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The Internet is increasingly becoming a tough place. People virtually scream, fight, and curse each other out over politics, racial issues, TV show spoilers, movie opinions–you name it.
Then there is the issue of having so much information collected about you online. How disconcerting is it to perform an Amazon search for a product and then see the same product show up on your Facebook page?
That’s a tech marketing strategy called “ad targeting.” The ads you see when you go to websites and presented to you, are based on bits of data about you collected by websites and search engines such as Google.
Between strangers being able to read your innermost thoughts about a political subject and Google knowing every facet about you almost as much as your parents, it’s no wonder many become paranoid about going online.
You can surf the web and access the Internet anonymously. Here are a few ways:
- Incognito Browsing: You can switch to an Internet browser such as Chrome to Incognito Mode. Doing so, prevents search engines such as Google, from saving data about the sites you visit and what you download. Internet Explorer’s incognito mode is called, “InPrivate Browsing,” and “Private Browsing,” in Safari.
- Use an Anonymizer: An anonymizer lets you browse the web without leaving tracks such as your computer’s IP address. It’s an option for the extra-paranoid who may not fully trust a browser’s Incognito Mode. One popular anonymizer is Anonymous.org (http://Anonymouse.org/). When you surf the web using Anonymous, you do so behind a proxy server that shields your information. A caveat; using anonymizers can sometimes slow down your browsing.
- Use Tor: Tor is a network of onion routers–these are servers that disguise your computer/device information as you access the Internet. You can access the Tor network by downloading the Tor browser (https://www.TorProject.org/projects/torbrowser.html.en)for Windows, Mac OS X, or Linux.