In the wake of the recent debate on social media privacy and the use and abuse of data, it has become evident that your online privacy is under attack by tech companies like Facebook, Google and others.
The sooner you realize that you live in a world where security and privacy aren’t free, the better. You must’ve heard the phrase; there’s no such thing as a free lunch. Well, that’s true. The services you’re using online don’t charge you a dime yet they’re worth billions. Why’s that? Ever thought maybe you’re the product? Eye opener, right.
While Facebook argues that their business model is serving ads to its users, how do they know which ads to target at you specifically? The short answer to that is that they tap your online activities and build a profile of your likes, dislikes, habits, moods and other metrics to target you with the ads that best suit you.
So, how does one hide on the Internet?
The Edward Snowden leaks made it apparent that hackers and your own government are actively spying on your online activities. However, there’s still hope. With a few simple tricks and tools, you can make it much harder for surveillance agencies and third parties to spy on your internet activities.
The key to a secure and untraceable internet journey is to hide your IP address. You may ask, how to hide an IP address? Hiding an IP address is pretty easy. Learn how to hide your IP address
From around the world, cybersecurity experts emphasize on using a Virtual Private Network aka VPN. A VPN creates a private and secure way to access the internet anonymously. Instead of being tracked through your IP address, all your internet traffic appears to be coming through the VPN assigned IP, which is located somewhere else in the world – hence, keeping your real identity and location anonymous at all times.
Most VPNs cost less than 60 bucks a year and are pretty easy to setup. While choosing a VPN service, just make sure you’re going for a one which offers AES 256-bit encryption as standard. Encryption is your online best friend as it will secure your communications and activities against intruders.
Secondly, use the Tor browser, developed initially by the US Navy. Tor encrypts and routes your internet traffic through various relays around the world before delivering your internet requests. The reason why your internet traffic is bounced through these relays is to make sure that the traffic can’t be traced back to you.
While it’s widely believed that hackers and government-backed agencies operate some of Tor’s exit relays, it’s worth noting that since your traffic has already bounced through multiple relays before, hence your internet traffic can be considered safe. However, it’s not as secure as a VPN where your entire IP address and location gets reassigned.
Thirdly, use HTTPS everywhere. HTTPS encrypts your internet traffic with websites, making browsing much more secure and almost impossible to spy on. Prominent sites like Facebook, Google, YouTube, and others are using HTTPS to secure your online activities on their site.
Summing it up, to conceal your digital footprint, you should use a renowned VPN service that will not only help you achieve online privacy, but give you the ability to bypass geo-restrictions, unblock your favorite content – TV shows, movies, and much more.
Osama Khan is a tech reporter and internet privacy and security enthusiast, who regularly shares his knowledge and ideas through this writings in an effort to make the internet a safe and secure place for all. Looking to connect? Send an email: firstname.lastname@example.org or follow @osamakhangt