How to stay anonymous

Hello everyone,

This is a bit of a questionable topic and might get some unwanted attention from the police. However, I felt that with mass surveillance being a common thing, there is a need for us to protect ourselves from the abusive and dictatorial countries. People can argue that “they have nothing to hide” but if you have really nothing to hide, why do you have curtains in your house? Face it, we all have our own secrets and we don’t want people to know them. Another argument would be “mass surveillance is okay” – wrong, it isn’t and is illegal because court orders are required for spying. What mass surveillance means that everyone is a suspected terrorist. How do you feel treated as a criminal all the time even though you have done nothing wrong? Mass surveillance has failed to prevent Boston Bombing and many other school shootings, it is not effective at all and an absolute waste of tax payer’s money. Nude photos that are captured by smartphones are passed around casually by FBI officers and they laugh at the nudes. The Big Data through NSA’s illegal data collection programs are constantly abused by “international polices” (United States of America, United Kingdom and Australia), you are not safe, you and everyone else are victims of abusive power.

Disclamier: I will not hold responsbility for any kind of action you take on the Internet while being anonymous. The purpose of this blog post is to let you get back your basic right – privacy.
Anyway, here’s a guide to staying anonymous and leaving no footprints on the Internet.

Operating System

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First off, I would highly recommend you to use FOSS operating systems such as Fedora, CentOS, Debian, Ubuntu, etc. Microsoft, Apple and Google simply cannot be trusted with their closed source proprietary software. Windows is known to have NSA backdoors in their OS since 1999 (read more about _NSAKEY). Microsoft, Apple and Google have also joined the NSA PRISM data collection program, which is another program that is a massive waste of tax payer’s money. Moving on to FOSS, one of the FOSS crypto developers was offered a nice sum of money by the NSA to plant backdoors into crypto, however, he rejected the offer. This shows that FOSS developers can be trusted – not the giant corporations.

During the OS installation, you will be prompted to partition your disks. At this part, you’ll be choose to encrypt your disk. It is highly advisable for you to encrypt the entire file system with a strong passphrase that can be memorised by you.

Software

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Generally, I strongly recommend you not to install any additional software other than the ones pre-built in the OS. For web browsing, you should definitely avoid using Chrome because all pages you visit, even in incognito mode, will be logged by Google. To anonymize all traffic sent by you, use the Tor browser (read more about Tor). You should disable JavaScript, WebRTC and Adobe Flash on your Tor browser as they will leak your identity.

A serious warning – never turn on Torrenting software or other software that will possibly reveal your identity. Also, don’t browse or login to any social media outlets. Be it Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus or Tumblr – none of them are safe.

Hardware

It will do you good if you buy a netbook with basic WiFi functions. Make sure your laptop boards are not one of those that have physical backdoors installed (read more about NSA ANT). A netbook allows you to transverse from places to places easily. Always use a public WiFi but make sure you are constantly connected to the Tor network. It is also advisable to spoof your MAC address before connecting to the public WiFi, but this is optional.

Currency

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Use a good cryptocurrency like Bitcoin or Dogecoin (read more about Cryptocurrency). Always carry your crypto wallet with you – don’t put it on an online crypto wallet or crypto bank such as Mt. Gox or DogeChain Wallet. Putting your crypto wallet online will centralise your money and makes tracing and tracking easier. Moreover, there are security risks pertaining to putting your wallet online.

Do not use Debit or Credit cards or Paypal. All those online transactions can be traced back to you.

Data Destruction

Sometimes, something bad happens. To destroy data completely, write 0 (zero) to everything on your file system.

Conclusion

To sum up everything, we have covered several important points to protecting your identity online – Operating System, Software, Hardware, Currency and Data Destruction.

It is troublesome to protect your privacy, which is kind of sad that we are deprived of our basic right, – but it is all worth it. I hope this article has helped you stay anonymous while online.

Author: Huiren

I use free software and sometimes contribute to free software. I write about mostly technical problems I face and how I overcome them

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