The internet has allowed us to gather knowledge through a few clicks. It has also led to reach out to a broader audience and has increased business revenues. On the other hand, the increase in internet users has brought forth the menace of cybercriminals who are always looking out for any loopholes to gain access to sensitive data. Studies show that data breaches had exposed around 4.1 billion records in the first half of 2019.
It is essential to keep your systems secure from the prying fraudsters. You would also wish to work anonymously to keep the advertisers away. Most search engines allow various brands to reach out to a broad audience through targeted ads. At times, it becomes an irritant when you are bombarded with too many such advertisements. Staying anonymous also prevents cybercriminals from gaining knowledge amount the employees of an organisation. In this article, we will discuss some of the essential steps you can take for secure internet browsing.
Beware of public Wi-Fi
Most of us love to use public Wi-Fi systems as they come for free. The Wi-Fi systems do not have robust security systems in place, and fraudsters can easily connect to your device and wreak havoc with the underlying data. It is also essential to avoid browsing the internet to prevent the prying eyes of the people around you. However, if you need to connect to a public Wi-Fi system, you must not allow your device to share data with other devices on the network.
Browse only HTTPS websites
It is essential to browse only HTTPS websites as they encrypt the communication between your browser and the webserver of the site. As a result, any hacker will be unable to decipher the ongoing communication. These websites use an SSL certificate like RapidSSL Certificates that authenticates the website as well as its owner. All HTTPS websites flash the padlock at the address bar that shows that the visitor is browsing a secure website. If you wish to transact online, users must check whether the padlock is visible at the address bar.
Check the web extensions
Users must also be on the lookout against extensions that they use. Most browsers extensions are always checked for any vulnerabilities, but some malicious ones may slip the check. The extensions are allowed some access to your browser. When you install an extension, always check for the access that they are requesting. If you feel they are asking for access that they do not need, do not download these extensions. The extensions must be downloaded from reputed stores like Google Chrome and Chrome Store.
Don’t allow cookies
Cookies can be used by some web services to store your browsing information. While most cookies may not be malicious, some of them may store the sensitive information that can be used against you later. If you want to browse anonymous, it is best that you delete all cookies in your device and block cookies too. You must download sophisticated cleaners that can remove normal as well as flash cookies that can help you to be anonymous on the internet.
Don’t let Google track you
VPN can hide your identity
if you want to withhold your location, you must use a VPN. They will hide the internet traffic from the internet service provider. What the VPN does is that it provides the IP address of the VPN server instead of your IP. Users can use a VPN anywhere, and they can browse the internet with relative ease and without giving out their location. Several VPN providers also do not log your activity when you use their services, thus allowing the users to remain anonymous while using the VPN connection.
Use the TOR browser
There is an open-source browser – The Onion Router, or TOR, that can mask your traffic and hide your identity by ensuring that your IP address and origin are disguised too. TOR is an open-source browser that encrypts the IP along with the data packets that interact with your device or computer. However, using it for too long can even make your ISP start proceedings against you.
Browse using an anonymous search engine
There are a few search engines like DuckDuckGo that can keep your search history a private affair. The search engine can also block any advertisers and allow you to browse peacefully. As a downside, the search results will not be as customised as renowned ones like Google. Another option for you is Startpage that draws the search results from Google but doesn’t track the searches done by you.
Most of us prefer to browse anonymously to stay away from the ads targeted at us. These ads are sent to you by tracking your online footprints. Another way to block ads is to use an ad blocker. The ones like Brave Browser can block trackers and ads by default. Adblock is another option available for you.
Use anonymous email services
You can go a step further and stop using popular email providers like Google or Yahoo. They require you to provide some personal information. You can opt for the anonymous services from ProtonMail or TorGuard that allows you to transact emails without giving out your identity.
Understandably, you would undertake secure internet browsing without the prying eyes of the cybercriminals. For this reason, you must only browse HTTPS websites. You can also browse the internet anonymously without being bothered by the advertisements targeted at you. We have discussed some of the steps that can help you. However, you can never be genuinely anonymous but can reduce the risk of someone watching your online footprints.