There are many good reasons to surf the Internet privately. Staying anonymous online keeps hackers at bay, and cybercriminals are less likely to target users with smaller digital footprints.
It helps avoid targeted ads, as well. For example, if you anonymously shopped for a new computer, you wouldn’t be hit with a barrage of popups advertising a laptop.
Browsing privately can also be financially rewarding. For example, many shopping websites reward first-time visitors with steep discounts during the holiday season. You can also save money when purchasing airline tickets. Airlines are known to raise rates for returning visitors. When browsing privately, you may be offered the lowest fares by an air travel website because it has no record of your previous visit.
#1 Connect to a VPN
A good Virtual Private Network (VPN) is a great way to browse the Internet privately. A VPN encrypts your data and secures your personal information. It also hides your IP address. Using one is simple. You download the VPN client and use it to connect to the VPN server.
But don’t use free VPN services. These are usually littered with malware designed to breach your privacy. Free VPN services retain your browsing information to sell to the highest bidder, and such services are also notoriously slow.
The best way to protect yourself when searching online is to use a paid VPN from a trusted company that secures your Wi-Fi connection and offers a free trial. The right VPN prevents unauthorized tracking by assigning you a virtual IP address. It uses the best technology to improve your security and preserve your privacy. Moreover, the right VPN will not log your data.
Likewise, be sure to use an advanced antivirus software from a reputable cybersecurity company for an added layer of protection. Such software can shield you from threats on your email and messenger and warn you about visiting shady websites.
#2 Use Your Browser’s Incognito Mode
Whether you’re surfing the Internet with Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox, Apple Safari, or some other browser, use your browser’s privacy mode to stay anonymous. This mode deletes cookies and browser history to prevent websites from tracking you.
It also keeps your activities private from other people sharing your computer. For example, your Google Chrome’s Incognito Window can help you privately find a gift for your significant other without them catching on.
#3 Delete Cookies and Browsing History
If you don’t want to use your browser’s privacy mode, then delete your browsing history manually. Whenever you’re done using the Internet, simply ‘clear your browsing history’ in your browser’s settings. This is also useful when checking your email or social media on a public computer, where you must delete all traces of your activity to protect your privacy.
#4 Use Encrypted Messaging Apps
While there are many popular messaging apps, only a few use end-to-end encryption (E2EE). This method of secure communication prevents third parties from intercepting your messages and maintains your anonymity. It’s a useful tool if you are being targeted by hackers.
Maintaining your privacy online can seem challenging. However, with good habits and the best privacy software, you can surf the Internet safely, anonymously, and confidently.