Big brother is watched you. Like they say, “In God we trust, everyone else we monitor”. They do monitor, all the time. Internet Service Providers (including Time Warner and Frontier) are required to hold your internet history for 18 months. Even if you delete your web browser’s internet history, your ISP (Internet Service Provider) still has it all. So how do we stay anonymous? Well, hide your identity.
Why surf internet anonymously?
Websites can learn more about you than you think. Amazon knows what you have been looking for, Facebook knows who you might know, blogging and news websites know what your views are about government. Putting it all together creates a full profile on you. So if you are someone whose views differ from government then you probably go to all sort of news websites and blogs. You probably want to surf anonymously if you are doing some research on a controversial topic. Journalists and human rights activists surf internet anonymously all the time.
How do they tag my history to me?
It’s all about your Internet Protocol (IP) address (like phone number for your cell phone). A typical IP address is in format xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx (for example 18.104.22.168 takes you Google’s website). If you go to http://www.whatismyip.com/ it will tell you what your ip address is. Though residential IP addresses are mostly static in a sense that they change all the time; Your ISP know what IP address was allotted to you at a certain day and time.
Become Truly Anonymous
Easiest way to hide tracks is to use Virtual Private Network (VPN). Some may suggest use of proxy. While both VPN and proxy route your traffic through another host, proxy does not encrypt (hide) your data from prying eyes. If confidentiality of your data along with anonymity is important to you, use VPN.
Most efficient and easy VPN software I have come across (and free of course) is Hot Spot Shield. According to their website, Hot Spot Shield allows you to:
- Secure your web session, data, online shopping, and personal information online with HTTPS encryption.
- Protect yourself from identity theft online.
- Hide your IP address for your privacy online.
- Access all content privately without censorship; bypass firewalls.
- Protect yourself from snoopers at Wi-Fi hotspots, hotels, airports, corporate offices.
Just down and install Hot Spot Shield from their website http://hotspotshield.com/ and download the free version. Just double click and install it. Host Spot is easy to use. It will connect you to their servers somewhere else in the U.S. and your IP address will appear to be from another state. You can always right click on Hot Spot Shield icon on task bar and disconnect it. On a side note, using proxy and/or VPN might reduce your internet speed because your internet traffic is being routed through another location. If you have any questions about this or related topics, feel free to leave a comment.