There are a lot of reasons to want to stay anonymous online. Maybe you’re a whistleblowers, maybe you’re worried about identity theft, or maybe you just don’t want your boss to know what you’re really up to on the internet. Whatever your reasons, there are some simple 8 steps to becoming pretty much anonymous online.
Why you might want to become anonymous online
These days, it seems like everyone from corporations to government agencies is trying to collect as much data on us as possible. And with new revelations about data breaches and privacy violations coming out almost daily, it’s no wonder that more and more people are looking for steps to becoming pretty much anonymous online.
There are many reasons why someone might want to become anonymous online. Maybe you’re concerned about online predators or cyberbullies targeting you or your family. Maybe you want to avoid being targeted by advertisers. Or maybe you just want to exercise your right to privacy.
Whatever your reasons, there are a few things you can do to becoming pretty much anonymous online. Here are 8 steps to becoming pretty much anonymous online:
- Use a VPN
- Use Tor
- Use a secure email service
- Use a secure messaging app
- Use a password manager
- Use two-factor authentication
- Be careful what you post online
- Limit the amount of personal information you share online
8 Steps to becoming pretty much anonymous online
Step 1: Create a new email address.
The majority of personal data breaches occur because hackers gain access to people’s email accounts. So this is the first step from the 8 steps to becoming pretty much anonymous online is creating a new, unique email address that isn’t connected to any of your other online accounts.
There are a few different ways you can do this. You can create a new Gmail account using an alias (like [email protected]), or you can sign up for a burner email account with a service like 10 Minute Mail.
Whichever method you choose, make sure to use a strong, unique password that you don’t use for any other accounts. You can use a password manager like LastPass or 1Password to generate and store complex passwords for all your different accounts.
Step 2: Get a VPN.
A VPN creates a private tunnel through the internet to another server. Your computer’s IP address is masked, and all your internet traffic is encrypted. This makes it incredibly difficult for someone to track your online activity.
There are a lot of VPN providers out there, but we recommend ExpressVPN. It’s easy to use, it’s fast, and it’s affordable. Plus, it has servers in 94 countries, so you can access blocked content no matter where you are.
Step 3: Use TOR.
TOR, which stands for The Onion Router, is a system designed to protect your online anonymity. When you use TOR, your traffic is encrypted and routed through a series of TOR servers, making it effectively impossible for anyone to track your online activity.
Step 4: Create new social media accounts.
The fourth step to becoming pretty much anonymous online is to create new social media accounts. If you have been using the same social media accounts for a long time, there is a good chance that your real identity is attached to them.
Creating new accounts is a good way to start fresh and make it more difficult for people to find you. When creating new accounts, be sure to use a fake name, fake profile picture, and fake information. Additionally, consider using a VPN when signing up for new social media accounts.
Step 5: Use a burner phone.
A burner phone is a cell phone that you purchase specifically for the purpose of using it for a short period of time and then discarding it. This can be particularly useful if you are worried about someone tracking your online activity or if you simply want to protect your privacy.
There are a few things to keep in mind when using a burner phone:
- Choose a prepaid phone so that there is no way to trace the number back to you.
- Turn off all location services so that your location cannot be tracked.
- Do not use your real name or any other personal information when setting up the phone.
- Do not connect the phone to any other devices, such as your computer or tablet.
- Do not use the same phone number for multiple purposes. For example, if you are using the burner phone for work, do not also use it for personal calls.
- Keep the phone with you at all times and Do not store any sensitive information on the device, such as passwords or banking information.
Step 6: Don’t use your real name.
First, consider what you’re trying to keep hidden. If you’re worried about someone finding your social media profiles, you might choose to use a nickname or a pseudonym (a made-up name) or if you want to keep your browsing habits private from your ISP or government, you have to use a virtual private network.
If you’re trying to maintain anonymity so you can speak freely on controversial topics without retribution, you might want to consider using a tool like Tor. This is the software that was used by Edward Snowden when he shared classified information with journalists.
Choosing a pseudonym is the first step in maintaining anonymity online, but it’s not the only one. Here are a few more things to keep in mind:
Don’t use your real name. This should be obvious, but it’s worth repeating. If you want to be anonymous, don’t use your real name (or any variation of it).
Don’t use personal information. This includes your address, phone number, birthday, and anything else that could be used to identify you.
Be careful what you post. Once something is online, it’s very difficult to remove it. Think carefully about what you share before hitting “post.”
Beware of phishing scams. These are attempts by scammers to get personal information from you by pretending to be a trustworthy source. Be very careful about giving out any information—even if it seems like it’s coming from a trusted source.
Step 7: Be careful what you post online.
The internet is a wonderful tool that allows us to connect with people all over the world, but it also has its pitfalls. It’s important to be careful about what you post online, as anything you post can be seen by anyone in the world.
There are some simple steps you can take to help protect your privacy online:
Think before you post. Be careful about what information you share, as it can be used to track you down.
Use a pseudonym. If you must use your real name, consider using a nickname or initials instead.
Be aware of your privacy settings. Social media sites and other online services often have different privacy settings – make sure you understand how these work before sharing anything sensitive.
Don’t post personal information. This includes your home address, phone number, email address, and date of birth.
Avoid geotagging. Geotagging is when your location is automatically added to your posts – this can give away where you live or work, so it’s best to avoid it if possible.
Think twice before posting photos of people without their permission. If you must do this, consider blurring their faces or avoid posting identifying information about them.
Be aware that anything you post online could be shared without your consent. Once something is posted online, it’s very difficult to control who sees it or how it’s used, so think carefully before hitting “post”!
Step 8: Use caution when meeting people online.
If you have been corresponding with someone online and you would like to meet them in person, there are some precautions you should take. First, always meet in a public place and let someone know where you are going and when you will be back. Second, don’t give out too much personal information (such as your home address or phone number) until you get to know the person better. Finally, trust your gut instinct – if something feels “off,” it probably is.