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How To Browse the Internet Privately and Anonymously In 2023

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Heads Up! Here are the best Tips To Browse Privately

If you wish to stay anonymous and private while surfing the internet, the outlined tips below will help you.

  1. Make use of a VPN
  2. Use private browser mode
  3. Install most secure browsers
  4. Protect your privacy by using proxy servers
  5. Use anonymous search engines
  6. Choose the right privacy extensions
  7. Manage your browser privacy settings properly
  8. Turn off your GPS
  9. Avoid HTTP protocols; instead, use HTTPS
  10. Use anti-malware software to keep hackers away
  11. Log out after using a platform

VPNs help you remain secure and anonymous online. They ensure security and privacy by encrypting your data and carrying it within encrypted tunnels to eliminate any chances of data breaches. Apart from that, VPNs are known to conceal IP addresses by rerouting your network traffic through remote VPN servers.

It is no news that online privacy and security have ceased to exist altogether. At one end, cybercriminals are ready to steal your information for selling in the dark web marketplaces. While that is illegal, the gross abuse of our privacy by the ISPs is thoroughly legal due to Trump’s Net Neutrality laws.

So the question remains, how to browse privately? Fortunately, there are several ways to help you achieve that. In this article, I will be sharing not one but ten ways you can use the internet without being detected. Let’s get started already. Shall we?

If you wish to stay anonymous and private while surfing the internet, the outlined tips below will help you.

VPNs help you remain secure and anonymous online. They ensure security and privacy by encrypting your data and carrying it within encrypted tunnels to eliminate any chances of data breaches. Apart from that, VPNs are known to conceal IP addresses by rerouting your network traffic through remote VPN servers.

How to Be Completely Anonymous on the Internet?

If you wish to stay anonymous and private while surfing the internet, the outlined tips below will help you.

VPNs help you remain secure and anonymous online. They ensure security and privacy by encrypting your data and carrying it within encrypted tunnels to eliminate any chances of data breaches. Apart from that, VPNs are known to conceal IP addresses by rerouting your network traffic through remote VPN servers.

1. Surf Anonymously with a VPN

You can securely browse the internet without being tracked with pseudo IP address and VN encryption. Some of the best VPNs that help remain anonymous online are:

  1. CyberGhost VPN ensures security through robust AES-256 bit encryption and secure VPN protocols such as WireGuard. It also has a strict no-long policy and DNS and IP leak protection. 
  2. ExpressVPN promises security through a strict no-logs policy and a log audit. It uses AES encryption algorithms and secure protocols such as OpenVPN and Lightway protocol. 
  3.  NordVPN is a Panama-based VPN provider that follows a strict no-log policy, backed with a log audit report. For encryption, it uses secure algorithms and protocols such as its NordLynx. 
  4. Surfshark VPN: It is a secure VPN with a strict no-log policy and a log audit report based in the British Virgin Islands. It offers unlimited connections and secure encryption through the AES encryption algorithm.

Apart from providing privacy and securty, VPNs also help bypass geo-restrictions and issues like ISP throttling. Moreover, these VPNs also allow unbound streaming on all sites, let alone Netflix, BBCiPlayer, or Amazon. 

2. Turn on Private/Incognito Mode In Regular Browser

Here are the steps you need to follow to turn on private mode on different browsers via different devices. 

Private Browsing
enable private browsing mode
  1. Chrome: Click On “⋮”> New Incognito Window
  2. Firefox: Click On “menu” Button> New Private Window
  3. Safari: Click On “File”> New Private Windows
  4. Opera: Click On “Menu”> New Private Window
  5. Firefox Android: Click On “Menu”> New Private Window
  6. Safari iPhone : Click On “ New Page” > Private > Done 
  7. Chrome Android: Click On ⋮ > New Incognito Mode
  8. Microsoft Edge: Click On “Tools”> InPrivate Browsing
  9. Microsoft Edge Android: Tap on “Tabs” icon > InPrivate

However, the private/incognito mode only provides surface-level security. Since the only advantage with private/incognito modes is that they delete history and cookies, their privacy is limited to your device. Once online, your data remains vulnerable to hacking and spying, and you remain susceptible to tracking. The only way you can achieve complete online security is through a VPN. 

