The push for anonymous browsing online is going to take effort on behalf of everyone who wants it. It can not be handed to you by laws, you have to take it. There are a number of ways that you have to do this, there is no one cure all for anonymous browsing. Let’s look at them now.
Using a private browser window
For those with a shared computer, or those using a public computer, this is a very easy step to take if you want to browse with greater anonymity. Using this makes it so your browsing history isn’t stored in the browser on the computer itself. Wouldn’t it be nice if your search for “Naked Brazilian” didn’t automatically pop-up the next time your partner goes online and types in the first two letter of “Names for baby.”
This will also:
- Stop third-party cookies (small text files) from tracking your activity after you leave the website.
- Delete first-party cookies from your browser once you leave the website. These cookies are used for tracking on the page, your shopping cart would be the most often used type of first-party cookie.
You’ll find this in the preferences section of every browser. Here’s what it looks like in Opera:
As I was just saying, cookies are used by third-parties to track your online activity. This is done in an effort to gain information for marketing purposes. That seems harmless, until someone who has other ideas in mind for it gets hold of that information.
One of the easiest way to manage tracker cookies is by installing Ghostery in all of your browsers. This handy little ghost blocks them from tracking you, while giving you the option to control which ones are allowed to follow you. If you don’t believe how many there are, here’s what happened when I visited BuzzFeed just now:
Fifteen trackers on that one page! It’s no wonder anonymous browsing is becoming a concern when that many companies need to take your information when you’re not paying attention…
Using a VPN to change your IP address
VPNs are tools which allow you to change your IP address, as well as encrypt your traffic. Hiding your IP address is important as people can use it to track your activity. For those who need anonymity, like journalists doing research, this is a crucial piece of data to hide from competitors or those you’re researching.
Encrypting your web traffic is so, so important to being anonymous online. Any time that you are browsing in a public space you are open to a man in the middle attack. Your data, the most personal and intimate type you send to friends, family, and lovers, can be stolen. Encrypting it with a VPN is the solution.
I highly recommend that you look into the non-logging IPVanish for this task. They are the best in the business according to our Top 10 list, and excel in a number of areas. Keeping your browsing anonymous is one of them.
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Using anonymous search tactics
Google is the number one provider of online tracking. Period. While their custom searching based on past searches is a nice idea, it also could have the potential problem of keeping information from you. Google tends to show you what you’ve already seen. So how will you find something new?
Switching over to using DuckDuckGo for your searches is easy. All you have to do …is visit them! Their searches are not tracked, creating one less space for your online activity to be tracked.
Stop sharing so much on social media
Everything you’ve ever done on social media has been tracked and preserved forever. You have to think of the ‘browsing’ you do on social media as a recordable piece of data.
For the love of all that is holy, think before you share what you’re doing! Pay extra attention to sharing your location, and turn off automatic location sharing tools. I can’t state it any plainer than that.
Last, if you share pictures of every coffee you drink, or meal you eat, you do not deserve any anonymous browsing. Please stop using the Internet.