There are few privacy tools that you need to private browsing without tracking – First you need to understand what you need to be private.
The net neutrality laws by Trump have made it almost impossible to browse the internet without being tracked. A connection to the internet comes with the overbearing presence of the Government or ISPs monitoring your online activity.
Along with that comes the looming threat of websites and criminals tracking your activity through various means such as ad-pops or trackers. But why is it that we are being tracked at all times? This monitoring is a means of exercising control for the government. While the advertisers label it as “quality assurance.” When it comes to cybercriminals, the aim is as simple as it gets, that is, to sell information over the dark web for money.
So what can we do to escape the modern dystopian cyber world and shake off the “Big Brother” off our backs? Well, the best way out is to learn how to browse the internet privately using several private browsing techniques and tools available.
Quick Tip > Browse Privately
In order to maint your privacy and anonymity while browsing the web, you need to make sure of a couple of things that really matter.
Basic Level: Browse Privately
If your internet use is confined merely to streaming cat videos or online shopping, you still need some basic level of online privacy. And while it may sound complex, the best way to browse privately is as follows:
- Use a VPN
- Browse within private browsing or incognito modes.
A combination of these two tools can help you remain private when you browse online. Firstly, browsing in incognito modes helps ensure browser privacy. With the private browser mode or the incognito mode, your device or your browser doesn’t keep a record of:
- Browser history
- Cookies and site data
- Information entered in forms.
However, even in private browsing, you are still vulnerable to privacy breaches since your activity is visible to:
- Internet service provider
- Websites you visit
- Your employer or school.
Advance Level: Browse or Search the Internet Privately?
While attaining complete online anonymity might seem like a myth, it is possible to browse the web anonymously. The steps to achieving that internet freedom involve encrypting your data and getting rid of other privacy and security issues like tracking. Additionally, there is always data tracking and monitoring, either from websites, search engines, or ISPs. Amidst this, To browse privately, you would need the following protective measures:
- Use a legitimate VPN for encryption
- Download the best privacy browser that avoids being tracked.
- Use a private search engine, which will not record your history and footprints.
- If you don’t want to use another browser, use privacy extensions to make your current browser like Chrome, Firefox, Safari more secure (not recommended).
- Change your daily browsing habits, to avoid being tracked.
These security measures, when used all together, can ensure robust protection and security. Each privacy tool allows safety and security from various issues hindering your private browsing experiences.
1. Use a VPN?
VPNs assure online privacy and security by encrypting your data and then further transporting that data into encrypted packets within an encrypted tunnel. It, therefore, ensures robust protection from data monitoring and snooping. An added advantage of using a VPN is online anonymity. As mentioned above, the rerouting of internet traffic hides your online identity by replacing your actual IP address with a fake one. Some of the best VPNs to use are:
- NordVPN: A Panama-based VPN provider, enables robust privacy and security through secure encryption protocols and high-end encryption ciphers.
- CyberGhost VPN: With a secure jurisdiction, it allows online privacy through the most robust encryption protocols, hides your IP address, and follows a strict no-logs policy.
- ExpressVPN: It ensures data protection through AES256 bit encryption and secure VPN protocols. Moreover, it also has a strict no-logs policy backed by a log audit report.
- SurfsharkVPN: a relatively new VPN provider, it offers various privacy and security features such as secure encryption, connections, built-in anti-malware protection a lot more.
Most people tend to opt for free VPNs, and that apparently does get the job done but offers poor encryption and slow speeds. Also, free VPNs are not bound to you in any way since you are not paying them, so there is a fat chance that they might collect and sell your data to third parties.
2. Use Privacy Browsers
It is common knowledge that reputable browsers like Chroma, Safari and Bing track and monitor your online activity. These browsers are notorious for collecting your information and further selling it to third parties, often for advertising purposes which is a gross abuse of our privacy.
A solution to this is to opt for private browsers designed to ensure online privacy and security. These private browsers come with several built-in privacy and security features and protect from browser privacy issues like:
- Third-party trackers and ad pop-ups
- Browser fingerprinting
Problems like these hinder our private browsing experience. Along with this ensuring such protection, private browsers also enable HTTPS encryption for every site you visit, which somewhat secures your data. There are several private browsers that you can opt for that allow users to browse without being tracked, such as:
- Tor Browser: Designed by the US Navy itself, the Tor browser allows privacy by wrapping your data into layers of encryption. Moreover, it also hops your information from node to node, which masks your IP address, ensuring anonymity.
- Brave Privacy Browser: A Chromium-based browser, Brave browser provides “strong protection against Web tracking.” The browser automatically blocks trackers, cookies, and browser fingerprinting while enabling HTTPS protection for websites for robust security.
- Epic Privacy Browser: A secure Chromium-based proxy browser, Epic privacy browser promises to block ads and trackers. It also protects your IP address.
With such security features, a private browser provides a robust private browsing experience. Further, using these private browsers with a legitimate VPN enhances privacy through secure VPN encryption.
3. Turn on Incognito / Private Browsing Mode
As mentioned above, the incognito mode or the private browsing mode is an alternative to getting a private browser. Incognito modes are designed to enable privacy within your device. Here is how you can turn on incognito modes in your browsers:
|Browsers||Desktop + keyboard shortcut||Android/iPhone|
|Chrome||Click On “⋮”> “New Incognito Window” / Press “Ctrl,” + “Shift,” + “N”||Go to: “⋮” > New Incognito Mode|
|Safari||Go to: “Menu” > “File” > New Private Window /Press “Shift” + “Command” + “N ”||Tap on: “New Page” > “Private” > “Done”|
|Firefox||Click on: “Menu (⋮)” > “New Private Window”/Press “CTRL” + “Shift” + “P.”||Open: “Home Screen” > “Private”|
|Microsoft Edge||Click on: “Setting and More (⋮)” > “New Private Window”/Press “Ctrl,” + “Shift,” + “N”||In-Home Screen Tap on the “Tabs” icon > InPrivate|
The maximum protection an incognito mode provides is that it doesn’t store your cache or browser history within your device. It is, however, a helpful privacy feature that you can enable in your regular browsers.
