Under the radar: achieving online anonymity

You will no doubt have noticed how you search for an item online. And almost immediately afterward adverts relating to your search start to appear in popups or banner ads.

Maintaining anonymity online is not easy to do, but there are ways to stay under the radar and keep your browsing activities and searches away from prying eyes.

There is always going to be someone somewhere who wants to know what you have been searching for online and what web pages you have visited. The type of people trawling for this information will vary greatly. They could be a government body or a company trying to target you with relevant adverts.

Swimming against the tide

It is possible to remain anonymous online. But to achieve this feat it will feel like you are swimming against the tide. And a great deal of effort and sacrifice will be needed to achieve and maintain a cloak of invisibility.

There are any number of reasons why you want to operate under the radar with your online activities. It certainly shouldn’t be assumed that anyone looking will think that you have something to hide or might be carrying out shady activities.

One of the primary reasons so many ordinary people like to remain anonymous online is that they are simply scared to say what they think. Or worry how people will interpret their searches.

Freedom of speech is at the heart of many people’s motivation to achieve anonymity. They worry about offending others or that their opinions may not be welcomed by everyone on social networking sites.

Whatever your reason for wanting anonymity. There are several ways to achieve this aim.

Get started with Tor

If you were compiling an anonymity checklist. The Tor browser would normally be somewhere on that list.

Tor is an acronym for the “The Onion Router”. Instead of pondering how it came up with that name. The main point to consider is that the Tor browser allows you to anonymously browse the web. This Firefox-based application works by encrypting your internet traffic. It then connects you to your chosen final destination through a random cluster of nodes.

The most obvious negative about Tor is that it can be as slows as a snail. It won’t do the job if you want to stream video. It works for browsing activities. But you must find another fix for pretty much everything else.

This issue with Tor highlights how you need to put together a strategy involving several solutions to achieve your goal of anonymity. There is no easy route to operating under the radar. It will take a series of initiatives and actions. But at least your quest might start with Tor.

Other options

You might consider a virtual private network. This encrypts all your internet traffic and routes it through a server based at a location of your choice.

This will ensure that your IP address is masked. VPNs are fundamentally built for privacy. This means that this solution will also fall short if you want to guarantee complete anonymity.

The solution to achieving anonymity involves putting together a strategy that combines a variety of different measures. This way you take advantage of their strengths and find a way round their weaknesses with other solutions.

Put them all together and it is possible to achieve complete online anonymity.

Photograph by Kaique Rocha

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