10 Ways to Stay Anonymous and Protect your Online Privacy

September 21, 2017

With Americans increasingly becoming reliant on the Internet, the web is a prime target for those with ill intentions. There are many ways to cut down on your security risks, from using a secure email service to cloaking your browser activity. Here are 10 tips and tech advancements that can protect your Internet identity:

Use Several Email Addresses: Create multiple email addresses to use when you sign up for online accounts; redirect each account’s mail to a single source to reduce confusion.

Understand Your Browser Configuration: Tools like Panopticlick will analyze your browser configuration to identify ways to enhance security.

GnuGP: Even if you’re using a secure email service, you can up your protection with GnuGP, which encrypts email messages.

Blocking Third-Party Cookies: Most advertisers gather baseline data about customers’ online habits by tracking their cookies. So, turn them off! Nearly all browsers offer the option to shut down third-party cookies; even though it may not be a catch-all, it’s a quick and easy step to add another layer of protection.

BetterPrivacy: Flash cookies can still be tracked, even if you’ve blocked traditional cookies, which is where Firefox plug-in BetterPrivacy comes in.

VPN: VPN services like TorGuard shield your IP address from everyone from hackers to government entities.

Look Out for DNS Leaks: A VPN service is effective at hiding your IP address but you could still be tracked through your DNS traffic. Services like DNS Leak Test can tell you if any information is being leaked through your DNS.

Remote Operating System: Switch to a remote operating system powered by CD or USB. Tails is a leading OS that offers email encryption.

Restrict Location Data: Many sites and apps request access to your location data, which can open you to vulnerabilities. If you don’t want to completely turn off this function, at least use it selectively.

Manage Your Plug-Ins: Plug-ins can serve as a gateway for hackers and should be avoided where possible. If you have to enable plug-ins, make sure your settings require your approval first for each plug-in request.

Whether you’re opting to use a secure email service or not, there are still some ways to protect yourself on the world wide web.

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