How you can stay anonymous online
Is surfing the web undetected even possible? Are we not being watched, tracked and monitored every second we’re online? Are we not leaving a virtual trail of breadcrumbs for anyone and everyone to follow?
Edward Snowden thinks it’s possible. The man who made a lot of powerful enemies when he revealed details of classified United States government surveillance programs knows lots of legal tricks to keep your private life private when you’re online. Snowden, who currently lives in Moscow, revealed some of these tips in a recent interview with The Intercept. Here’s what you need to know.
Double is better
When it comes to passwords, Snowden recommends two-factor authentication. This means not only using a password, but a second way of logging in as well (through a code that can be sent to your phone, for example). So if someone does get access to your passwords, that person would still also need your phone, or access to another device to get your personal information. Apple, Google, Twitter and PayPal, among others, currently offer this service.
Diversity is important
A major mistake many make is to use the same password for multiple accounts. This is just asking for someone to steal your stuff. A password manager can solve your problems. These open-source apps allow you to create unbreakable passwords without the burden of having to memorize them. The Intercept’s Micah Lee recommends KeePassX. If you like to use Apps, then you can’t go wrong with 1Password, MiniKeePass or Enpass
The REALLY private chat
If you want to avoid private or sensitive information getting into the public sphere, you should be using Signal, according to Snowden. This is the REALLY secure method for calls and chats. It uses advanced end-to-end encryption protocols to secure all communications to other Signal users. This makes it very robust against attacks, preventing people from reading or listening to your conversations.
The “Tor” to security
Snowden recommends the Tor browser to anyone looking to surf anonymously on the web. He is a massive fan of the program that allows users to browse in almost complete anonymity. “What Tor does is it provides a measure of security and allows you to disassociate your physical location,” says Snowden. Tor’s users do not make a direct connection to the Internet, but are directed through a series of virtual tunnels provided by volunteers all around the world. It makes attacks and monitoring near-impossible. It’s so secure that the NSA even admitted it in a leaked “Tor stinks“ document.