How to maintain anonymity on the Internet: 6 ways

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Congratulations! We are “Reputation Moscow”, an agency that removes negative reviews, videos and slander from the Internet. In this article, we will talk about anonymity on the Internet and consider 6 tips that will help you maintain it.

About anonymity in the network and ways to hide all data about yourself

When the Internet appeared, there were no questions about anonymity. Then everyone who was online turned into a virtual character who had almost nothing to do with the real person sitting at the computer. To ensure complete anonymity in the network, it is quite simple to use pseudonyms instead of real data. So they did.

The only way to identify a user then was the IP address of the node from which he entered the network. But this information is often simply not enough to connect an Internet persona with a real person. Later, services appeared that required real addresses – remember the same online stores. Gradually, people began to indicate the numbers of payment cards, so it became very easy to identify an individual user – he himself gave all the information about himself.

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How to ensure anonymity online: 6 ways that really work

But many people want to achieve anonymity on the Internet. This is absolutely normal: there is a secret of personal life and a secret of correspondence – you want to protect them. The bad news is that often ISPs and Internet services are willing to ignore the rights of their users in search of commercial profit. In addition, information can fall into the hands of criminals.

A logical question arises: how to maintain complete anonymity on the Internet? First, let’s understand what is meant by this concept. Anonymity can be called a state when it is impossible to match an action on the network with a physical person who performed this action. The reverse is also true: it is impossible to compile a list of a person’s online activities.

I will say right away: it is impossible to ensure complete anonymity in the network – we all leave a digital footprint. With sufficient resources, it will lead to a real person. But an ordinary person, not a cybercriminal, just needs to follow a few rules that will make him almost incognito, – Dmytro Sturovhead of the information security department of Renaissance Credit Bank.

#1. Encrypt traffic

All data we send or receive from the Internet is transmitted in the open by default. That is, an attacker, having received your network traffic, will be able to see all the data transmitted in it.

To avoid such a threat, many sites use cryptographic protocols for data transmission. The main protocol on the Internet is HTTP. Its version that supports encryption is called HTTPS. Currently, HTTPS is the standard that allows you to protect the data transferred between the site and the user. Almost all major services and sites use it.

#2 Hide your IP address

An IP address is still the primary identifier of a user on a network. Currently, access is granted only after identifying a person by passport, so the provider will always be able to tell who exactly worked at the specified IP address at a certain moment in time.

To hide the IP address, a VPN tunnel is mainly used, which also allows you to encrypt the traffic and hide it from the Internet provider. However, it should be understood that if you use a VPN service, all your traffic will be available to its owners. It is worth choosing services with a proven reputation. You should also be prepared for the fact that the VPN service will most likely be paid.

In addition to hiding your real IP address, some VPN services allow you to “bounce” your traffic from their servers in a country of the user’s choice. Sometimes this can be useful: you can access portals blocked in your region.

My friend wanted to book a certain hotel through the site, but he couldn’t: an error popped up. For the sake of interest, we tried changing the IP address to German. Free rooms were immediately found. Apparently, the system kept several numbers in reserve for tourists from Germany, – Dmytro Sturovhead of the information security department of Renaissance Credit Bank.

#3 Use TOR

TOR uses the so-called onion routing, when at each part of the network, a packet with data is encrypted on top of the previous packet like an onion peel, and then “decrypted” in the reverse order. By analogy with a VPN, your traffic is sent to the Internet in some other place, but not at a single exit point, but at many exit points, which significantly complicates access to it and its analysis.

In addition to anonymous access to ordinary sites, the TOR project is used to organize the darknet, but I would not recommend it to an average user without special skills and knowledge.

It is also necessary to take into account that the speed of the Internet connection through TOR will be significantly slower than usual. However, you can remain anonymous on the Internet.

#4. Delete cookies

When working with any sites, files are created on your computer in which the site stores information during and between sessions of working with them – cookie files. They store the user’s settings to request work with the resource and improve many services. For example, in order not to enter a password every time, the site establishes an authorized session and stores its identifier in a cookie file. The lifetime of cookies can be limited.

If you do not want the site to “recognize” you, you need to delete its cookies through special browser plugins, or use the “Incognito” mode to log in.

#5. Be aware of third-party cookies

Unlike regular cookies, others are created by sites you are not currently on. Often, these cookies are set by the “Like” buttons on Facebook (owned by the Meta company, which is recognized as extremist and banned in the Russian Federation), etc. by services from Internet giants. These cookies can later be read by Facebook. The algorithm uses this information to show you targeted ads in your News Feed.

To remain anonymous in terms of third-party cookies, you can use the Incognito mode in the browser or special plugins that block Like buttons and similar bugs on websites. But in the case of blocking, there are often problems with the display of content, since part of the useful functionality is blocked together with the tracking block.

No. 6. Protect from browser and system spoofing

By default, sites have access to a very limited amount of information about the user’s end system, his computer. For example, an inaccessible MAC address is a unique (really unique) number of a user’s network card. The serial number of the processor and many other things also remain unavailable.

However, some things are still available: browser and operating system version, screen resolution, time zone, installed language and browser extension, etc. Do not underestimate the specified set of information – the vector composed of these parameters will be unique. In this way, the site can remember your mold and then compare it every time you enter the site.

To protect against this and ensure complete anonymity on the network, install special browser plugins that will give a randomly generated snapshot when requesting sites.

There is another method of deanonymization – behavior analysis. It is not often used, and the essence of the method is reduced to the analysis of mouse movements and the user’s keyboard handwriting. Keyboard handwriting is how a person types text. Micropauses between different symbols are a unique value. The difficulty of the method is that the analysis will have to wait for typing or a sufficient amount of mouse movements each time.

Conclusion

The problem of maintaining anonymity on the Internet is quite painful for society. The techniques used by Internet giants seem like an invasion of privacy. I think the pressure on Internet companies in this area will only increase. However, they have something to lose: the advertising market is one of the main sources of income. We, ordinary users, already have nothing to prevent us from following simple rules in cases where we want to keep our actions secret from others.

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