The Internet has evolved a lot over the past few years. Before, it would take us quite some time to find the information that we needed – mainly because the artificial intelligence of the Internet was not that productive.
Now, the Internet has already begun to know what we tend to look for – and we receive ads based on what we usually search for. Sometimes, this can be quite convenient, as the browser seems to do all the hard work.
However, when you are bombarded from every direction by ads and spam messages, at some point you begin to wonder: how do they know to send me all this? I didn’t sign up for this. Truth is, when you are browsing, you become an open book – one that the Internet can manipulate in whichever way it wants.
This is why your main focus nowadays would be on how to remain anonymous – and how to browse the Internet without leaving a trail of data behind you. The best way to remain anonymous will depend on each person – but the most popular options include:
Go For the VPN
One of the most popular ways to ensure that no outsider gathers information from your device is to install a VPN (Virtual Private Network). It’s not that they will prevent the websites from gathering data altogether – but the data that they will gather will not be yours. They will be gathering “dummy data,” which is data that was added there to make them think that you were someone else.
To make it simpler to understand, a VPN is able to connect your computer to another one – but instead of showing the direct connection, it first routes you through a different server. This way, when you access that particular website, they will not be able to see your IP – but the IP of that VPN server that you are using.
Any data coming back at you will stop right at the VPN, allowing your real IP and data to be completely anonymous. Once you install a VPN on your computer, every app that is connected to the Internet on that device will receive full protection.
A VPN is a good way for you to remain anonymous if you are dealing with sensitive data at a company, for instance, as it will protect you through every app. No matter if you are using an Internet browser, Skype, or a communication platform, the VPN will encrypt your data in a way that nothing can be traced back to you. According to proxy-store.com, it is one of the best ways to keep your browsing anonymous.
Look Up Proxies
Proxies and VPNs are often confused – but in truth, they are quite different. While virtual private networks encrypt data across every app that you use, a proxy will only encrypt it while you are in the browser. It is the more efficient option if your entire internet activity revolves around a single browser, and you do not need to use any other fancy apps.
That being said, a proxy will still take your data and encrypt it throughout a dummy server. It will show another IP address to the website that you are trying to visit, hiding your own and preventing them to collect your actual data. This is a convenient option if you get a lot of geographically restricted content, and you need to “fool” certain websites that you are from somewhere else. You won’t appear as anonymous, per se – but they won’t know who you really are.
Use Encrypted Browsers
Many people believe that the best way to remain anonymous while you are browsing the Internet is to simply discard your old browser and go for one that can encrypt your traffic altogether. TOR browser, for instance, has grown quite a lot in popularity and efficiency, mostly because it’s a browser that acts like a VPN.
TOR is a free piece of software that allows you to stay anonymous online by connecting you to the Internet through its own network. In many ways, it is very similar in its use with your standard web-browser – but it is more privacy-savvy.
When you are browsing using a TOR, you will have your traffic directed through a selection of other servers, encrypting your traffic in layers before you even get to your destination. Therefore, this browser is very efficient when it comes to protecting your identity and your location.
Tor’s unique system was actually developed by the U.S Navy as a way to protect the intelligence communications of the government. Before it goes into the TOR network, your data will be stacked into encrypted packet layers – and then it will go through various different servers that will keep your identity and location hidden. This is why, in a way, you could say that TOR is the browser equivalent of the proxy or the VPN.
Use Private Search Engines
Some search engines gather a lot of data from you, tracking your IP, entering your email, and violating your online privacy in different ways. For example, even Google admitted that they enter emails in order to improve the efficiency of the advertising system – and therefore, regardless of the words that you type in Google search or in an email, the search engine will catch on to it.
It’s why the targeted ads always seem to be so “spot on,” so to speak. Since they learn all of your preferences, it will make it easier to send you the ads that might interest you. However, since this is a violation of your privacy, you might want to try some private-minded search engines – and steer clear of Google, Yahoo, and Bing.
Go for DuckDuckGo instead. The results you will get will be the same as with your average person – without the data collected needed to provide targeted results. The only data that may end up being collected is by your browser – but DuckDckGo itself does not collect any of that data.
Privacy is something that we all cherish – particularly in a time when people no longer seem to respect it. This is why you might want to be careful about the online tools that you use, as they will be the ones to determine whether you maintain your privacy or not.