How to mask your identity online

June 21, 2023 by No Comments

Cybercriminals, or bad actors called by cybersecurity experts and law enforcers, use modern cyber communication elements to track your online activity. They are hidden in plain view but are easily uncovered once you know how to locate them.

It is possible to leave false clues behind or to at least misdirect potential criminals. If you’re not involved in criminal activity, it isn’t illegal to hide your online activities.

You can easily be identified when you access the Internet on your computer, tablet, or mobile phone. Your Internet Service Provider’s (ISP) assigned Internet Protocol (IP) and your Media Access Control Address (MAC), which identifies the computing hardware that you use, are both readily available. In a moment, we’ll go over these topics again.

It is the same when you use mobile devices with cellular connections, as they ping nearby cell towers to establish connections no matter where you are. Surfing the Internet or sending email from your mobile phone or tablet provides another way to access your IP address. Your mobile device’s address is unique, so those who are determined can track and find you.

Remember that when you are online, your ISP (both mobile and fixed) has direct access to the location of your computer. In certain circumstances, law enforcement agencies can order them to disclose this information. You can be identified by the websites you visit and your actions. Other people who spy on you can also do so.

Basic Networking

The Internet is a collection of interconnected pathways. Internet Protocol (IP), or a unique number set, identifies any device that is connected to the network. You are given a unique IP when you sign up for a service. This address can change depending on how often your device is connected and disconnected.

Media Access Control (MAC) is a 12-digit hexadecimal address displayed with a colon between every two digits. Hardware manufacturers assign MAC addresses to every computer, tablet, and phone. End users are not allowed to change these addresses.

Your IP address will tell you where your email originated and how your connection was established. IP addresses are not assigned to countries but rather companies. It is difficult to locate a person by looking at a number series. A tool that extracts information from your IP address is much more effective.

In contrast to IP addresses, routers use dynamic IP addresses, which means they are neither fixed nor permanent. It is, therefore, easy to prevent bad actors from tracing the router’s location. The router gets a new IP address every time it is turned on and off.

Safer but not fully hidden

You want to hide your location so others cannot hack your computer or steal your identity. We do not want to hide illegal activity, and nothing here will keep you hidden from your ISP, police, or other authorities.

The network managers are able to track all of your online activities and have your current address since you signed up for their service. ISPs can help law enforcement agencies identify suspicious online activity and find out who you are.

Consider that some apps use your IP address to determine your device’s location to serve personalized content. Hackers may create apps or websites that contain links that capture IP addresses. This is how individuals and businesses can become victims. Your IP address allows hackers to access your computer or attack a company’s server.

How to Cover Your Digital Tracks

If you know how to protect your IP address, it will be much harder for someone with malicious intentions to track your location. Use these strategies to protect yourself from potential problems if someone knew your IP address.

Premium Virtual Private Network Services

A VPN routes your internet traffic through its servers connected to the network. It masks your IP so that you can browse the Internet anonymously.

If someone is trying to find you, they can only see the VPN you use and not where you connect. It is possible to track you down without the help of a court or your VPN provider. Not all VPNs offer the same level of security. Many free services sell your data to cover their costs. They may also not encrypt the data.

Web Proxy Services

Web proxies, like VPNs, carry your connection through their servers. The filtering hides your IP address. Proxy servers have some drawbacks unless you’re paying for a high-quality one. In other words, hiding an IP address does not mean it is completely hidden. Your web browser’s settings allow you to set up proxy connections, but they do not stop hackers and ISPs from seeing your IP.

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Verify public Wi-Fi safety.

Many legitimate businesses, such as airports, restaurants, hotels, etc., provide Wi-Fi as a courtesy to their customers.

In general, however, hotspots open to the public are not encrypted and are less secure. These hotspots also present security risks, as they are easy to copy and set up to lure users.

Verify that a legitimate organization sponsors the Wi-Fi network you are using. You can then connect safely to the Wi-Fi without exposing your IP address.

Use a VPN to access public Wi-Fi.

Use Specialty Browsers

Some web browsers offer a free built-in VPN that runs on their servers. Opera is a good example. TOR is perhaps the best-known browser to hide your online activities. The Onion Router is its name. Downloading and using TOR to mask your IP address is free. It connects to the TOR Network and sends data via random relay servers that volunteers worldwide host.

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