Connect with us

Security

Is anonymous browsing really a possible thing?

Each of the privacy tools discussed below possesses its type of strengths and frailties regarding security and anonymity.

google incognito mode logo
Image: KnowTechie

Privacy is the first concern of almost every individual who uses the internet these days. Some occurrences like data breaching can reveal vital data on the internet even when protected by higher institutions.

Research shows that most Americans believe their credit card firms can safeguard their data and information compared to the government. This indicates that your privacy is not guaranteed even if a higher authority protects your data.

To fight this state of vagueness, privacy experts and professionals often advise individuals to use virtual private networks (VPNs) with a web browser operating a high level of security to make users’ online records of activities and user data inaccessible to others. But in reality, research shows that using VPNs and a secure browser cannot fully keep your online actions safe.

Private Browsing

All you have to know about private browsing is that it is a feature that most browsing platforms offer to partially and not fully keep you anonymous. This feature does not save your online activity records nor keep those files you download while working online.

Many folks use common web browsing platforms such as chrome and Firefox because they think those browsers possess a private browsing system to make them anonymous.

That is partly true because private browsers delete your online activity records with some cookies after each browsing session. Though the web browser helps you delete your online activities’ records, some data about you can still be found in other files outside your device.

Benefits of Private Browsing

One of the benefits you enjoy is your inability to be traced whenever you use the private browsing option. It is possible to keep your online activities from others while browsing; to achieve this, you can adopt the private browsing option. The private browsing option also helps you sign in to accounts on other personal computers without logging them off.

Private Browsing Downside

It is unsafe when you don’t know all locations where your online activity data exists. Note that while browsing privately, only the online data found on your device can be deleted.

Data and information saved externally like your Internet service provider ISP and the connecting networks used to ingress the site cannot be removed by private browsers. Using a private browsing option does not guarantee your protection from malware and other menaces found on the web.

Virtual Private Network (VPN) 

Millions of individuals use VPNs today because they believe it’s one of the best ways to keep them anonymous while engaging in different activities online. The use of VPNs helps secure your connection to the web. The VPN stands in a position of a mediator between the client and the web. This helps to make you anonymous because the client’s IP address is changed to that of the VPN.

Traffic within the virtual network is secured by establishing an encrypted connection worldwide known as a tunnel. VPN traffic from devices like computers, tablets, or smartphones is encrypted whenever it goes through this tunnel.

The Benefits of VPNs

It is crucial to know that VPNs help in keeping your internet activities private. You are entitled to a different IP address to shield your identity.

VPNs serve as a tool that upgrades your security which means you can safely connect to public WiFi whenever you are on a journey or working remotely.

When you use a VPN, it will restrict people, software, and web browsers from having access to your connection. This keeps the information and data you convey and receive secure and anonymous.

The Downsides of VPNs 

Most clients believe VPNs serve as the best solution to most internet privacy issues because it makes invisible clients’ main location, protects users data, and gives access to contents that are blocked with IP-address. With all these features, VPNs still have their disadvantages.

 A few of the disadvantages of a VPN are:

  • Slowing down your connection
  • Causing a break in your connection
  • Free VPNs are as good as none.
  • It is difficult for consumers to check the quality of encryption

Note that while using VPNs, the probability of slowing down your online activities is very high.

Be mindful of the fact that VPNs can be penetrated. Irrespective of the VPN services you adopt, they tend to record your online engagements for a diversified period. Your online records can be released if requested.

Proxy Server

Proxies work as an entrance between users and the web. Doing this requires sending the client’s data to the Proxies. After that, the server makes a web request on behalf of the users, gathers feedback, and redirects internet page data.

The proxy server operates as a relay between the user and the server. It helps to stop an intruder from capturing a private network, and it’s among the various tools used in building a firewall.

Every request to the web goes through the proxy server first, then an assessment of the proposal is carried out by the proxy server before forwarding the request to the Internet. Similarly, responses return to the proxy server before heading to the client.

Proxy Server Benefits and Uses

Proxy servers give a unique security advantage whenever you are working online. With your choice of a proxy, you can manipulate your IP address or make it anonymous, making your online activities so difficult to be tracked. Also, you can control how your internet is used on your network with the help of proxies. Using proxies will also help you to hinder malicious websites from attacking your online activities.

One of the reasons behind a proxy server is to create access to content in geo-restricted websites. Many websites and content creators nowadays restrict content to some exact geographical location, making it likely impossible for users outside the location to enjoy such services. But with the help of proxies, users might have access to such content irrespective of their location.

Proxy Server Downsides

Different proxies give different standards of anonymity, security, and encryption. It is essential to know more about the proxy server you are using and get acquainted with their mode of operation. For example, transparent proxies do block malicious websites though would not make your IP address go hidden.

It is easy for your proxy provider to keep track of your online engagements because some proxy providers go beyond shielding your public IP address to monitoring your online activities. To avoid this, you need in-depth research about a proxy provider before employing their service.

Secure Browsers

A secure browser is one that is robust in terms of anonymity and security aimed at stopping third-party hardware, like cookies. The purpose of cookies is to gather your private information, like the websites you’ve paid a visit to, your usernames and passwords, and other traceable data.

Secure browsers also don’t share users’ identities, unlike other less secure browsers. Using a VPN will only hide your public IP address, geographical location, and data in transit. Still, it wouldn’t stop your browser from exposing your information through leaks or browser fingerprinting. If you ask me, Tor is my most favourite secure browser.

Though this might seem to be a scary situation, fortunately, you can use secure browsers and also buy the service of a strong VPN at the same time to improve the protection of your online information.

The usefulness of using a Secure Browser

The primary usefulness of browsing through a secured platform is to intensify your online privacy and security. Secure web browsers make available advanced security and privacy options that users can easily customize to enhance their online protection.

Secure Browsers Downside

Most government authorities and websites restrict browsing with secure browsers because reporters find it easy to expose corrupt people using a secure browser as a privacy tool. These browsers are always slow while using them because they usually flag traffic from computers, making it very hard to find your actual location and IP address.

Conclusion

To sum it up, each of the privacy tools discussed above possesses its type of strengths and frailties regarding security and anonymity. It is safe for users to familiarize themselves with these strengths and frailties and understand how to apply them to their internet browsing.

A good way of overcoming most drawbacks is by combining two separate tools, for example, using a safe browser with a VPN. Lastly, every user must be mindful that it is almost impossible to be fully anonymous online.

Have any thoughts on this? Let us know down below in the comments or carry the discussion over to our Twitter or Facebook.

Editors’ Recommendations:

Comments

More in Security