How to Protect Your Online Privacy and Stay Anonymous

On the internet, it seems like everyone wants to know who you are. Websites are constantly asking for your email address or trying to place tracking cookies on your devices. A murky slurry of advertisers and tech firms track which websites you visit, predicting your interests and what you may want to buy. It’s no wonder that many people are concerned about their online privacy.

Besides the list of simple things you can do to be more anonymous, there is one thing you should realise: your device fingerprint van be unique, web services might be able to profile you simple based one information your browser and system send over the internet even when hiding behind a VPN. You can read more info on this here:

One of the main sources of info is yourself, so be mindful of what you post online, post as little personal info a possible.

While achieving complete anonymity across your entire online life is incredibly hard, there are steps you can take to obscure your identity for everyday browsing. Whether you want to protect your privacy or simply reduce the amount of tracking you’re subjected to, here are some straightforward switches you can make:

Keep your account safe with 2FA

2FA, Two Factor authentic, these days  more commonly known as multifactor authentication, is an important next step in your online security life. To keep your info safe from, not just the prying eyes of google ad service, but people with very different plans. A solid password is a must, using password generators and the many password storage options browsers and systems offer these days is a good idea. But you should really go one step beyond that for accounts with sensitive info and use extra authentication.

A major reason are the site hacks where even your best password can end up in the hands of people with, let’s say, less admirable goals of what to do with your credit card info, home address, phone number and whatever else you entered. This information could help them steal your identity, your money and can cause all sorts of havoc in your life.

2FA isn’t a real privacy or anonymity tool, but a very important tool to keep hackers from  hijacking your account when they have somehow got hold of your password. A tool everyone with an account online should use, with 2FA chances of losing your account are a lot smaller and therefore keeping your private info safe a lot bigger. 2FA should be available for all your social media accounts, hosting logins, ISP logins, phone subscription etc. It really is the most important first step to keep your personal information safe. For more info on multifactor authentication check out the pitch free version on WikiPedia:

Block the Trackers

The first step in protecting your online privacy is to block the trackers that follow you around the web. The advertising industry and tech companies heavily rely on advertising to make money, which means they embed invisible trackers and cookies in websites and apps. These trackers collect data about your browsing habits and personal information.

To combat this, you can use browser extensions like Privacy Badger or uBlock Origin to block these trackers. These extensions analyze the websites you visit and block any trackers or cookies that try to collect your data. By using these tools, you can significantly reduce the amount of tracking you’re subjected to.

Popular tracking blockers are:

  • AdblockPlus
  • Disconnect
  • DuckDuckGo
  • Ghostery
  • Privacy Badger

Use a Virtual Private Network (VPN)

A Virtual Private Network, or VPN, is a service that encrypts your internet connection and routes it through a server located in a different location. This helps to protect your online privacy by hiding your IP address and making it difficult for anyone to track your online activities.

When you connect to a VPN, your internet traffic is encrypted, ensuring that no one can intercept or monitor your online activities. Additionally, by routing your connection through a server in a different location, you can bypass geo-restrictions and access content that may be blocked in your country.

A popular VPN and the number 1 on most lists is NordVPN, link to this service can be found here: Nord VPN, if you prefer a subscription free version there are open source, OpenVPN is a good place start or just search for opensource VPN and do your own research. It is a good idea to check which ones let you sign up anonymously, it would defeat the purpose somewhat if you have to leave all your personal info behind just to stay invisible.

Use Secure Browsers

Not all browsers are created equal when it comes to privacy. Some browsers, like Google Chrome, are notorious for collecting and tracking user data. To protect your online privacy, consider using a browser that prioritizes security and privacy.

One popular option is Mozilla Firefox. Firefox is an open-source browser that puts privacy first. It offers built-in privacy features, such as Enhanced Tracking Protection, which blocks known trackers and cookies. Firefox relay or Apple’s iCloud relay are simple tools to mask your real ip when browsing with Safari. Another option is Brave, which is built on the Chromium engine but includes additional privacy features like blocking ads and trackers by default.

Clear Your Cookies and Browsing History

Regularly clearing your cookies and browsing history can help to prevent websites from tracking your online activities. Cookies are small files that websites store on your device to remember information about you. By clearing your cookies, you can remove any data that websites have collected about you.

Most browsers have an option to clear your cookies and browsing history. Simply go to the settings or preferences menu of your browser and look for the privacy or security section. From there, you can choose to clear your cookies and browsing history.

Be Mindful of the Information You Share

Lastly, be mindful of the information you share online. Avoid sharing personal details, such as your full name, address, or phone number, on public forums or social media platforms. The less information you share, the less data there is for companies and advertisers to collect.

Additionally, be cautious when signing up for online services or creating accounts. Read the privacy policies and terms of service to understand how your data will be used and shared. If a service requires more information than you’re comfortable sharing, consider looking for alternatives that prioritize privacy.

If you have an iCloud+ account you can use Apple’s ‘hide my email’ service that generates a random email alias that forwards to your real mail address. Get spam on the ‘hide my email’ one? Just turn it off and the spammers are gone (on that address anyway)

While achieving complete anonymity online may be challenging, taking these steps can help you protect your online privacy and reduce the amount of tracking you’re subjected to. Remember, it’s important to consider your individual security situation and threat model if you’re looking to be truly anonymous or protect your identity for specific purposes.

Stay safe and happy browsing!


disclaimer: the VPN link has an affiliate code and might give us a free month for every user signing on to the derive through this link

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