5 Ways To Hide Your Identity Online
With the number of data leaks, doxxing (the public revealing of private information), and general privacy issues that can arise when using the internet, it is more necessary than ever to keep your personal information protected.
People are usually fine with disclosing some information online, such as their name, age, or where they’re from. Yet, if you wish to maintain a completely anonymous online persona, this is also doable.
Even if you have previously made public information about yourself, there are ways to have it removed. But, keep in mind that some things cannot be removed. Aside from that, there are other strategies to maintain a low profile and reduce the likelihood of others discovering your identity. This article will show you how to remove public information, remain anonymous, and prevent websites, applications, or persons from acquiring your data.
1. Reduce your online presence.
Social media and other internet platforms are a goldmine of personal information and data for both private companies and malevolent individuals. When it comes to reducing your social media profile, you have a few options. . This can include social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, messaging apps such as Snapchat, blogging sites, and even email and online banking accounts.
You can compile a list of all your online accounts that may hold personal information and delete or deactivate them one by one. If you wish to remove your email accounts but still receiving emails, you can utilize more anonymous services like ProtonMail.
If you wish to be less drastic, go through each account and change your name to a fictitious one, as well as remove any personal information you may have published. You can also go into each platform’s privacy settings and check that the highest privacy settings are activated.
2. Take Your Information Off Websites
If you discover that websites have uploaded personal information about you, you should contact them and request that they remove it. If you do not receive a response or they refuse to remove your information, you can contact Google to have it removed. If the sharing of your personal information breaches a law in your country or Google’s Terms of Service, you can complain it to Google.
You may also notice your information on data broker websites such as Whitepages or BeenVerified. To remove your information from them, you must opt out of each one. Fortunately, applications exist to assist you in determining where your information is being hosted and opting out of it. For this, a tool like DeleteMe is ideal.
3. Alter Your Browsing Patterns
Your web surfing history is recorded and kept in a variety of ways. Whether it’s through cookies, search engine history, or cached data, your browser contains a wealth of information about you. There are numerous ways to keep your online browsing private.
Secondly, you might want to consider using a more privacy-conscious web browser. Tor is a terrific option, and you can pair it with a similarly private search engine like DuckDuckGo, which also works with browsers like Firefox or Google Chrome.
If you still want to use your ordinary browser, you can utilize a VPN (virtual private network). You should also avoid accepting cookies when visiting websites, as these track your browsing activity. Moreover, make it a habit to remove your search history and clean your cache.
This will conceal your activity from anyone who may be using the same computer as you, but it will not conceal anything from your ISP, or Internet Service Provider.
4. Remove Any Applications You Aren’t Using
Your smartphone contains yet another massive repository of personal information. While you use the applications, they most certainly collect a lot of information about you and your behavior. There are a few options for dealing with this. First, go through and eliminate any unnecessary apps.
For the apps you wish to keep, go through your app permissions, which are normally located in your settings on both iPhone and Android. Then, disable permissions for everything you don’t want the app to have access to. You might also wish to check your phone’s privacy settings.
You can alter things like Location Services, Tracking, sharing analytics, and more on the iPhone by going to Settings > Privacy. To modify comparable options on Android, head to Settings > Privacy.
5. Make Online Purchases as a Guest
When you shop online, you’re frequently required to create an account before you can check out with your purchases. Even if you aren’t ready to check out but are simply perusing an online store, you may be pushed to create an account. This, however, is an easy way to get your inbox overrun with unwanted promotions or spam. It may also save sensitive credit card or other payment information that you do not want them to keep on the site.
To avoid this, always select the Guest option when making online transactions. If you must enter an email address, don’t use your primary one, and don’t tick any boxes to receive promotional emails.
Use These Steps to Keep Your Internet Information Secure
It is entirely up to you how much online anonymity you desire. Some people are fine with their real name or photo being public, while others prefer to completely remove their existence from the internet. In any case, the ideas provided here are an excellent starting point for keeping your personal information far more private.