By Christina DesMarais for Techlicious
How to Browse the Web Anonymously
Looking for a job, searching for a divorce lawyer, researching a medical condition or commenting on sensitive political issues that you don’t want anyone to know about? Or maybe you’re using a public network in a hotel or coffee shop. How do you keep others from seeing your browsing history or tracking what you’re doing on the Web?
When considering web “privacy,” there are two pieces that matter. The first is anonymity: how to keep people from knowing what sites you’re visiting. The second is privacy: how to keep people from accessing the information you send. Depending on your circumstances, you may care about protecting one or both of these pieces.
Protecting your browsing history on your personal computer is easy. Each of the major browsers has a “private browsing” mode that deletes cookies, temporary Internet files and browsing history after you close the window so others with access to your PC won’t be able to see what sites you visited.
Chrome – Click on the wrench in the far upper right of your screen, then “New Incognito Window.”
Firefox – Click on “Tools” then “Start Private Browsing.”
Internet Explorer –Click on the tools cog in the far upper right of your screen, then “Safety” and “InPrivate Browsing.”
Safari – Click on the settings cog in the upper right corner of your screen “Safari”, then “Private Browsing.”
Someone with particularly nefarious purposes could install a key-logger program on your PC to track everything you type, which private browsing wouldn’t protect. Security software on your PC should remove any key-loggers and is a must on any PC.
While these features will keep your history clean on your PC, they won’t stop your Internet Service Provider, your employer or the government from keeping track of where you go online. And the websites you visit can track your IP address, providing this information to others or using it for their own tracking purposes to serve up advertising. And if you’re outside the U.S., certain countries may prevent you from visiting certain websites entirely.
In situations like this you need a more stealthy way to manage your browsing. And there are solutions that offer various levels of security.
This post is excerpted with permission from Techlicious.
Techlicious was founded by consumer tech guru, Suzanne Kantra, Techlicious is your daily scoop on everything from the best new mobile phones and apps to holiday shopping guides to step-by-step instructions for protecting your privacy on the Internet.