Finding the best five tips for protecting your anonymity online is a great start for people who have yet to take their internet privacy seriously. With the FCC’s ruling on internet privacy being questioned, protecting your private information should be your number one concern. Here are the top tips you can put into practice to keep yourself safe online.
1. Encrypted Email
If you’re concerned about the security of your information online, then one of the best tips for protecting your anonymity is to use encrypted email. This is an email service that provides PGP, or pretty good privacy, encrypted emails. Alternatively, if you’d like to stick with your current email provider, there are often extensions that can bring PGP encryption to your primary account. There are several email services that provide this right now, but it’s important to note two things. One, using PGP as an extension will mean that recipients of your emails will also need to download the same PGP extension in order to unlock the email. Two, and perhaps more important, PGP services are not above the law; it may be possible your information can still be given to the government should an agency demand it.
2. Use Trackers to Block Web Bugs
If you use a common web browser, you are probably aware that most sites you visit on a daily basis track your browsing habits. These trackers, also known as web bugs, are everywhere. There are thousands of them and the practice is so common that most of the time, you don’t know you’re being tracked. But you can block many of these trackers by using extensions for your browser. These extensions reveal the trackers and can give the option to either block or allow the tracker based on your preference.
3. Use a Virtual Private Network
A virtual private network, or a VPN, is one of the best single tips for online privacy. The VPN network will, in essence, hide your IP address, which identifies where you are browsing from, and runs your entire online presence through encrypted channels. This means that websites can’t track your online activity and won’t know where you’re browsing from. A VPN is relatively easy to come by, but not all services are created equal; subscription fees and features vary by service, so do your research before you choose a VPN service.
4. Try Tor
When looking for online privacy tips, you’ve probably stumbled upon Tor. This is a secure and encrypted web service that was originally developed to protect the United States Navy hide government communications from opponents during wartime. Now, this free service is available for use by everyone, and it can allow you the chance to access the deep web or communicate with other people in private. While Tor is great for protecting your anonymity, it is also slow and quite restrictive in terms of features.
5. Alternative Search Engines and Browsers
If you’re interested in a tip that you can utilize today to protect your anonymity online, then alternative search engines and browsers are something you can put into practice in five minutes. Alternatives to your favorite browser and search engine exist, and most have privacy features that are not currently associated with the most popular of either service. These security methods, while limited, can be used to help stem the amount of your private information that websites and companies can collect, so while it’s not a full-proof tip that will take care of your security needs, it is a good first step that you can take right now.
Online privacy is a concern for everyone, even if they’re not aware of the importance of keeping their information safe. If you want to stop websites and companies from tracking you, you’re going to have to change your habits. With these five tips for protecting your anonymity online, you’ll be well on your way to having a more secure experience online.