When you surf the Internet, you may feel that you are alone but in fact, everything you do is being watched and recorded. The website you click will retain detailed information about each visitor, the ISP will monitor and store logs of all users, and even plugins and operating systems will collect and share information about your daily habits. It is very difficult to keep completely hidden online. Here are some common ways that third parties or Ethical Hackers can track your Internet activity.
- IP address –The easiest and most accurate way to identify people online is to follow the traces left by their IP addresses. Each device will get a unique IP when logging into the Internet. The address is associated with every data it processes, from simple websites to video streaming, email, etc. Ethical Hacker Collecting and tracking this information is very easy, especially because your local service provider keeps logs.
- Browser Fingerprint Recognition –A more complicated but equally terrifying online tracking method is the fingerprint user’s browser. This compares data points such as screen resolution, language, browser type and version, time zone, plugin, etc. Most browsers are willing to share content with every website that requests it. This can be used to separate individuals from groups, especially if you are using less common plugins or browser builds.
- Cookies – One of the earliest forms of online tracking is a simple browser cookie. These are essentially tiny files sent by websites stored on your device to track where and when you leave. Cookies are used to customize advertisements on websites, which is why, after searching for shoes on Google, you suddenly start seeing banner ads for shoes.
- Social Media – People deliberately or unintentionally gave up an unprecedented amount of personal information. Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites are packed with people taking pictures of their meals, showing off vacation photos, and taking photos of every place they visit. Even a cursory glance at someone ’s Facebook account can provide a lot of personal information, all of which were published intentionally, not stolen.
HOW TO STAY ANONYMOUS ON INTERNET?
Use the Real-Time Operating System to keep Online Hidden
One of the keys to keeping your identity secret on the Internet is to prevent any personal information from reaching your device. If the data does not exist, it cannot be shared. When used in conjunction with anonymous services such as Tor or VPN (or both), you will also retain detailed information about your location and hardware, adding a lot of privacy.
Even if you are not aware, your operating system will carry a lot of personal information. Windows and MacOS are particularly bad at storing detailed information that can be used to identify you. Linux is better at separating users from devices, but for true privacy, you need to use a real-time operating system.
The real-time operating system is a new, never-used Linux installation that can be run from a DVD, SD card, or USB stick. The advantage here is that no data is retained on the computer where the operating system is plugged in, so you can use a public computer without worrying about giving up your identity or location.
TailsOS is the gold standard for privacy-aware real-time operating systems. It is lightweight and easy to use, just like any other modern Linux distribution, it comes with a Tor browser and some privacy-oriented plugins. Add Tails to a USB memory stick or DVD, and you can plug it into almost any computer and access the Internet while remaining completely hidden.
Use a web browser to download Tails OS.
- Run the Tails installer and follow the instructions on the screen.
- Restart the computer and boot directly to Tails OS.
- Enter your Wi-Fi or connection details to access the Internet.
- Open Tor (included in Tails download) and browse the web privately.
HOW TO DELETE YOURSELF FROM THE INTERNET
If you already have a strong online presence, you cannot stay hidden. Social media, old blog posts, directory listings, and other hidden sites can store decades of data, if not longer. You need to find each source and manually delete your information from each source. This can be a long and laborious process, but it is the best way to hide online.
Step 1: Close your Social Media Account
Every social media account you register needs to be closed even if you have never used it before. In most cases, you will be able to find the “delete account” option hidden on the website settings page. If not, please remove all posts, fill in your profile page with false data, and then contact the customer support team and request that your account be deleted.
Step 2: Search by yourself
Enter your name in several major search engines and see what happens. You may find old blogs you forgot, directory crawlers that extract your name or even mention articles on your news site or personal blog. You must contact the owner of each source to request removal.
Step 3: Delete your Email Account
Professional Ethical Hackers use email addresses as the primary link to identify, monitor, and track individuals on the Internet. Major email providers always provide you with options to disable and delete accounts, you just need to find the settings and security pages and start the process. You can also delete your Gmail account effortlessly. If you absolutely must have an email address, please use the encrypted email service Proton Mail to register an account, but do not use your real name or personal information.
Step 4: Stop using Credit Cards and PayPal
Online payments made through services such as credit cards or PayPal leave incredible details. Even small purchases may give up a lot of information, including your name and home address. If you want to keep it hidden, switch to a decentralized cryptocurrency like Bitcoin.