- Internet & the Web
Anonymous Web Browsing
As technology continues to improve, it becomes easier and more common for businesses and service providers to track your online activity. Companies such as Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft, may no more about you based on your online activity than your family members.
In fact, it is sometimes said that Google knows more about you than you know about yourself. The reason that these larger companies no so much about you is because they provide you the services you need to find the information you're looking for. In fact, most the traffic to this article probably came from Google.
Some of the ways that Google tracks you is by:
- Your search activity - Google may know who you are based on the fact that you have an account with them for gmail, google docs, or some other service. And while you may not know it, for many people, Google is saving their search history on that same account. But even if you don't have a Google Account, Google can identify who you are based on the activities coming from you computers' IP address.
- Adsense, Analytics, and More - Google knows which ads you click on, how often you click on them, and what sites you click through to. They have analytics on a significant part of the web that tracks the times you visit specific sites, how often you visit them, and how long you stay on each page.
- Your email conversations - Yep, if you host your account with Google you are also showing them significant portions of your communication with family, friends, and business contacts.
Staying Anonymous While Browsing the Web
While Google and others have a number of ways to tie your activities back to you, you may want to stay as anonymous as possible while browsing the web.
First, find a browser that will allow you to stay an Anonymous Web Browser.
Safari, Google Chrome, and even Firefox have solid build in features to allow you to keep cookies from working while you browse the web. This is a great solution if you want to keep your browsing habits secret from individuals in your home.
To stay anonymous from sites like Google, you should use a free web based proxy server. These servers allow you to block your IP address from Google and other online services so they don't know who you are.
Overall, Anonymous Web Browsing is something that everyone may need to use. Taking advantage of the ease by using a powerful modern web browser and then masking your IP address can be very useful.