Browse the Web Anonymously now with free Proxy:
Why You Need to Hide Your Identity?
You’re every move is being watched online. Public and private corporations are tracking and logging your online activities as we speak. And there’s no stopping it; but you! Here, you’ll find a complete list of ways and tools to disguise your identity and browse anonymously.
What is Anonymous Browsing on the Web?
Anonymous browsing, also called anonymous surfing, refers to the ability of browsing the Internet while keeping your personally identifiable information (PII) private from websites, ISPs, government entities, and hackers.
When you browse the normally, you can be identified by your Internet Protocol Address, also known as IP address, which reveals who you’re, what you’re doing online, where you’re connecting from, and other personal information.
However, when you browse anonymously, your identity and browsing history remains hidden and unknown. In short, you become invisible to all entities online for a secure and worry-free browsing experience!
Why You Need to Browse the Web Anonymously?
With so many parties interested in getting their hands on your data, it’s now more important than ever to become anonymous when you go online. Here are a few reasons why you should start thinking about anonymous browsing today:
1. Evade Geo-Restrictions
Do you want to access a blocked website or service, but can’t due to geo-restrictions? By browsing the web anonymously, you can easily unlock and view the content you want no matter where you’re located in the world.
2. Avoid Targeted Ads
Advertisers keep track of what you do online so they can serve you with advertisements wherever you go. When you browse the web anonymously, your online activities are concealed to help you get rid of target ads for good.
3. Browse with Privacy
When you go online with an undetectable cloak of anonymity, you’re able to browse with complete privacy. Since your identity is hidden, neither ISPs nor the government will be able to tell which activities you’re performing.
4. Stay Safe on Public WiFi
If you use public WiFi networks, it’s important to know that hackers can sniff your wireless traffic to extract your personal information. You can hide your activities with anonymous browsing to use public WiFi safely without having to worry about anyone eavesdropping on you.
Global Mass Surveillance – 5 Eyes, 9 Eyes, & 14 Eyes
The term “14 Eyes” is well-known in the privacy community. Basically, it refers to international surveillance agencies from different countries across the world that collaborate to gather, analyze, and share surveillance data.
Think of them as a global-surveillance network spying on you and recording your activities! Moving on…
The following countries comprise the Five Eyes (abbreviated as FVEY) intelligence alliance:
- New Zealand
- United States
- United Kingdom
The origins of this alliance, which is now widely described as the world’s most powerful intelligence alliance, can be traced back to World War II and the signing of the UKUSA Agreement. This post-war agreement formalized a partnership for sharing intelligence between the United Kingdom and United States, which later expanded to include New Zealand, Australia, and Canada.
While a crucial aspect of the agreement is to not spy on each other, Edward Snowden’s leaks have revealed that some Five Eyes countries monitor each other’s citizens as a legal workaround to domestic laws that prevent them from eavesdropping on their own citizens. It comes as no surprise that some of these countries are also the worst abusers of Internet privacy.
Nine Eyes is a similar alliance consisting of the Five Eyes countries working together with:
Fourteen Eyes, officially known as SIGINT Seniors Europe (SSEUR), is another extension of the original surveillance alliance. In addition to the previously mentioned Nine Eyes members, it also includes:
Why Should You Avoid Using US Based Services?
It’s recommended that you don’t use services based in the US – unless you’re absolutely certain about their reliability – due to the country’s surveillance laws, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) use of National Security Letters (NSLs) that include gag orders, preventing the recipient from discussing the request.
This allows the government to force companies to secretly hand over sensitive customer data while transforming the service into a tool for mass surveillance of citizens. Lavabit, an encrypted email service, is a good example of this.
The FBI demanded that Lavabit provided access to Snowden’s metadata – who was he communicating with, from where, and when – after finding out that it was his preferred email provider. Lavabit was served a subpoena, accompanied with a gag order, for the SSL keys to its service since they didn’t keep any logs and stored all email content in encrypted form.
However, having those keys would allow the FBI access to communications (including unencrypted content and metadata) of all Lavabit’s users, not only Snowden’s. In the end, Lavabit handed over the SSL keys, putting the security of everyone at risk. Later, the service abruptly shut down – but it has been relaunched recently with supposed new and improved features.
