How to Surf Anonymously on the Web
With internet availability growing day by day we should all take a step back and realize it’s not entirely safe. Whether it be by hackers or by identity theft the internet should be taken seriously. Simply by connecting to the Internet, you share information about your computer, your geographical location, and even about the Web Sites you visit.
The goal of anonymous Web surfing is to circumvent the technologies that track your online activity and may potentially expose your personal information to others. By surfing anonymously, no one knows who you are, where you’re connecting from or what sites you are visiting.
When people think of surfing the Web anonymously, they automatically associate it with extramarital affairs, malicious hacking, illegal downloading, and other sordid behaviors. That’s not necessarily the case. In fact, there are many legitimate reasons why someone would wish to remain anonymous online :
- You’re a staunch free speech advocate and don’t want the government or anyone else to censor your activities.
- You believe that the Internet is the perfect forum in which to express your opinions freely without fear of being harassed or tracked down by people who don’t agree with those opinions.
- Living abroad and want to access streaming video content that’s only available to people living in your home country.
- Don’t like the idea that search engines are collecting information about your queries.
- You don’t want online advertisers to know where you live or what products you buy.
How can you be protected?
Is your desktop or laptop computer connected directly to a broadband modem? That’s a very bad idea. Hackers are constantly bombarding IP addresses to see if they can get onto a system. There are several options you could do but if you want to be absolutely safe stop using Windows or macOS on the desktop, and move to a Linux distro that specializes in all forms of keeping your secret. Your best bet is Tails: The Amnesic Incognito Live System.
Make sure your browser isn’t storing too much personal info. In the settings menu, turn off the ability for the browser to store the passwords you use to access websites and services. That can be a pain, as you should have a different password for every service you use.
The way to ensure outsiders don’t gather information about you while you’re browsing the web is to appear to be someone else in a different location. This requires a proxy server and/or a virtual private network (VPN) connection. With the right combo, you can not only be anonymous, but surf sites in other countries as if you’re a native.
The Pros of being anonymous online
Being anonymous online means being able to fully exercise freedom of speech. Through the use of unidentifiable pseudonyms, users are able to speak their minds using various opinion-sharing platforms like social media sites, blog hosting services, and even in the comments section of websites, without incurring judgment or backlash that may affect them in the real world.
Online anonymity provides freedom of movement, at least online, allowing users to conduct activities without being judged by others or directly observed by snoopers. A user can shop for any item online, watch and comment on a video, express support for any person or cause, or become a member of an online community, all without being judged in the real world.
Establishing an online persona that is not associated with a user’s real name is possible because of online anonymity. This makes it easier to compartmentalize online hobbies and personal life separately, and can even lead to the establishment of online connections for those with the same interests.
With online anonymity, users wouldn’t have to worry too much about their personal safety being compromised as a result of whatever it is that they may be doing online. For example, a user can do whatever they want without others finding out where he or she lives and possibly inflicting physical injury.
Personal data is considered among the most valuable commodities on the internet, that’s why hackers go out of their way to obtain it. Being anonymous prevents hackers from getting access to sensitive information such as personal data, credit card transactions, passwords, and banking information.