Online Privacy

How to stay completely anonymous online

Do you want to be “invisible” when you’re online? There are many reasons for this option whether it’s related to safety, security or other factors. Here are some helpful tips:

1. Encrypted email

Privacy is often an issue when using popular email services like Gmail, Yahoo Mail, and Outlook. If you want more security, then consider encrypted emails to get full Pretty Good Privacy (PGP). There are more secure providers like Hushmail. It provides features like built-in encryption, no ads, and unlimited email aliases. These encrypted email services usually offer a free and subscription version. Another option is MyKolab. Make sure to research how much user data the company is required to provide government authorities since your emails might be less anonymous than they seem.

2. Avoid social platforms

Facebook alone recently passed 2 billion active users while other social platforms like Twitter and Google Plus are also collecting tons of user data from hundreds of thousands of users. You can check on Facebook and other social networks to see how much data has been collected like when you logged into your account, events you attended, and who you’ve poked. If you want to end this data collection, then make sure to delete your social account instead of de-activating it.

3. Use webmail extensions

When you use a well-known webmail service like Yahoo Mail or Gmail, it’s important installing something like Mailvelope. It’s a browser extension you can use for Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox and adds encryption to a webmail service. If you use the extension, then un-encrypted text won’t reach the servers of Google or Yahoo, for example. People who receive your emails are also required to install the extension so they can decrypt/read your encrypted emails.

4. Disposable Email

A Disposable Email Address (DEA) is an autonomous/temporary email. This allows you to make a new email address when you need them quickly. You can then ditch the email when you don’t need them later. This helps to avoid spam when you complete forms on sites that require you to input an email address.

5. Block trackers

Numerous websites track/collect browsing data users that visit their sites. These are invisible trackers that the majority of netizens aren’t aware are tracking them. If you want to find out which sites are tracking you then install software like Ghostery. You can pick and choose which website bugs can track you and which trackers you want to block. Make sure to visit the Ghostery Knowledge Library to research why certain websites are tracking people so you can decide whether to let a tracker follow you or not.

6. Virtual Private Networks (VPNs)

VPNs are an effective way to protect online privacy. This hides your IP address, which is your one-of-a-kind online identifier. It runs your online data through a secure/encrypted virtual tunnel. That can keep sites from tracking your web-based activity or learning which country you’re browsing from. There are many VPNs to pick from. They usually charge a low monthly subscription fee and offer tons of features.

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