6 Ways You Can Surf The Web Anonymously


Concerned about your online privacy? Are you doing everything possible to maintain your online anonymity or are you simply relying on pure luck? Tweaking a few of your browsing behaviors and adjusting the default setting will prevent marketers, social networks, search engines, hackers and governments from collecting information about your online activity.

VPN Services

A virtual private network (VPN) is a physical server that is controlled by the VPN service provider. This server acts as the “middleman” between your computer and the global network.

The VPN server encrypts all of the data transferred between your computer and the global network. This encryption prevents third parties from getting access to information about your web traffic.

VPN encryption becomes essential when you use open wi-fi networks. Such networks are inherently unsafe and you need to be extra-careful about using your laptop in a café, at the airport or a hotel. These services eliminates such worries and enables you to use all kinds of networks safely and anonymously.

Web Proxies

Many web proxies are free and completely anonymous. Anonymouse is just one example of such an online privacy possibility.

The web proxy acts as an intermediary between your computer and the global network, much like the VPN does. Its main aim is to keep your IP address hidden. The web proxy service provider, however, is aware of your IP address information, which may decrease the attractiveness of the service.

Reading reviews and choosing the right web proxies is the key to maintaining anonymity. Some web proxy services are set up by hackers and designed specifically for the collection of personal data. Do your research before opting for one possibility or another.

Encrypted Chat Services

Encrypted chat services encrypt your communication with others, as well as all file transfers. Cryptocat is one example of such a service.

Many chat encryption services are offered as browser extension and they encrypt all chat communication on the client’s side. Most often, encrypted chat software will use off-the-record (OTR) messaging protocol. The protocol enables two users to communicate with each other while the communication is being encrypted.

Advanced encrypted chat services guarantee the privacy of group chats, voice and video conversations. Some of these possibilities can be used alongside popular chat options like Facebook chat. They will encrypt the social media communication, guaranteeing a level of anonymity that is originally unavailable.


Tor is a free open network that was initially designed to guarantee the privacy and classification of governmental communication. Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), a privacy advocacy organization, recommends the use of Tor to make online activities anonymous and more secure.

The traffic is routed through a series of servers before the data reaches its final destination. These servers are operated and maintained by Tor volunteers across the world. The technology used delivers wonderful results in terms of keeping your IP address hidden.

There’s one main disadvantage connected to using Tor – since the data passes through numerous servers, browsing could become quite slow.

Private Social Networks

Private social networks have established themselves as a wonderful alternative to traditional social media like Facebook, Google+ and Twitter.

Websites like Ello don’t feature advertising, which means that the member information is not shared with third parties. Facebook became notorious for its attempts to deliver targeted advertising by sharing personal data of its members with companies. Private social networks enable individuals to enjoy the “community” experience without threatening their online privacy.

Closed social networks can be used for personal communication or business interactions (much like Linkedin). It’s also possible to establish your own closed social network and add members on a per-invitation basis.

Browser Tweaks

One of the simplest possibilities for boosting your online anonymity involves adjusting the default settings of the browser that you use.

Start by disabling cookies. The cookies are small text files that contain information about your online activities. Many websites use cookies to guarantee a higher level of personalization.

Many browsers, including popular options like Google Chrome and Firefox, have an incognito browsing possibility. Using your browser in incognito mode doesn’t store information about your activities and the websites that you visited.

Finally, get in the habit of deleting your browsing history on a regular basis. If you want to, you can prevent the browser from storing any history whatsoever.

Changing your online behavior is one of the most important factors for keeping your personal data safe. Many privacy solutions are free or quite inexpensive, as long as you’re willing to make the transition and substitute convenience for a higher level of security.

President Obama’s Plans For Increasing Online Security

In response to recent online threats that have put into question the level of security that one can expect while online, the President, Barack Obama, has recently given a speech laying out his plans to increase online security. Below is a synopsis of what President had to say.

One of the most noted proposals included in the President’s speech was in regards to the Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights. This legislation is not something new, as it has been proposed in the past, but Obama is hoping to see a new version of the bill pass in Congress this year. This bill will not require companies to change their policies if it does pass, but if a company agrees to the terms and then fails to act accordingly they will be able to be held accountable by the Federal Trade Commission. What this means for consumers is that there will be more companies that will give the option to opt out of information sharing, data collection and will inform consumers of protections used to keep personal identifying information safe.

Data Breaches & Identity Theft Prevention

Another aspect of online security that was touched on by the president was in regards to creating legislation that will require companies to notify consumers if there has been a data breach. There was not a great deal of specifics, but the general idea is to ensure that consumers are informed when their personal data may have been put at risk. Currently this is overseen by each state, so depending on where one may reside, they may not be notified at all. There are some states that already have this type of legislation, but the goal is to make this a federal law to close any gaps that currently exist.

He also discussed making free credit scores accessible to more Americans. The reason for this is that you can use this as a means of identifying any financial fraud that may be occurring in your name without your knowledge. The President believes this expansion will allow significantly more Americans to get their credit score for free at least once each year.

Data Collection Concerns Regarding Children

A new concern in online privacy is to protect children. Due to the increase of internet usage by children for educational purposes there is a concern that companies are compiling information about these children to use as a means to market to them in the future. Some of this information can include their address, birth date and in some cases even their address. It is not clear yet what any new legislation would specify, but the President’s general statement was to allow data collection for educational purposes.

One aspect of his proposal that may seem surprising is to limit the means in which utility companies collect and share information about individual’s home energy usage. The reason that this has recently become a concern is that the energy technology has gotten so smart that you can turn down your heat or turn off lights when you are not at home, as well as set your systems to function at lower energy levels when you are usually away. The issue here is that if this information were to be hacked into or shared with the wrong people, it could become quite clear when you are usually away from home, putting you at risk.

These are the main points of the speech given by the President about increasing internet security for Americans. This speech was relatively short given the importance of the legislation that he is proposing. He did state that you should expect more information in his State of the Union address.