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9 steps to make you completely anonymous online

Roger A. Grimes | Aug. 26, 2015
The default state of Internet privacy is a travesty. But if you're willing to work hard, you can experience the next best thing to absolute Internet anonymity.

8. Set up burner accounts

You'll need a different email address, password, password question answers, and identity information for each website if you take the risk of creating logon accounts. This particular solution is not only for privacy nuts and should already be practiced by everyone already.

9. Never use credit cards

If you plan to buy anything on the Internet, you can't use a normal credit card and stay anonymous. You can try to use online money transfer services such as PayPal, but most have records that can be stolen or subpoenaed. Better, use an e-currency such as bitcoin or one of its competitors. You'll need a bank or service to convert your real money into one of these alternative forms (and to get it back out), but once you're using the currency, buying anonymity is easier to maintain.

The hard work of privacy

Each of these anonymizing methods can be defeated, but the more of them you add to your privacy solution, the harder it will be for another person or group to identify you. There are hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of privacy advocates that take one or more of these precautions to protect their privacy.

Of course, most people aren't looking for the best privacy possible. Everything you do to protect your privacy causes inconvenience in your online life. Serious privacy advocates don't mind going to this trouble, but most of us aren't willing to do what it takes to accomplish even a modicum of privacy, such as configuring settings in our OS or on social media sites. Most people simply accept the defaults -- which rarely protect privacy.

The people who hack and monitor us for a living hope the majority of users take the easy way out and do little or nothing to prevent our online identities from being discovered, hacked, and revealed -- like the 37 million users of Ashley Madison.

 

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