Whether you realize it or not, your internet provider is broadcasting your private information to the world. The device you’re using, your ZIP code, and even your street address are all contained within your IP address.
While this may not be enough to scare you on its own, when you combine it with the fact that sites like Google and Facebook record everything you do, you begin to see just how much info there is about you online.
In order to protect your privacy, here are three simple tips to help you browse anonymously.
1) Hide Your Cookies
Cookies aren’t just bad for your waistline, they’re a threat to your privacy. Internet cookies are tiny tidbits of information that are stored on each and every webpage you visit. Alone they don’t do much, but when combined with all the sites you visit they paint an incredibly accurate portrait of you and your online browsing habits.
Clicking on your browser’s settings and browsing in a private window will help keep those harmful cookies at bay. Unfortunately, while private browsers may help eliminate the threat of cookies and web trackers, they don’t keep you anonymous when it comes to your ISP, or internet service provider. In fact, everything you do online–regardless of whether you’re in a public or private browser–is logged and recorded by your ISP. Scary, isn’t it?
2) Stop Using Google
With more than 3.5 billion searches a day, Google is the internet’s biggest and most popular search engine. Unfortunately, what many people fail to realize is how Google actually collects and records every search query.
While Google may be convenient, it’s not the internet’s only search engine. Sites like DuckDuckGo offer the same search results as Google, yet they do so anonymously. Turn your privacy settings up a notch by ditching Google and using an alternative search engine instead.
3) Sign Up for a VPN
Finally, the best tried-and-true way to help anonymize your online info and keep your ISP from spying on you is to use a VPN. A VPN, or virtual private network, lets you hide your real IP address by taking on a random IP in the country, city, or state of your choice. When you connect to a VPN server, your connection becomes encrypted and you’re instantly able to access all the sites that are available in that particular location.
While VPNs help keep you private when using unsecured networks, they’re also great for accessing content like Netflix and Facebook in countries where access may be restricted. You can use this tool to you check your IP address and see when your VPN is working.
The internet was meant to be free. Take privacy back into your own hands by incorporating the information above.
That’s it! These were the top 3 tips that can help you browse anonymously. If you have any other pro tip/s in mind then you can share it with us via comment section below.