As each year passes, it becomes more difficult to maintain your privacy on the World Wide Web. There are no shortages of efforts, from a variety of unscrupulous characters, to access your personal information. It is hardly surprising then, that secure web browsing is now at the forefront of many people’s minds.
Listed below are a few methods that will conceal your online activities. These techniques are user friendly and proven to work, and they will allow you to surf the web without anyone monitoring your movements.
Browser plugins are an excellent online safety measure. These operate while you are surfing to protect you from people who might wish to monitor you, or attempt to capture your details online.
One notable plugin of this sort is called Ghostery. This is simple to get up and running and will keep prying eyes firmly at bay.
Virtual Privacy Networks, or VPNs, are services that keep your activity hidden while you are using public Wifi (usually for a fee).
Your computer links to the VPN’s server, and this will direct your activity to a different part of the web, through an encrypted funnel, and then ultimately back to your desired destination. This makes it harder for criminals (or your ISP or employer) to monitor what you are doing.
As far as choosing a VPN goes, it is best to stick with the paid options rather than any free services. Also, do not select a service that logs your information. Check for other inbuilt features too, like advert, tracking and malware blockers.
TOR, also known as the ‘Onion Router’, is an online browser developed to facilitate user anonymity. This browser enables you to surf the Internet, while feeling sure that no one is spying on you.
It functions by directing your website connections to numerous random worldwide locations. This means that, once your connection finds the server, it appears as if you have originated from somewhere else completely.
There are multiple security layers with TOR. These can be altered in your own time to suit your preferences. Extra security will give you a slower loading browser, however if you can put up with this for the sake of feeling secure online, it is worth seriously considering this option.
Use Text and Email Services That are Encrypted
Encryption obstructs criminals from accessing your information, by obscuring it in a manner that is only decipherable with a specific key. With texting, there’s lots of choices. Apps such as Telegram, Confide and Signal keep texts encrypted, so you can message people in private.
With email, a free application such as Protonmail works fine, as does CryptUp, which is an extension for Chrome that enables you to receive and send encrypted emails through Gmail. For business wide or team security, services such as Wickr provide encrypted calling, video conferences and messaging.
These services ensure that your conversations stay hidden, and are not recorded on servers that could be prone to breaches. Your data is inaccessible if it isn’t saved.
Furthermore, if you are enrolling for something, it is possible to create temporary, random mailboxes using Guerrilla Mail. And if you sign up for something that needs your contact details, try using a tool such as Fake Name Generator (do not use this for billing or shipping purposes though).
Due to it’s design, the Internet does not lend itself well to anonymous usage, so keeping your online activities private takes a fair bit of effort. The methods listed above are a good place to start, however maintaining your privacy over the long run will require you to update your software and keep abreast of new security developments.