What Are Anonymous Browsers?

Protecting one's privacy is not an easy task nowadays, as it often looks like everyone is interested in our browsing habits, interests, and private/sensitive information. Fortunately, there are still ways to be anonymous while surfing the Internet, you just have to pick the option that suits you best. No doubt, many of you have heard about the so-called anonymous browsers. However, have you any idea how does anonymous browsing work? If not, we invite you to read our full blog post as further in it, we discuss anonymous browsers as well as other tools that can help you surf the Internet without having to worry about how to protect your privacy from others using the same computer or websites you visit daily.

What are anonymous browsers, and how does anonymous browsing work?

Anonymous browsing is when a user surfs the Internet without revealing any personal information. Of course, to be able to enjoy anonymous browsing, one needs an anonymous browser. There are quite a few anonymous browsers to pick from like Epic Browser, SRWare Iron, Comodo Dragon, and so on. However, probably the most popular tool for anonymous browsing is the Tor browser. Like ARPANET, the prototype of the Internet, it was not created for regular users, but despite that, it can now be used by anyone.

Tor was created to protect the personal privacy of its users by allowing them to keep their Internet activities from being monitored. The software conceals a user's location and Internet usage from those conducting network surveillance or traffic analysis by directing Internet traffic through a free, worldwide, volunteer overlay network consisting of thousands of relays. A simpler explanation of how does anonymous browsing work when using Tor available on Torproject.org says: “the idea was to route traffic through multiple servers and encrypt it each step of the way.”

What can you use besides anonymous browsers?

If you want your browsing to be private, you could employ a VPN (Virtual Private Network). Many use it to access region-restricted websites, to protect their browsing activity, and so on. A VPN allows browsing the Internet while using a different computer's Internet connection, so to those who might be watching you browse, it could look as if you are browsing from another country.

Another thing you could try if you are interested in anonymous browsing is turning off cookies on websites you visit. As you may have heard, according to EU law, websites now have to ask for permission to use cookies, and users can turn off cookies that may record their browsing habits at any time. It might seem like a tiresome task at first, but once you turn off cookies on all your favorite websites, you will need to do it again only when you visit a new site.

Also, if you do not want to use a specialized browser like Tor, you could try using the incognito mode that is now offered by many popular browsers, such as Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox. Nonetheless, make sure you read about the feature and that you understand how it works. For instance, Mozilla Firefox offered incognito mode only clears a user's search and browsing history when he finishes browsing, which means it keeps browsing private only from other users who might be using the same computer.

What other safety precautions could you take to protect your privacy?

Stay away from shady websites

While it might annoy you that some companies wish to know your interests and information alike, it is far worse when your sensitive or personal information ends up in the hands of cybercriminals. One of the most popular ways to trick users into submitting it unknowingly is via malicious websites, also called phishing sites. Such sites might ask to answer some questions for a fake survey, a chance to participate in a fictitious lottery, to get freebies, and so on. There are tons of such websites, and if you do not want to end up visiting them, you should learn how to recognize phishing sites.

Think before submitting your information

There might be moments when you could feel overwhelmed by tempting offers, but whatever a site promises in return for your personal information, you should always take a minute to consider whether it is safe to share it. First of all, make sure a website asking for your information is legitimate. Second, ask yourself if the things you are asked to reveal are not too sensitive or personal and if it makes sense to ask for such information, in return for what the site might be offering to you. Lastly, check a website's Privacy Policy statements to find out whether its owners will take all necessary measures to protect your information and will not share it with unknown third parties.

Use a password manager

A password manager might be able to protect your sensitive information like login credentials from keyloggers, malicious applications that record victims' keystrokes. As you see, most password managers have an autofill function that inserts login credentials automatically without a user having to type them. Of course, there are sophisticated keyloggers that can go around this, for example, threats that can do screenshots too. Thus, the same as with other security tools, using a password manager does not guarantee complete privacy.

Yet, such software makes things more complicated for hackers and can help you strengthen your cybersecurity by creating strong and unique passwords for your accounts. If you want to try using such a tool, why not install Cyclonis Password Manager that is free to use and offers lots of useful features. For instance, it can autofill not only passwords but also other sensitive information like a user's address, credit card details, etc. Of course, the application can do so only if you store such information on its encrypted vault and only if you allow it to autofill fields. For more information about Cyclonis and its functionality, you should continue reading here.

All in all, in some cases, it might not be enough to just be cautious while surfing the Internet, for example, when using a public computer or a public Wi-Fi connection. In such cases, it would be best to take extra precautions to ensure anonymous browsing by employing a VPN, turning off cookies on sites you visit, or employing anonymous browsers like Tor. We hope that after reading this blog post, you now know how anonymous browsing works and how to stay safe while browsing the Internet.

July 29, 2019

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