How to browse the web anonymously
The internet is becoming a less private place with each passing year. There are many different attempts to grab your data, coming from a wide range of sources, so it’s easy to see why concerns about internet security are increasing.
We’ve put together a couple of ways to help keep your online life private. These solutions are effective and easy to use, and will help ensure that you are using the internet without someone, or something, tracking your every move.
VPNs (or Virtual Private Networks) are one of the best solutions to internet security. They are easy to use and set up and have very minimal effect on your daily computer use.
A VPN encrypts the data that moves between your device and the internet, meaning that only you and the VPN service receive the data. For example, NordVPN uses military-grade encryption on your data so they can’t even access it themselves, meaning your data is truly private.
They’re easy to set up and install too. You download it and install it like any other program, open it up and and active the VPN. It will take a few moments, and then you’re done – high security browsing at the touch of a button. Have a look at our roundup of the best VPN services here.
Another great option for internet safety are Plugins for your browser. These work while you’re browsing to keep you safe and secure from sources that may want to track you, or try and grab your data online.
Ghostery is the prime example of these plugins that specialise in keeping you protected. Much like the VPNs, they’re very easy to use and set up, and give you a great layer of protection that everyone can use.
Encrypting the messages you send can give you that extra peace of mind. Knowing that what you are sending out is ONLY going to be seen by the people that you wish to see, helps reassure you that you’re still in control of your private life.
Several messaging services offer this feature, including the hugely popular WhatsApp which has end to end encryption. While this is a nice layer of additional security, it’s rumoured to be hackable still – however, if someone is really desperate enough to hack through layers of encryption to see my collection of cat photos, then have at it.
Signal is the app that really pioneered the secure messaging movement, offering both encrypted messages and voice calls. If you really want to be sure that you’re not being listened to, then Singnal might just be the best option for you.
The Onion Router
Finally we come to The Onion Router, or TOR for short.
TOR is a web browser created specifically for anonymous use. With TOR you can surf the web and feel confident that nothing is going to be looking over your shoulder.
It works by routing your connection to a website to several random locations around the world, so by the time your connection reaches the server, it looks like you’ve come from somewhere different altogether.
TOR has several layers of security, which you can adapt and change at your leisure. More security will slow down your browsing experience, but if that’s something you can live with for increased peace of mind, then that option is available to you. For more information on how to use TOR, have a look at our user guide.