Is online anonymity still possible? For some people, the choice to stay anonymous is the only way to use the internet. Investigative journalists and whistleblowers usually expose information that organizations and governments would rather keep quiet. Human rights defenders fighting oppressive regimes, parents trying to provide a secure environment for their children, and victims of domestic abuse trying to rebuild their lives towards anonymity.
More and more people do not want any online content or data pointing to their real-world identities. They might worry about financial or political reprisals or harassment or want to keep their private life separate. These ordinary people must act under pseudonyms or in total anonymity rather than using their real names.
It is tough to remain anonymous, especially on the internet. For example, did you know that information about your device’s configuration is constantly transmitted to your ISP – Internet Service Provider or the website or service you use? Your IP address is also continuously broadcasted, and when you visit the internet, your browser sends data to the website server regarding the browser’s setup. As a result, a unique identifier can be made by combining these details.
Most web browsers include “private browsing” or “incognito” modes. However, those terms can be misleading because the websites and services you visit can still track your online actions and identify you based on your IP address, browser settings, and browsing history (via cookies). Uniquely identifiable information still escapes even if you use a service like an anonymization proxy to mask your IP address and the timestamps on your communications, such as your browser’s settings, cookies, or the data you provide when making a query-by-example request.
Furthermore, language models, speaker identification, facial recognition, location correlation, activity modeling, and other retrieval methods can be used as data mining and inference techniques to identify anonymized users to their true identities.
Anonymous cryptocurrency payments
Anonymity must be guaranteed, even regarding payments or hosting options. We all know how easily standard payment systems or hosting providers can pinpoint real identities behind any online content. Many services accept cryptocurrency as the opposite of traditional payments, but is this payment method really anonymous?
A virtual money alternative to the traditional FIAT payment system is cryptocurrency. It is comparable to real-world currency, except for the lack of a physical representation.
How private, though, is Bitcoin? On the one hand, Bitcoin is entirely anonymous. On the other, Bitcoin is transparent and simple to trace. A crypto address is anonymous if you can hold it without attaching any personal information to it. Theoretically, if one individual owned multiple addresses, there would be nothing tying these addresses together or identifying the owner.
Bitcoin transactions are similar to writing and publishing under a pseudonym. Everything written under a pseudonym will be connected to the author if that pseudonym is linked to his identity. Therefore, be careful and never tie your true identity to any KYC crypto service. Also, avoid Bitcoin ATMs withdrawals and try to buy BTC as anonymously as possible.
How to host your data anonymously?
The closest thing to being fully anonymous offers anonymous website hosting. It provides numerous options for guaranteeing that you cannot be identified as content or a website owner. Only anonymous hosting guarantees that any hosted content won’t be possible to link to real word identity.
The main characteristics of anonymous hosting are:
Anonymous registrations: Users can register for anonymous hosting without providing their real names by using a pseudonym. No postal address is necessary: You don’t have to provide your actual address even when registering for your anonymous server.
Anonymous payments: Most anonymous hosting providers let you pay via anonymous and secure crypto transactions instead of using standard payment methods.
Offshore hosting benefits: Being located in a place with strict privacy laws: Much like when utilizing a VPN, the country of origin of a website hosting provider can influence the privacy laws that apply; countries with laxer regulations are best for people who value their privacy.
Many anonymous website hosting companies utilize Whois privacy protection to prevent internet information from being viewed by third parties. Some anonymous hosting proivedrs even claim to be DMCA resistant thanks to different offshore jurisdictions.
Anonymous access: Some anonymous hosting solutions offer the onion domain for untraceable control panel access. The onion domain is a top domain accessible only by an anonymous Tor browser. Tor browser uses the Tor network, a decentralized peer-to-peer network that redirects internet traffic through a series of random nodes, making monitoring and surveillance impossible.
For those in media, politics, and all bloggers who write on sensitive themes, anonymity is crucial. As aforementioned, it is undoubtedly possible to protect personal information from exposure. Through anonymous hosting, it is possible to hide this private information and protect users’ identities.