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How to Be More Anonymous Online

by Elijah
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If you don’t want to switch browsers, there are some browser extensions that can block trackers in Chrome. Both Ghostery extension And EFF’s privacy tie will block trackers, with the latter not blocking ads unless they are specifically tracking you. For example, on Walmart’s homepage, while using Chrome, Privacy Badger blocked four trackers in use, while Ghostery identified five.

Off the internet, trackers embedded in your mobile applications can collect data about your activity. On Android, you must disable personalized ads through Google My Ad Center, by simply turning off the setting. Also remove the advertising ID from your device by visiting Settings, Privacy, Ads and click on the Remove advertising ID choice. There are also Android apps that block cross-app trackers, such as DuckDuckGo’s browser app or the University of Oxford – developed TrackerControl. If you are using iOS, go to Institutions, Privacy & Security, Tracking, and switch off Allow apps to request tracking to prevent apps from tracking you across apps and websites.

For some peoplea VPN can be useful to prevent their ISP from viewing their web traffic. However, VPNs can see (and in some cases keep logs of) your online activity and many are problematic. Ours is Mullvads VPNwhich is open source and accepts payments via cash sent to its offices in Sweden.

Choose the most personal option

Every app, website, and service you use likely collects some data about you, but some collect more than others. Choosing services that purposely do not collect information about you or that use end-to-end encryption, which prevents companies from seeing the content of your communications or data transmissions, can limit your exposure to the Internet. In general, you want to avoid Big Tech.

For messages, Signal collects very few information about who uses it, and it is encrypted by default, meaning it can’t see the contents of the messages you send. For search, DuckDuckGo, Search courageously, Kagi, HomepageAnd Mojeek are our choices of most privacy-friendly search engines. For email, Proton And Tuta (formerly Tutanota) offer free end-to-end encryption options. OnionDeel uses the Tor network so you can share files anonymously. Proton propulsion offers encrypted file storage online, and Apple’s advanced data protection settings make this possible iCloud storage must be end-to-end encrypted once it is enabled.

If you use a work laptop or phone, it’s also worth keeping in mind that your employer can probably see many, if not all, of the things you do on those devices. If you’re looking for a new job or performing personal tasks, you probably want to do them on personal devices.

Check what you post

Being more anonymous online mainly depends on your mentality. Simply put, the less you share about yourself online, the less recognizable you will be. That means being careful about what you post on social media and not sharing information that could identify you, your location, or others around you.

For example, if you want to create a new social media account that is not linked to your identity, omit any names or personal information from the account name. You also may not sign up using your primary phone number, email address, physical address or similar information that can be linked to you. This doesn’t just apply to a new account you create; it should be the broader way you think about all your online behavior.

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