There are many reasons to stay hidden and anonymous on the Internet. You may want to funnel information about your organization to the police or you just may be an ordinary citizen who wants to guard his privacy. In any case, this guide can help you become anonymous.
1. Be very secretive
Do not talk about your anonymous identity to any one in real life. You may want to be social but it is best to be paranoid. So do not mention your identity to even your closest friend.
2. Use anonymity tools
Open source software is one of the most important of all anonymity tools. If your system forces you to use Microsoft Windows, at least use Linux in a virtual setup for your anonymous identity. Other tools for open source software are TOR, 12P TOR and 12 P. These tools allow you to chat, email and surf the WEB anonymously.
3. Read up
Spend some time reading up all that you can about these tools. They are not too complex but it is still better to use the tools correctly in order for them to work. The tor manual will also help you anonymise Internet programs like chats you use to further keep your identity safe.
4. TOR software
The Tor software browser is bundled with Firefox web browser. You need to simply click on the start tor icon and launch the secure browser. The tor browser opens up webpage that will tell you if your anonymity tools are working correctly and also the Internet address you seem to come from. Note that the Firefox browser is only safe and anonymous if it has been launched by tor. Your regular web browser can also launch Firefox but that will not be anonymous. Once you are on tor and Firefox, it is good idea to ensure your anonymity by checking which country your IP is coming from. You can type ‘ipwhois’ to know your IP. If you are in the United States or Canada, it is better to have IP from Europe or Asia. This will ensure further security and anonymity.
5. Use Yahoo Mail
Many mail services require you to give your phone number, something that you cannot use if you wish to be anonymous. Yahoo!Mail is one such service that allows bogus information so you can be totally anonymous. Make sure you fake everything here- birth date, postal cold etc. Do not use any recovery email if you use it in real life. If needed, use a fake recovery mail id as well. Make sure not to use your anonymous/fake email from your regular/real browser/id. Do not use the fake id to send emails to your real life friends or even your own real account. If you mistakenly use the fake id to do any of these things, delete the account and create another one immediately.
6. Use Box.net
If you want to share files with other users, sign up on Box.net. This allows file storage and file sharing. You can use the same fake information you used when creating your Yahoo mail id. As before, never use your real id to upload files to Box. If you do so by mistake, delete the account and create another one.
7. Use an encryption program
Encryption programs allow you to encrypt emails which the recipients need to decrypt or open with specific password. GNU privacy guard is one such example. This program requires 2 keys- one that is exclusively for you and another that you share with when you want to send files or information.
8. Use password remembering programs
As an anonymous user, you will often need to remember long strings of passwords which you cannot possibly remember. Use password remembering programs like KEEPASS which allow you to store passwords in encrypted forms. Experts also recommend storing passwords and key files on removable drives.
And those are the basics of remaining anonymous online. Please check out other resources which cover some more detailed and easy steps for anonymous internet surfing.