How to be anonymous in the Internet, and not to let someone to spy on you

Recent times, the anonymity bothers the users around the world more and more. Maybe the cause is the Snowden’s revelations, or the frequent cases of identity theft, or advertising policies pursued by the major search engines and marketing companies. Anyway, a lot of people want to make their browsing as anonymous as possible, and in this article we will try to explain to you how to do it.

The main pretext for privacy violations performed by government is the threat of terrorism and the fight against crime. However, ordinary, law-abiding citizens also have the right to be anonymous and do not want anyone to read their correspondence, searching for hints of illegal activities. Some people want to receive the most relevant search results on the Internet, which will be independent of previous requests, and won’t be based on user’s interests. Some users want anonymity in order to have access to Internet resources, locked in their own countries. And finally, one of the most important reasons is the protection against online fraudsters and hackers.

First we need to say that complete anonymity on the Internet can not be ensured. Each computer has its own IP-address, and any information finally comes to it. So, any remedies are ineffectual against:

  • Surveillance by government.
  • Targeted hacker attack.

Any state government has the resources to track your traffic and to figure out what you are doing on the Internet. Just one request to the main office of your ISP will give government service full access to your history and other information. Protection from hackers, of course, exists, but we are talking about hackers who are looking for easy prey. They do not need to try to work around someone's defense, if there are millions of web users who do not use any protection. If you became the target of aimed hacker attacks, then you, most likely, will be hacked. The only decent measure is to have two computers, and one of them must be completely isolated from Internet and local networks. The isolated computer should be used for work and to store the information, and the another one – for all doings on the Internet.

There are few ways to browse the web privately: VPN-services, proxy servers, anonymous search engines and anonymous browsers. In this article we will discuss all these ways.

What is Tor browser

Let's start with the most famous anonymous browser, called TOR. This browser has a serious problems with the US National Security Agency, as they it is often used by criminals and terrorists. However, this confirms its capabilities and quality of service. At its core, TOR's is the software that redirects your traffic through complicated network, which makes it very difficult to obtain information about the user. By installing TOR, you will see a menu where you can set an acceptable level of anonymity for you, which will depend on your preferences. However, the higher is the security level, the slower will be your web-browsing. With TOR you can achieve the maximum possible anonymity while surfing the web.

What is VPN

VPN (Virtual Private Network) is a system that redirects your traffic through the network of subsidiary addresses and encrypts information. A significant advantage of VPN is that it is most often created in the form of browser application, and you can use your favorite web browser while remaining anonymous. These systems are used mainly to bypass the blocking of sites and to make sites that you visit unable to determine your location.

What is proxy

Proxy servers provide almost the same services as VPN, except for data encryption. Such systems are less secure, but also suitable for certain purposes. If you are thinking about to use both proxy and VPN: you can do it, but in this case, the information will have to go much extra distance, and your Internet, so to speak, will be very slow.

Anonymous search engines

Famous search engines make surfing the web easier, and trying to add features that make it easier, faster and more productive. However, the performance of these functions is based on the use of personal data of each user. We refer to data on the location of the user, his list of previous queries, browsing history, and much more. There are search engines that do not collect or store these data, and provide the user with search, not adapted for his needs, but almost completely anonymous. An example is the best known search engine of such type, called DuckDuckGo.

What else can you do to ensure your anonymity on the Internet?

There are other measures, in addition to the above, which will help you to achieve a full or partial anonymity of the Internet. If you want to make anonymous payments, then the best way is to use cryptocurrency. The most well-known and stable one is called Bitcoin, and now the cost of one Bitcoin is approximately $ 620. Bitcoin does not require personal information to start using the system, and a transaction in the system cannot be tied to a specific person. Even if someone keeps track of payment from one purse to another - the purse registration does not specify personal information, and it is impossible to determine who sent the payment and who received it.

To get rid of the context advertising and reduce the likelihood of stealing your personal information, you should frequently clean your browser's history. The browser stores a lot of information about you, and if you regularly clean the history, cache and the cookie, even penetrating a computer, spyware will not get anything useful. To register on the websites, design rebates and other similar actions it is best to use a special "garbage" mailboxes. You can create a separate mailbox for these purposes, or just create a disposable mailbox, for example, with the "10 minute mail". This service provides mailboxes that only work for 10 minutes, and can only receive emails but not send them. If 10 minutes is not enough for you, then you can request an extension of access. After this period, the mailbox will be permanently deleted. These mailboxes are ideal for registration. You register, get your password and close the mailbox. You will not receive spam, newsletters, and other unnecessary information but, in doing so, lose the ability to recover your account if it will be stolen or the password will be lost.

And finally, one of the most effective ways to ensure anonymity is a change of the operating system. The Windows, according to general opinion, is the least secure operating system, and allows to get a lot of data about the user. In addition, Windows is the most popular operating system, which means that all hacker attacks and all malicious spyware programs are focused on it. If you change the operating system on Linux, you will be able to achieve much greater level of anonymity. However, you will have to pay a high price. We're not talking about money, because all versions of Linux are free, but the functionality. The vast majority of programs for work and entertainment, as well as games, are developed for Windows, and to ensure the security of your data you will have to give up many of them, and to learn a new operating system, which is considered to be much less convenient to use.

Here we describe the most affordable and easiest ways to ensure anonymity. If you think that the article should be supplemented somehow, or you have any questions - just leave a comment and we will reply to you.

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