Why We Need to Rethink Online Privacy: Tips and Tricks

    Can we even think about being private online in today’s society? Data integrity and security are hot topics and something that everyone who interacts online should think about. When we open our computer and connect to the world wide web we should be cautious about the massive footprint we leave behind us. Every computer on the internet has its own fingerprint known as an Internet Protocol Address or IP address. When we are communicating on the network our IP addresses act as a telephone number of some sort. We receive and give information, browse websites and during all of that leave a massive footprint that is not so hard to track. To minimize this footprint and maximize privacy online, people came up with many tips and tricks. The most famous concepts are proxy servers, antidetect browsers, anonymous P2P, VPN, etc.

    As your main entryway browsers are the first place users should secure. Our browser like Google Chrome or Mozilla is basically the door that connects the internet with us – users. They handle our requests and contain valuable information related to users’ online life and user computers such as IP addresses. Antidetect browsers leave common browsers far behind when it comes to security and privacy online. Best antidetect browsers like Tor or Epic offer military-level security and privacy for your browsing. Others like Kameleon or Multilogin are based on traditional browsers but offer a higher level of privacy and easier handling of your accounts even on your mobile apps.

    But let’s start from the beginning. Our IP address is, arguably, the most valuable information that we could leave behind us. Proxy servers emerged as a way to hide our address and our identity online. Let’s go back to the telephone number analogy. Usually, when we communicate with a person we know their telephone number. But sometimes we don’t want people to know our phone number so we can hide our number or give it just to a specific group of people. Just like we don’t want everyone to know our phone number we don’t want everybody to know our IP address. That’s where proxy comes into play.

    A proxy server is just a computer on the internet with its own IP address that your computer knows. When you interact with a network, let’s say browse some websites and send a web request to the server, your request goes to the proxy server first. The proxy server then makes an action (web request for example) on your behalf, collects the response from the web server, and forwards you the web page data so you can see the page in your browser. Some proxy servers will change the IP address and other identifying information the web request you are sending contains. This means the destination server doesn’t know who actually made the original request which gives you more privacy. Paired with Virtual Private Network it gives you an advanced level of security too.

    So is it possible then that each of our computers can act as a proxy server for someone? That is the concept that emerged from this technology. This concept is known as the P2P network. Rather than using central servers to communicate and share files and information we can use the worldwide user base’s computers as both client and server (ie. P2P), to maximize speed and reliability. Participants are anonymous or pseudonymous. Participants remain anonymous by using technology that heavily relies on special networks that change routes of pieces of information and at the same time hide the physical location of each node from other participants.

    Today we even have businesses that allow you to make money by selling your IP address and making it a proxy for someone. Of course, this is not the best way to go. The whole point of P2P networks is decentralization and equality which goes away when we have a central point like a company that is in front of everything and has your data and acts on behalf of you.

    This situation led to – antidetect browsers or anonymous browsers that we mentioned in the beginning. They are trying to fight the network traffic analysis – a weapon that is used to track user’s location, browser history, personal data, and online messages and predict users’ behavior from this bulk of data. Tor browser for example is using technology that is sending your data through so many nodes on different locations that analysis tools simply cannot track information of any kind. The Epic browser or Multilogin on the other hand simply do not store any information – no browsing history, cookies, or caches of any kind. When you close your browser there is nothing left.

    Although there are not so many options, antidetect browsers which are available are reliable and robust systems that can do a massive job in protecting users’ online privacy. If you want to experience truly safe and anonymous browsing you should definitely consider trying some of them. Paired with a strong VPN will give you your own safe, private bubble in which you can browse the internet without feeling that someone is behind your neck.

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