3. User private / Privacy browsers

Private browsers are another reliable method to browse the internet privately and anonymously. These browsers are designed to help you remain secure online by blocking trackers and hiding your IP address. Moreover, secure browsers also don’t log your data or store cookies.

 Some of the best safe browsers are as follows:

  1. Brave: It ensures security by deleting your browser sessions automatically. Also, it uses HTTPS and script blocker for blocking malicious scripts and providing encryption.
  2. Tor Browser: It ensures anonymity by hiding IP addresses and hopping traffic through node-to-node, which prevents trackbacks. It also protects data with layered encryption. 
  3. Epic Privacy Browser helps you remain anonymous by hiding IP addresses through encrypted proxy servers. Furthermore, it offers built-in protection against crypto mining, tracking, and scripting.  
  4. Iridium: a chromium-based web browser, Iridium offers exceptional privacy and security features such as a default cookie blocker and no telemetry.   

However, a slight drawback with these private browsers is that they only ensure privacy and security when you access the internet through them, unlike a VPN. While using applications, you remain vulnerable to tracking and hack attacks since the rest of your internet connection is not encrypted. 

4. Private Surfing Using a Proxy

Using a proxy server will gain some form of online anonymity. You send your information to the proxy server using a proxy server; this then sends it to the website. Doing this ensures websites only see the IP address of the proxy server and not your original address.

Proxy servers are unreliable because they do not offer the same level of protection encryption as VPNs. While websites will not view your actual IP address, a hacker can quickly detect your true identity in no time as they only act as a shield but do not encrypt your web traffic.

5. Make Use of A Secure Search Engine

Google and other search engines track and store your information to “provide better search results.” But this violates our privacy since Google also sells your personal information to advertisers, leading to target advertising. Since abandoning search engines is downright impossible, the best we can do is search anonymously and privately through secure search engines. 

Private search engines don’t store your information or track your online activity. Moreover, these private search engines are designed to keep your searches safe. Some reliable private search engines are as follows:

  1. DuckDuckGo: a popular private search engine it provides instant results without annoying ads. It doesn’t log your information or track your activity and has a transparent privacy policy. 
  2. Searx: a free open source software search is a metasearch engine. It provides tailored results from Google, Yahoo, and other search engines while maintaining anonymity. 
  3. MetGer: a metasearch engine, MetGer hides user IP addresses with a built-in proxy server. It also provides tailored results from Google and other search engines through anonymous requests ensuring security.  
  4. Qwant: privacy-centric search engine, Qwant ensures security by abstaining from trackers and cookies and doing its own indexing. Moreover, it deletes user search history automatically after each session. 
However, these search engines only ensure privacy and security within our searches while otherwise, your remain vulnerable. It therefore, best to use private search engines with a reliable VPN such as CyberGhost VPN, ExpressVPN, NordVPN, and SurfsahrkVPN.

6. Use Privacy Extensions

Browser extensions help attain privacy and security within your regular browsers. These extensions eliminate tracking and monitoring to allow users a private browsing experience. Some of the best privacy extensions are as follow:

  1. NoScript: this free and open-source privacy extension protects users from malicious scripts, ads, and pop-ups. Moreover, it also stops users from falling victim to JavaScript exploits. 
  2. Ghostery ensures a cleaner, faster, and more secure browsing experience by blocking ads and stopping trackers.  
  3. uBlock Origin: it is a free and open-source, cross-platform browser extension that ensures privacy and security by blocking ads and trackers
  4. Adblock Plus: a free privacy browser extension, AdBlock Plus allows private browsing by blocking annoying ads, trackers, and malicious scripts. It also prevents users from visiting malicious websites. 

While privacy extensions are a reliable source of helping users browse the web privately, the privacy they provide is merely limited to browsers. Moreover, like a VPN, they also don’t encrypt your data, leaving it vulnerable to snooping. Therefore, for the ultimate private browsing experience, it is best to use a combination of a secure VPN and privacy extensions. 

7. Manage Your Browser Privacy Settings

Giant companies such as Facebook log their user’s data and share collected information with ad companies. The company goes a step further to monitor your online activities even when you aren’t on their site. Although users change their privacy settings, they still see other ads. You can only tweak what appears on your feed but not block it completely. Besides this, Facebook keeps getting more helpful information from its customers.

