email services with end-to-end encryption. ProtonMail, a leader in secure email, utilises advanced encryption techniques to ensure the privacy of your emails. With its integration capabilities and user-friendly interface, ProtonMail is a reliable choice.

Secure your social media settings

Minimise data collection by social media platforms through meticulous adjustment of your privacy settings. Opt out of tracking requests, location tracking, and targeted ads. By limiting the data you share, you enhance your overall online anonymity.

Additional tips for maximum anonymity

  • Test your anonymity using tools like browser leak tests and proxy score assessments.
  • Consider using a proxy server as a lighter alternative to VPNs for specific online restrictions.
  • Opt-out of targeted ads using tools like the Network Advertising Initiative’s (NAI) opt-out tool.
  • Prevent WebRTC leaks by using a VPN like Hide Expert VPN that reliably plugs such leaks.
  • Stop WebGL fingerprinting by tweaking browser settings to block hardware fingerprinting.
  • Randomise your MAC address to protect against MAC address-based attacks.

While achieving absolute online anonymity is challenging, implementing these tips collectively minimises unwanted data collection and surveillance. Remember, the key is to tailor your approach based on the level of anonymity you desire. By incorporating these practices, you take significant strides towards securing your online activities in an increasingly interconnected digital landscape.