Your Quick Start to Internet Privacy Protection and How to be Anonymous Online
It’s impossible to briefly encapsulate all the information on this site, but that shouldn’t stop us from trying. Whether you use the summary below as a refresher or as a comprehensive checklist, adopt as many of the recommended techniques below as you can.
We already covered the basics, so let’s jump right in and summarize the more advanced tips about achieving online anonymity.
Striving for Ultimate Anonymity
Hide your true IP address from snoops using a trusted and well-established web anonymizing service whether the Onion Router (Tor), a proxy or a premium VPN.
- use Tor’s browser bundle (free)
- use a web proxy to browse the web “anonymously”
- for ultimate anonymity, use a premium VPN service such as highly recommended Private Internet Access (see our review). The right VPN offers better overall protection and is more versatile letting you:
- choose the country location of your exit traffic,
- access streaming television, sports, movies and other geographically restricted content,
- encrypt all of your traffic from your nosy ISP and other snoops
- mask your IP address to protect you from third party tracking and monitoring
- for more information see Anonymously Web Browsing & VPN Tips
Take steps or use special apps and services to encrypt the contents of your email messages, otherwise they will travel over the Internet as plain text and can be intercepted and read by hackers and snoops.
- get OpenPGP or use more user-friendly services such as AnonymousSpeech Secure Email (free trial & premium)
- for more information see Secure Email
Use powerful file encryption apps to hide and protect the information and data on your computer and devices, whether from inadvertent disclosure (for example, through loss or theft) or from determined adversaries.
Ideally, use only trusted open source apps as there is no guarantee that proprietary apps won’t have “back doors”.
- for more information see File Encryption
It’s important that you understand how torrent file-sharing works, the privacy and security risks involved and how to download torrents anonymously.
- protect yourself from “unfriendly” torrent connections with PeerBlock (free)
- for enhanced privacy and security, use a cost-effective torrent proxy such as TorGuard
For more information see How to Download Torrents Anonymously
Be aware that your access to Usenet newsgroups is likely censored. Also know that everything you post to Usenet will be archived forever and could be traced back to you unless you take certain precautions.
- use a reputable Usenet service provider that gives you full uncensored access to all available newsgroups and respects your privacy with a no logging policy such as Newshosting or UsenetServer (see our reviews)
- for more information see Usenet Newsgroups
History Records on Your Devices
Use privacy cleaning apps to clear the traces of your activities left behind on your computer and devices.
- For ultimate protection, use proven apps such as the ever-popular CCleaner and open-source BleachBit (free)
- for more information see Clearing History Traces
Permanently Deleting Data (Wiping)
Understand that deleted items on your computer and devices can be easily recovered by snoops. Securely and permanently delete items by wiping them. See our detailed example for advanced users on how to permanently delete files.
- use a trusted app such as CCleaner
Periodically conduct a privacy check or an “audit” of your online privacy and your devices to confirm that you are exercising good privacy practices.
- for more information see Online Privacy Checks and Device Privacy Checks
Most importantly, keep learning and don’t forget to have fun. The landscape for Internet privacy, anonymity and security is changing all the time and probably not for the better. However, you should look upon the Internet, not just as a source of risks, but as a great source of information and enjoyment. Just you’re your head up and watch your step.