Google also logs data but allows you to switch off ad personalization. However, this is not to say the ads will stop altogether, nor does it mean Google will stop gathering information on you. Overall, companies that depend on revenues from ad companies are likely to keep tracking your online activities, and there’s little or nothing you can do to stop it unless using a VPN.

8. Switch Off Your GPS

Even if you can browse anonymously, it’s an alarming situation if anyone can track your location. Leaving your GPS turned on is like inviting hackers and other potential threats and vulnerabilities. Worst of all, most social media platforms often publicly share users’ exact locations, making it easy for hackers and surveillance teams to get a hold of such persons. Hence, endeavor to turn off your GPS at all times permanently.

9. Use HTTPS Websites

Many do not pay attention to the type of protocols used when browsing. There’s the HTTP protocol, and then there’s the HTTPS protocol. They are not the same thing.

HTTPS protocols ensure your data is secure in transit. Also, it protects your data from MITM, phishing, and other data breaches. Besides, it prevents intruders from installing malware that is harmful to users. Overall, HTTPS is a more secure protocol; therefore, ensure you use sites with the protocol.

10. Use Anti-Malware Software

Malware is bad for your device and undoubtedly bad for your privacy. They disrupt the operation, enable unauthorized access to your device, slow down your computer, and generally do much damage. But beyond all of these, the malware also steals sensitive data and compromises your privacy.

It’s essential to use anti-malware software to prevent malware such as worms, viruses, ransomware, spyware, and trojans from getting hold of your data. The software blocks and alerts you whenever malware tries to access your network and even prevents it from gaining access.

11. Don’t Forget to Log Out

It’s important to sign out of any social media platform or email account after use. By logging out, you shut the door on hackers, preventing them from accessing your data and exposing your activities.

Is Private And Anonymous Browsing The Same?

Many internet users often think private browsing is the same as anonymous surfing, but it is not the same. Private browsing involves using a private browser mode to surf the internet. Examples of private modes include Chrome’s incognito mode and Firefox’s private windows.

While browsing privately means all information, including browsing history and cookies, is removed from your device. However, they can still be traced back to you as the data is stored outside your device. Also, it enables users to browse the internet without revealing their identity, such as IP address.

Can You Be Completely Anonymous Online?

Yes, you can. Using s VPN or any of the tips mentioned above, you can browse the internet without being traced.

How Does A VPN Provide Anonymity?

A VPN software replaces your IP address with one of its own. It also encrypts your data using military-grade encryption and unique protocols. Furthermore, it has data leak prevention tools and other features. All of these ensure that your online activities cannot be traced back to you.

What VPN Would You Recommend For Use?

Selecting a tested and trusted VPN ensures your data isn’t compromised. While there are many VPNs on the market, ExpressVPN is one of the best.

Are There Any Free VPNs For Use?

Yes, there are lots of free VPNs available. However, it is not recommended to use a free VPN because they aren’t secure. Many free VPNs log users’ data and sell it to third-party agents. They lack security and privacy-boosting features and are not as safe as the paid versions. Instead of using a free VPN, it is best to use one legitimate VPN that guarantees security and privacy, such as ExpressVPN, CyberGhost, NordVPN, or Surfshark VPN. 

Final Thoughts

As businesses and humans become more aware and careful of falling prey to cyberattacks, many are finding unique ways of safeguarding their data, and so should you. By browsing the internet anonymously, you shift attention away from yourself, thereby keeping your data and activities private and safe. 

In this article, we have shared how to keep you anonymous online. Whichever method you choose to deploy, just as long as you are browsing anonymously, then your online safety, privacy, and security are guaranteed. But above all, using a VPN is the best solution to remain anonymous over the web.

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Waqas is a cybersecurity journalist and writer who has a knack for writing technology and online privacy-focused articles. He strives to help achieve a secure online environment and is skilled in writing topics related to cybersecurity, AI, DevOps, Cloud security, and a lot more. As seen in: Computer.org, Nordic APIs, Infosecinstitute.com, Tripwire.com, and VentureBeat.

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