4. Use Privacy Search Engines
Search engines like Chrome, Bing, and Yahoo have long since smeared mud on their names by collecting private user information. Admittedly this data collection is often a mere practice of “providing better search results” and “filter out preferences,” but it results in several nuisances such as target advertising.
With these popular search engines no longer reliable, privacy search engines help users carry out private internet searches. These search engines are designed to ensure a secure and private browsing experience without the worry of getting tracked online. Some of the most popular and secure privacy search engines are as follows:
- DuckDuckGO: the most popular private search engine, DDG provides an exceptional private browsing experience. It blocks trackers and cookies, has a simple UI with no ads, and has personal SEO to search for queries within.
- StartPage: a secure private search engine, Startpage protects users from trackers, cookies and enables an entirely anonymous and private internet search experience. It also allows customizable searches.
- Swisscows: based in Switzerland, it ensures complete private internet searches for its users. It blocks trackers and cookies, offers language customization, and presents family-friendly content only.
Private search engines provide an excellent option for private browsing websites and internet searches. They ensure user privacy and security remain intact through protective measures and strict no-logs policies.
5. Use Privacy Extensions
Downloading private browsers to ensure a seamless private browsing experience might seem like a hassle to many. Amidst this, instead of using popular browsers like Chrome and Safari with their vulnerabilities, one option is to enable privacy and security within them through privacy extensions.
Privacy extensions are in-browser extensions that are integrated within your browsers to ensure privacy and security. There are various privacy extensions available protecting users in diverse ways, amongst which some of the most popular ones are as follows:
- HTTPS Everywhere: created by the EFF, this privacy extension ensures web security. The HTTPS privacy extension automatically loads the HTTPS versions of websites and blocks any site that doesn’t have an HTTPS version for security.
- Privacy Badger: this privacy extension is designed to block any third-party web trackers from stealing your information. With a simple and easy-to-use interface, privacy badger enables a robust private browsing experience.
Privacy extensions allow users to maintain privacy and security within their regular browsers. When paired with a VPN and private search engines, privacy extensions can help users browse the web privately and securely.
6. Change Your Browsing Habits!
Your browsing habits play a very crucial role in your online security and anonymity. Adhering to some of the following best browsing habits can help you remain anonymous online:
- Keep your browser software up-to-date
- Ensure your device has anti-malware protection at all times
- Don’t reuse old passwords and enable multi factor authentication for all accounts.
- Log out of accounts after use
- Do not click on suspicious links or pop-ups
- Only download files from renowned sources.
Such practices would help you remain secure online and protect you from various browser privacy issues.
How To Browse Internet Without Being Tracked by ISP
The net neutrality laws by Trump have given your ISPs the leverage to track and monitor your online activity. Although ISP tracking is a legal practice, it is a gross moral abuse of our online privacy. These ISPs track your online activity and record your behavior and other information to sell it to advertisers further. So the annoying target advertisement you receive is all the fault of your IP tracking and monitoring.
Fortunately, you can get rid of ISP tracking and monitoring by using some of the aforementioned methods. Since ISPs track you by your IP address, the ways mentioned above all hide your IP address, allowing you to maintain online anonymity and get rid of issues like ISP tracking.
How Do You Search Privately on The Internet?
Searching anonymously on the internet is not as big of a hassle as it seems to be. Admittedly it does require a combination of security tools and techniques such as:
- Private browsers
- Privacy search engines
- Ad blockers and other privacy extensions
As mentioned above using these methods will help users search privately and anonymously on the internet.
How Do You Search Anonymously on Google?
Searching anonymously on Google might seem like an issue considering the tech giant is notorious for information tracking and sharing. However, there are various methods that you can use to search anonymously on Google, such as:
- Browse in an incognito mode that doesn’t store cache or browser history
- Log out of your Gmail accounts on all devices to prevent tracking
- Instill mandatory security settings such as disabling tracker cookies
- Install various secure browser extensions such as NoScript
- Don’t use social media since your browser might track your messages and steal information
- Make sure to enable privacy and anonymity with the best VPN at all times.
While searching anonymously on Google may seem downright impossible, enabling these settings will help you attain the anonymity you seek.
How to Browse Anonymously on Android?
Despite its popularity, Android is also notorious for being an insecure OS. Such reputation stems from the high rate of malware infections and data breaches within it. Amidst this, it is understandable for users to try and browse anonymously on Android, which they can achieve through the following method:
- Install and use a compatible VPN for Android such as NordVPN, ExpressVPN, or Surfshark VPN to ensure data protection and online anonymity.
- Download a privacy browser for Android such as Brave, DuckDuckGo, or Tor to enable private browsing
- Switch to using a private search engine for Android such as DDG, MetaGer, or Qwant.
- Secure your device with robust antivirus protection
Enabling such privacy and security in your Android devices will help you attain a secure and private browsing experience.
Admittedly, online privacy is a matter of struggle. With data tracking and monitoring being a rising issue for every netizen, ensuring privacy and security online has become more than necessary. Thankfully, some methods can help ensure online privacy and security, such as the ones mentioned in this article.