Nowadays, it seems that privacy is dead. When you go online, companies and websites instantaneously tracks almost everything about you. It begins about your browser, operating system, browser plugins, and the fonts installed on your system. Well, that’s not really a concern right? Well, it goes just beyond that. They also track your ISP, your IP address, your time zone and more. With that information, they can usually pinpoint your exact location and, if by chance, you did something “offensive”, you might even wake up one day handcuffed in your bed. One example of it is “Swatting”, whereas an internet prank/crime where someone finds your address either through your IP or because your name and location is known and the hacker calls 911 to deploy SWAT to an unsuspecting victim’s home under false pretense. This isn’t a funny joke, right? Therefore, staying anonymous online is an important matter. But how can you stay anonymous online? There are several methods to do that.
One of the ways to stay private online is anonymous web browsing. It’s basically hiding your IP address so that you can stay anonymous. Tons of information can be revealed from your IP address such as the geographic location of the server that hosts that address, which could give a rough idea about your exact location. How can you obfuscate your IP? There are three ways.
- Using a proxy server. Having a proxy server is like pretending to be someone else. This is what a proxy server does: it routes your internet connection through an alternate server so your IP location is hard to find. There are several free proxies out there, and discovering a decent one is as easy as searching online. Most popular browsers offer proxy server extensions that can be easily activated in a click.
- Using a Virtual Private Server. For most intents and purposes, a VPN clouds your IP address just like what a proxy does, but sometimes, it’s even better. They have a different way of doing the same result. Basically, a VPN is a private system that uses a public network (generally the Internet) to connect remote sites or clients together.
- Using TOR. Acronym for “The Onion Router”, this is a network of virtual tunnels which allows people to improve their privacy and security on the internet. It’s like randomly generated proxy, which greatly improve your security and anonymity in exchange of network speed. There are a few tips for improving your security when using TOR and it’s more than just a secure browser.
Those are some of the ways to stay private and anonymous online. But beyond those tools, one of the most important thing to have is your brain. Use your brain and make sure not to fall into devious traps set by social engineers.