How to Stay Fully Anonymous Online

🕒 4 min

Here’s the thing: gaining 100% anonymity online is difficult. You can be a stranger offline when you are not connected to the Internet, but the moment you ‘connect’ things take a turn. 

The fascination around full anonymity is palpable but it’s not always a viable theory. At least it’s not as easy as it is made out to be. Staying fully anonymous could have been a default function before the dot-com bubble when websites were just starting up, when they were not as user-hostile as they are today, and when the Internet was just a one-way medium. But with the high degree of information that is gathered and mined by websites today, hiding your identity online is not so black and white anymore.

Yet, there’s a silver lining. With all the tools and online security technology around, you can at least attempt to improve your anonymity. It is always possible to at least stay covered when you are traversing the web, not giving in to the obvious scams and frauds that are waiting to catch you the moment you drop guard.

We at TuxlerVPN strongly feel that staying anonymous has become all the more important in this age of fintech, unbridled social media use, and increased user content mining by profit-making organizations. So, today, let’s take a look at some of the most basic ways in which you can improve your anonymity.

5 Ways to Stay Anonymous Online

This is a list of actions that you can do right now with the right tools. Activating one way is a good start, but we recommend executing all five to gain the best protection online.

Use a VPN

We know you were expecting this from us, but we can’t recommend using a virtual private network (VPN) enough. Despite all the awareness around, a large number of active Internet users do not use any form of VPN technology. According to a study on VPN consumer usage and adoption by Security.org published in June 2020, one in three respondents doesn’t use a VPN. That’s not good.

When you connect to the Internet via a VPN, your traffic is effectively routed through another IP address, often generated arbitrarily. Furthermore, the traffic is encrypted as it leaves your system. Together, these two VPN functions hide your original IP address and anonymize (encrypt) your connection to the Internet. Neither your IP address nor the data that you send/receive will point back to you. 

With an influx of VPN providers around and an ever urgent need to cover your identity online in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, setting up a VPN is as easy as installing software on your system. If you have never used one, just head to TuxlerVPN.com and choose the right plan for you. You will be up and running in minutes.

The key is to use a VPN for all Internet-related activities. But, still, if you are wary of an omnipresent VPN, we recommend using it while browsing the Internet, playing an online multiplayer video game, updating software, and downloading files. 

Anonymize Social Networking

What’s the one reason Reddit is so popular globally?

One word: anonymity. The link-sharing social networking platform attracts a wide user base because in it you can stay anonymous. No questions asked. Just choose a username and you can start using all the major features of the site. Not even email ID verification is required.

The same can be practiced on other social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter, but only to a certain extent. However, they will ask for mobile and email ID verification if they suspect something amiss with your participation. With sites like Twitter influencing sociopolitical systems, identity verification becomes important. That further highlights the need to stay anonymous on social sites.

We know that it goes against the concept itself, but avoiding social media use is the only way to not find your details being indexed in search engines. The word is not moderation but abstinence. Avoid using your real name and photographs while networking to keep the potential hostility (like fraudulent activities) at bay.

Avoid New Sign-Ups

When you create an account on a website, you instantly give away some personal details such as your email ID, name, phone number, IP address, and browser, and other computer details. If the site’s policy does not require you to verify your credentials, you can manage by using a dummy or an alternative email ID that does not bear your name.

However, in case the website requires you to verify your identity, you risk entering its pool of private information. There is no guarantee that it will stay private as the scores of data breaches over the years have shown us.

This is why we suggest minimizing exposure to new and unreliable sites. If you still have to use them, use a dummy email ID.

Pro Tip – Any website that demands your legal name or mobile number should be used only if it’s important to you. For example, payment websites like Western Union.

Monitor Your Public Presence and Request Data Removal

Although there are tools that help you remove your data off the face of the Internet, we recommend taking the direct route.

Start by searching your name on a search engine like Google and see if any personal information shows up. If it does, you should immediately get in touch with the engine and get your data removed as part of your ‘right to be forgotten’. 

Google has a decent guide to help you get started on this.

Resist the Urge to Publicize Information

Take the case of Wikipedia. Every month, hundreds of new users sign up on the free encyclopedia and try to create an article about themselves. Why you may ask?

To publicize themselves and create a static page that they can then brag about to their friends.

This happens across the web in ways that are beyond the scope of this discussion. And that is also where the problem lies. The urge to publicize yourself on the web – be it to gain the coveted fifteen minutes of fame or to “leave a mark behind” – can hurt your online identity. The problem is that once a piece of your personal information finds its way online, it usually stays there forever. You can’t know who finds this piece and how they plan to use it, if at all, against you.

Similar to the second point above, this suggestion focuses on personal websites, blogs, and forums where there is always a chance of doxxing yourself. If you want to share your opinions, consider starting an anonymous blog on Medium.

To reiterate: while 100% anonymous may not be easily achievable, you can do a lot more to cover your tracks and stay safe online. Start with these five methods today.

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