Transacting in the online domain comes with a ton of challenges. Key of these is the issue of privacy. Most web portals that you visit are keen to harvest your data, repackage it and sell it to the highest bidder. And if you are transacting with either fiat or cryptocurrency, then a horde of scammers and just lurking on the background waiting to get their hands on your hard-earned cash. As such, you need to insist on good practices whenever you are online. This narrative sets you on the right path.
Anonymity and privacy are two premium currencies that every web prowler would pay an arm and a leg for. Unfortunately, to get to the whole anonymity status involves initiating many processes or practicing various browsing methods; a procedure that many impatient internet users would rather forego.
Yet, it is an issue that should not be taken lightly. Cryptocurrency enthusiasts, for instance, know just how essential Bitcoin mixers are in the process of undertaking a transaction. And, darknet surfers know that anonymity browsers such as TOR as part of the user experience.
The search for anonymity is a torturous journey. For those that choose to pursue this quest, here are some strategies that you can apply to achieve the goal.
First Things First
Before you go to the steps that will help you attain anonymity, you have to know what you are protecting yourself against. Therefore, you should:
• Understand how websites harvest data about you
• Correctly assess the model of the threat
• Make the most of the appropriate tools
• Develop a habit of using only secure internet habits
Prioritize Ad Blockers
Everyone agrees that adverts are annoying. When you have an ad blocker, however, you not only block the visual bit of the advert but also restrict the ads from tracking your browsing habits. Most sites use the ads they embed to track the sites you visit, how you browse, what you click, and so on.
Do note that ad blockers on their own as not wholly effective since these sites can still track you using pixels, supercookies, and browser fingerprinting.
Use Private Browsers
Browsers are the direct window into the internet; which means they are hardly private. If you want privacy, as such, insist on a private browser. If you are the kind that is only familiar with Chrome, Firefox, and Safari, then brace yourself; Vivaldi, Opera, and even TOR exist as well.
And, these private browsers have features that help ensure you browse the internet anonymously.
Tumbling Bitcoins gives you anonymity when making payment online using crypto. Similarly, blocking JS on the sites you visit allows you to surf incognito. JS is not a bad thing; it powers most plugins on websites and improves UX. However, it can be used to exploit the weak points of a browser, harvest online user data, and to trick individuals into downloading malware.
Luckily, you can block it while surfing the sites you do not trust and let it run on the websites you have faith in.
For Local Privacy, Browse on Incognito Mode
Private or incognito browser mode is an essential privacy tool. Several resources that can help you attain this status. However, it is important to understand the advantages as well as the limitations of the incognito mode.
First, it ensures that the device you use to visit the internet does not pick local records of your browsing history that it can then share with the third party. Second, it prevents the device from creating new cookies and deletes those that are already created so that a third party does not track you.
Incognito mode, however, cannot protect you from malware attacks. Besides, it cannot hide your browsing history from your internet service provider, the government, advertisers, and hackers. Lastly, it cannot secure your data when you are connected to public WiFi.
Insist on Multiple, Secure and Encrypted Email Accounts
Think about the information you send from your email, the transaction records…are these things you would be comfortable sharing with strangers? Imagine what a scammer can do with such information?
Having several, secure and encrypted email accounts is the same as creating several addresses when tumbling bitcoins for online transactions. Such email accounts come with end-to-end encryption making your emails essentially unreachable.
Consider Using Tracker Blocker Plugins and Ensure they are Private
Being anonymous and secure when trudging online is as easy as upgrading your browser using a powerful extension. The good thing is there are tens of these extensions, each accomplishing different things.
When you install these extensions, do ensure you keep them private. To be on the safe side, choose extensions and plugins that respect your privacy. To get these, you may need to invest your time in researching the appropriate tools.
Communicate Via Encrypted Messaging Apps
Unlike crypto tumblers, secure, privacy-leaning messaging apps are now a dozen a dime. Two outstanding examples are Telegram and Signal. Blockchain-based BCM is also a good option. All these three offer end-to-end encryption. Their major drawback, however, is that they are not as popular as either WhatsApp or Messenger. Using them effectively, as such, involves convincing your contacts to install them.
Use Private Search Engines
It is an open secret that Google is the leading search engine. It also is the biggest data collector. So, if you intend to stay private, then you should consider using a VPN to help you restrict the amount of data the search engine can collect. Besides, you can use other alternative search engines such as StartPage, DuckDuckGo, and Qwant, to name just a few.
Attaining whole anonymity and privacy while online is essential. While the strategies highlighted here above will help you get to your goal, they are by no means exhaustive. Other measures include avoiding public WiFi, clearing cookies once you are done browsing, or blocking them altogether, and keeping your applications and operating system updated at all times. Do also remember that when the online dalliance involves cryptocurrency transactions, then using crypto tumblers is a necessity and not an option.