If you’re like most people nowadays, you probably spend a lot of time online. You check social media feeds, shop, perhaps conduct business online and generally use search engines for research and other needs.
This means that there’s probably a lot of information about you online. If you want to make your online presence more secretive, there are several ways you can do it. Some of the following tips can even help you stay completely anonymous online.
Limit What You Share on Social Media
You should be careful about what you expose on social media because the platforms are not as private as you may think. Even if you don’t share stuff publicly, there still may be third parties that the platforms share information with.
Cybercriminals could target those third parties, and potentially gain access to your social profiles. This is why you should upgrade your privacy settings for all the platforms you’re using. That way, you can be sure you don’t compromise your safety.
It goes without saying that you shouldn’t share any sensitive information on social media, such as your banking details. You also shouldn’t share your home address or any other personal information that hackers could use for their criminal gain.
Browse the Web Incognito
Whenever you visit a website, it stores web cookies in your computer, or another device you’re using. Websites use those cookies to personalize your user experience or send you targeted ads.
If you don’t want anyone looking at your browsing history to send you ads, you should browse the web anonymously. Browse in private mode, and your browser won’t save any cookies, site data, the information you enter in forms, and your browsing history.
However, your ISP will still see your IP address and everything you’re doing online.
Use Tor Browser
Tor Browser also lets you browse the web anonymously. It doesn’t record your browsing history, nor does it store cookies, site data, or your personal information. It encrypts your internet connection, preventing anyone from tracking you online.
However, your ISP can still see your IP address, and all the websites you’re visiting.
Use an Independent Search Engine
Using an independent search engine is also a great way to stay anonymous online. Google and other search engines collect information like IP, device location, email addresses, phone numbers, and much more.
If you don’t want all that information about you out there, use a search engine such as DuckDuckGo. It doesn’t collect any information about its users and their devices, but it doesn’t hide your IP address.
Use a Disposable Email Address
Using a disposable email address protects you from various cybersecurity threats, such as phishing emails, for instance. Phishing allows cybercriminals to get into your system, and steal sensitive data, such as your usernames and passwords.
With a disposable email address, you won’t have to worry about this. The service you choose will create a temporary forwarding address, which will automatically delete itself after a particular period of time.
The key is not to use your real name when creating a disposable email address. That way, potential hackers won’t be able to determine that it’s you they’re trying to target.
Hide Your IP Address
There are several ways to hide your IP address:
- Use a proxy server
- Use a VPN
- Manually hide your IP address.
If you use a proxy server, you’ll hide your IP, and remain completely anonymous online. This is because the proxy server encrypts your internet connection, acting as an intermediary between your browser and the internet.
A VPN will also encrypt your internet connection, and replace your real IP with a fake one, virtually placing you in a different location (https://nordvpn.com/what-is-my-ip/). This will prevent anyone, even your ISP from monitoring your online activity.
Virtual Private Networks come with plenty more benefits related to online anonymity and cybersecurity. For instance, it allows you to safely browse the web over public WiFi, which usually doesn’t use encryption.
Also, by assigning you an IP address of one of its remote servers, this network helps you bypass geo-blocking. This comes in handy if you want to access geo-restricted content either in your country or while traveling.
If you want to manually hide your IP address, you should first visit the What Is My IP website first. That way, you’ll see what your IP is so that you can know later if you managed to change it.
Depending on your operating system, changing your computer’s IP address requires taking different steps. There’s a lot of information online about hiding your computer’s ID, so be sure to find the right source for your particular operating system.
Start following all these tips today, and take a huge step toward protecting your personal and sensitive information. There are plenty of cybersecurity threats these days, so staying anonymous online is of utmost importance.