With the continuing focus on privacy rights and the ongoing revelations of further government-based data dragnets, many PC users have become more interested in securing their browsing activities. While no commercial connection to the internet will ever be 100% secure from tracking, there are a number of ways to make your daily browsing habits as hard to eavesdrop on as possible.
The following two options will provide even the most novice of PC user with the tool necessary to protect their privacy while browsing the web.
Lucky for all of us, many of the major browsers that PC users choose to use every day already has a more advanced privacy mode built in. These “privacy modes” allow users to visit sites without being tracked, meaning there are no cookies to delete or histories to clean up.
There are limits to your new-found privacy, though. Any site you visit will still be able to see the IP address of your connection and your ISP will have a record of the site you are visiting. This means your activities are still subject to governmental review within the legal, and not so legal, realm that we find ourselves living in today.
If this limited private mode is still worth your time, here are the ways you can access it in the three most popular browser versions.
- Chrome: To access Chrome's privacy mode, select the menu icon in the upper-right corner of the browser and then select New Incognito Window
- Firefox: To access Firefox's privacy mode, access the browsers menu and then select File and New Private Window
- Internet Explorer: To access IE's privacy mode, select the cogwheel in the upper-right corner of the browser and then choose Safety and InPrivate Browsing
Disguise your browsing
No matter how hard you try the privacy of your IP address and the activity assigned to it is hard to mask from parties with the political power or abilities to request it.
One way to begin to mask your IP from basic tracking is to use a virtual private network (VPN). A VPN is nothing more than a virtual version of a physical network connected through the internet. One of the main benefits of a VPN is its encryption and the protection of traffic on the VPN. This will allow a normal, everyday pc user to hide their IP address form nearly any direct surveillance.
There are a number of free and paid VPN services to choose from, and each use differing types of encryption protocols and applications to provide their services to customers. Find the one that provides the best options for price, service, and security and then begin to browse the web in anonymity.