How to Browse the Web Anonymously?
You may want to stay anonymous on the web because you don’t like those targeted advertisements following you everywhere you go, or want to prevent your personal data from falling into the hands of greedy corporations and snooping governments. Regardless of what your reasons are, the following are some ways you can browse anonymously on the Internet:
1. Hide Your IP Address with a VPN
An IP address is what identifies your device while you’re browsing online, so it can be used to pinpoint your approximate location (not your exact physical address) and track your activities on the web. For this reason, hiding your IP address with a VPN makes perfect sense.
Basically, it replaces your original IP address with a virtual one – hiding it in the process – to keep your identity anonymous. Plus, all your Internet traffic is directed through a secure, encrypted tunnel to prevent snoopers from spying on you.
2. Migrate to a Private Web Browser
You can’t stay anonymous online unless you’re ready to take drastic measures, and one of the best places to begin is with your browser. After all, it’s your main gateway to the World Wide Web (WWW) and using a more private option will make a huge difference to your anonymity online.
If you’re ready to give up your favorite browser, whether it’s Firefox or Chrome, you can download a privacy browser that won’t let search engines or anybody else track you. A private browser coupled with a powerful VPN will take your anonymous browsing to a whole new level.
But if you’re skeptical about making the switch, fret not! There’s another way. You can delve into your browser’s settings and optimize them accordingly to make your browsing experience more secure and anonymous. More on this later on.
3. Install Privacy-Focused Extensions
It’s no secret that every move you make online is being watched by interested third-parties. But if you’re using a browser like Firefox or Chrome, you can install some of their privacy extensions to enhance your Internet anonymity.
Keep in mind that none of these browser extensions, or add-ons as they’re also called, are completely foolproof. However, for most regular Internet users, the protection provided by these tools will be enough as basic safeguards.
4. Sign Up for a Secure Email Account
Did you know that the contents of your emails can be monitored by governments around the world without any prior notification? To top that off, some free email providers also mine information from your emails to serve you more targeted ads.
The easiest way to ensure your email communications stay between you and your intended recipient is to use a secure, anonymous email service. It will encrypt your emails as well as offer other interesting features to play around with.
5. Switch to an Anonymous Search Engine
Search engines such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo are an essential part of our daily lives as they deliver relevant answers to our questions. But what most people don’t realize is that every time you enter a query, your searches and their results are recorded as your search history.
Cookies are also used to track your activities across multiple sites so they can build up a digital profile and target you with relevant ads. So much for anonymous browsing, right? Therefore, you’re better off using a search engine that respects your privacy because it allows you to search anonymously and securely from any device.
6. Use an Encrypted Instant Messenger
The proliferation of instant messaging apps has made it easier than ever for us to stay in touch with multiple people, from family and friends to colleagues and customers. No matter which side of the world they happen to be from, you can connect with them instantly in just a few taps!
But to make sure your conversations are truly private and not being spied upon, you need to get your hands on an encrypted instant messenger. These apps come with end-to-end encryption, aka E2EE, and a host of other security features for keeping your personal chats secure.
7. Get a Secure Voice & Video Messenger
Skype is a popular service used for voice and video calling, but you should know that it isn’t as safe as you think! While it does employ encryption to keep you protected from potential eavesdroppers, not all your conversations are actually safe.
Take, for instance, if you call a landline or mobile phone, a part of your conversation takes place through the phone network (PSTN) which isn’t encrypted. Moreover, concerns surrounding privacy have been piling up since Microsoft purchased Skype. For these reasons, it only makes sense to look for a more secure alternative and use it along with a VPN to further increase your anonymity.
8. Set Up a Privacy-Friendly P2P Program
If you’re an avid torrenter or P2P user, you’d probably know already that ISPs and the government are keeping an eye on you to catch you doing any torrenting activities. Additionally, they leave no stone unturned to shut down popular torrenting sites for curbing the illegal distribution of copyrighted content like movies or music.
The people you’re sharing files with can also view your IP address, leaving your privacy compromised to not just agencies but also users that might have malicious intent. To avoid that and increase your Internet anonymity, you should set up a private file sharing program and use it behind the cloak of a VPN.