The Internet has evolved to a completely different world, and without having the right information, you can easily fall prey to scammers, fraudsters, and cybercriminals. While most users use the web for information gathering, games, entertainment, and shopping, some use the web for tricking others. To browse anonymously on the web means making sure that no one can track what you’re doing online.
Everything a general internet user does gets tracked online. On some level, this tracking helps in building a better user experience for the customers. But this tracking can do a lot of harm if a cybercriminal gets access to your personal information.
Your safety online is in your hands, and there are some steps that you can follow to keep yourself safe online. In this guide, we will mention the ways that you can browse the internet securely and anonymously.
Tips to Browse the Web Securely
1. HTTPS Is Your Friend
HTTPS (HyperText Transfer Protocol) is a protocol that is used to facilitate smooth data transfer between browsers and websites. Almost all the websites that are live today use HTTPS, so make sure that you only browse websites with an HTTPS tag.
The best way to know if a website is secure or not is by looking for a padlock right next to the URL bar in your browser. This allows you to stay away from websites that don’t care about your personal information.
2. Don’t Use Public WiFi
Public WiFi from cafes, restaurants, gyms, etc tends to be full of viruses, malware, and spyware software. Cybercriminals love to target public WiFi as users often drop their guard while online. If you’re using public WiFi, make sure not to shop online, or conduct any financial transactions as this data can be stolen. If you absolutely do have to use public WiFi, then make sure that you use it with a VPN.
3. Beware of Browser Plugins
All the latest browsers have the capability of increasing their functionality by offering plugins. In most cases, browser plugins improve user experience, but not all plugins are safe. If you do install plugins, make sure that you use the ones that are from reputed sources.
DuckDuckGo is a famous search engine that helps users stay anonymous online, and it also blocks ad trackers thus offering you more control over your data. The search engine is loved by most open source users and is the default search engine in the TOR browser.
While you may face some difficulties transitioning away from Google, once you get a habit of DuckDuckGo, you will not want to go back.
5. Beware of Browsers
Cookies are not bad, they even help in improving the user experience. But if you want to stay anonymous online, then cookies are your worst companion. They track your location, your IP address, the device you’re using, and other information as soon you click on the “Accept Cookies” button. Make sure to provide cookie access to websites that you trust.
6. TOR Browser
TOR is a free and open-source browser that allows users to surf the web securely and anonymously. It bounces the traffic from several relays, so there’s no way to track the end-user.
If you want, you can add an extra layer of security by encrypting your IP address and all the data packets that interact with your device. Overall, the TOR browser helps in masking your identity online.
7. Use a VPN
VPNs are the best way to change your IP address, and most VPNs offer the capability to encrypt your online activities. Plus, you can even access geo-restricted websites. Most users confuse a VPN and proxy server, but they aren’t similar to each other. A proxy server will not provide you the same level of security as a VPN.
Some of the best VPN services that you can try are SurfShark VPN, Nord VPN, Proton VPN, TunnelBear VPN, and more.
8. Use an Anonymous Email Account
If you really do wish to be anonymous online, then you should use an anonymous email account. Popular email clients like Google, and Yahoo mail ask you to submit personal information which is shared to many online platforms.
You can use anonymous email services such as TorGuard and ProtonMail that allow you to create accounts and interact with others via email without sharing personal information.
9. Use Mobile Data
You can stay anonymous online by browsing the web using mobile data. Your mobile’s routing system assigns a unique IP address every time you connect to the internet. But, the downfall to this is that you get limited data and the internet speed is limited.
10. Anonymous Digital Payments
There’s no way to remain anonymous online if you keep sending similar credentials across the internet. You can make payments via cryptocurrencies, or use gift cards.