Data breaches and tracking online activity over cellphones is now a “trend” in the cyber world. Admittedly, these devices remain to be a permanent part of our lives. This is why staying anonymous on Android and iPhone is no less than crucial.
That said, we can go on elaborating on how anonymity is crucial if you want to get rid of target advertisers, snooping ISPs, or steer clear of identity theft. However, since all this is pretty much “general” information by now, let’s skip to some useful tips and tricks for staying anonymous on Android and iPhone.
Best methods of online anonymity:
When we talk about phones, we all care about its ram usage and how slow they become when we use background applications. However, all apps will bring some kind of vulnerability once you install them and give them permission to work on it.
1. Use VPN App
To put things out straight and simple, a trusted VPN provider is the best method of gaining online anonymity. VPN enables encrypted tunnel and provide an extra level of protection which will help in;
- Hide your IP Address
- Anonymous browsing
- Anonymous downloading
- Avoid ISP and other surveillance
- Ciphertext encryption data
2. User Other Ways (less secured and anonymous)
By using this way you might get some kinda anonymity, but if you can add VPN behind it, then it will make you 99% anonymous on android and iPhone.
- Start using secure browsers
- Opt for Private search engines
- Encrypt internet traffic
- Tor provides safety
- Turn off GPS
- Be vary of third party applications
- Anonymous emails are private
With the basics cleared up, here is an in-depth detail on how to apply these methods.
1. Use a VPN (why?)
A VPN, or virtual private network, is a service where you connect to the provider’s servers before sending and receiving data online. It masks your IP address because all the data sent from that server will use one of your provider’s IP addresses instead of yours.
As an added security bonus, the best VPN providers for Android and iPhone encrypt your data along with changing your original location. VPNs are widely used by business professionals to increase online security and reduce the risk of having their data fall into the wrong hands. It’s also great for improving security when connecting to public networks by minimizing the risk of being hacked.
A reliable VPN connection further gives root to several additional benefits such as:
- Bypassing ISP throttling
- Convenient streaming of Netflix and Hulu
- Protection while torrenting
- Mitigate around geographical restrictions
Getting started with a VPN is easy.
- Find a reliable VPN service provider.
- Sign up according to the provider’s instructions.
- Download the provider’s mobile app and configure your settings.
- Start browsing anonymously from your phone.
With several VPNs in business for providing online security, settling on one is plain tedious. While free VPNs may seem legitimate in getting the job done, there is no guarantee on the security they provide. It is, therefore, better to invest in a trusted and paid VPN provider.
2. Hide Your IP Address
The first step in remaining anonymous online is to hide your IP address. Your IP address is like a home address. It’s a number for your device that tells sites where to send your pieces of data so that the right web pages or files arrive at the proper phone or tablet.
Your IP address contains information about your geographical location. Social networking sites and search engines can use your IP address to track your online activity to target ads to your accounts.
That said, there are numerous ways to hide your IP address from sites you visit. Some of the more common ways include using a legitimate VPN provider and browsing the Internet through the Tor network.
3. Tor provides safety
Mentions of Tor usually accompanies alarm bells due to its notorious connection to the Dark Web. However, in all honesty, Tor is a network and browser developed by the US Marines itself for online safety and security.
The proxy browser, conceals user data in layers in concealment, effectively blocking out data snoopers. Additionally, it hops data through three of its nodes, making it untraceable. Furthermore, it masks IP addresses providing anonymity. With Tor, the concealment starts at the entry node and goes through the following:
- Entry node: Data gets enclosed into a layer of concealment. This node is the only node aware of where the information is coming from.
- Middle node: also known as a relay node, where the data comes and gets stripped of its concealing layer. It further proceeds to exit node with partial concealment.
- Exit Node: from here, the data goes on towards its destination. This node gets rid of all concealing layers and then forwards it to the destination.
Using Tor with VPN gives an extra layer of protection. Albeit Tor comes off as complex to use, the method is somewhat easy:
- Visit torproject.org or find the app in your Android or iOS store.
- Download and install the Tor browser.
- Open the folder called Tor Browser.
- Follow the instructions to either connect directly to the Tor network or to configure your settings.
- Launch the browser and begin browsing anonymously. Be aware that Tor doesn’t connect to other apps on your device.
Hiding your IP address means companies can’t track you. It also makes it appear as if your Internet traffic is coming from somewhere else. This can be useful if you’re trying to access a website that isn’t available in your country.
4. Encrypt your internet traffic
Encryption is an excellent method of making sure your online data remains private. It scrambles the data into an unreadable form making sure any data snoopers are unable to decipher it. If you are using a trusted VPN provider, then your data is encrypted.
However, in part to using a VPN, there are various other methods of encrypting your online internet traffic such as using HTTPS protocol. All you need to do is add HTTPS before connecting to a website in the URL or simply use HTTPS Everywhere browser extension.
5. Use A Privacy-Oriented Search Engine
If you’re concerned about companies tracking your data, it’s best to stay away from the more significant search engines like Google and Bing. They track all your search history in order to deliver more targeted search results. It’s one of the reasons hiding your IP address is a good idea because they track your activity by tying it to your IP.
Other lesser-known search engines won’t track your store your data, so you can browse without feeling like someone’s spying on you. StartPage and DuckDuckGo are just some of these search engines that won’t track you online. Simply visit the search engine you like and start browsing! As an added layer of protection, it is better to use then with a VPN
6. Send Anonymous Emails
Web browsing isn’t necessarily the only area of the Internet where you’ll want to stay anonymous. Making your email anonymous can help you avoid spam and activity tracking. You can always sign up for new email addresses to register for sites. Ensure that you don’t include any personal information on that account. You’ll want to use a VPN when you set up new accounts, so they aren’t tied to your IP address.
Alternatively, you can use services like ProtonMail that hides your email information from searches and works through the Tor network. Not only that, but it encrypts your email data, too. It also featured two-factor authentication and doesn’t ask for your personal information when you sign up, which adds even more security to your emails.
7. Be Careful With Third-Party Software
One thing to remember about staying anonymous with your Android device or iPhone is that each app accesses your information differently. While you may set up your web browser to be anonymous, your other apps may be able to access and track your personal information.
Even if your browser is anonymous, third-party browser plugins may store personal information. A VPN should work with other apps, but either way, it’s essential to proceed with caution and avoid entering personal information if you want to stay anonymous online.
8. Switch to secure browsers
As depicted by their names, secure browsers are tools for online privacy. They came into popularity since popular browsers like Chrome and Bing started logging user data. These secure browsers guarantee a strict no-logging policy.
They additionally protect from several other online privacy and security threats such as:
- Tracking cookies
- Browser fingerprinting
However, as they lack in providing encryption or masking IP addresses, it is better to use secure browsers with a VPN. Switching to a secure browser only requires downloading one of your choices such as Epic Privacy browser, configure settings, and start browsing safely!
With privacy being somewhat crucial, it’s about time we take it to the top-notch. Staying anonymous online isn’t impossible to do if you’re concerned about online security. That said, no single solution is fool-proof, so it’s best to use these types of security measures together to get the most security possible.
These are the best practices to help protect your identity. You can find more helpful resources to ensure your anonymity online.