Anonymous Internet Browsing

Cyber Security Tip:

How To Anonymously BrowseThe Internet

It is Easy to Hack Your Computer on Public Wi-Fi


Public Wi-Fi is a major cyber security risk. Imagine you are in the Coffee Shop, ready to partake of free Wi-Fi. Did you notice the nice young man sitting in the corner sipping his Grande Caramel Macchiato? He might be hacking into your laptop.

You might ask, how could that be?

  • You use complex passwords.
  • You use Privacy mode on my browser.
  • You use HTTPS

Sorry Homer. Anywhere that you use public Wi-Fi, your network security is at risk. It is very common for hackers to with the man-in-the-middle trap. The attacker impersonates the Wi-Fi website you think you are connecting to (Starbucks Public, Time Warner Free, AT&T, etc.). He then hijacks the login conversation to capture personal information that you type--including websites you visit, your login ID’s and passwords. Doh!


How to Browse the Internet Anonymously


  1. Avoid Public Wi-Fi
  2. Use a VPN (Virtual Private Network) to encrypt your connection.

With a VPN, the traffic between you and the internet destination travels encrypted, rather than clear text. Thus, even if a cyber crook intercepts the traffic, there is no content to ‘see’.

The VPN encrypts all traffic between your device and that VPN host, as it passes thought various Internet providers or company firewalls. Techies call this ‘the encrypted tunnel’. Third parties cannot see the traffic inside the encrypted tunnel.

One popular VPN software you can purchase is: Private Internet Access

Using a VPN greatly reduces your exposure to privacy peepers and cyber security hackers.


However, even with a VPN, you still might not be 100% anonymous. For example, your employer may utilize other measures to track you, such as installing software on your PC to track your keystrokes. Alternatively, the employer can install software that takes stealth videos of your desktop in defined intervals.

Furthermore, if a powerful actor like the NSA (National Security Association), foreign governments, or others with advanced tools wants to track you, chances that they can penetrate standard defenses.

That noted, a VPN is practical and affordable technology that can protect your anonymity in most common circumstances.

Related Tips

Other notes on internet anonymity and how third parties can track your browsing follow:


How ISP’s (Internet Service Providers) Can Track Your Browsing

When using public Wi-Fi, the ISP (Internet Service Provider) can also track the sites you visit, Then store your browsing activity in a giant database. Worse for privacy, Congress recently repealed privacy regulations that restricted ISP’s from storing and selling your browsing history.


How Employers Can Track Your Browsing


The company firewall can track and log outbound connections. If you are using HTTPS (secure browsing) the firewall cannot read the data within your browsing session. However, it can read which sites you visit.

Of course, there may be legitimate reason for an employer to track which sites employees visit. Regardless of whether employers have or do not have legitimate reasons, they can still track your browsing.


Summary of Tips for Anonymous Browsing


For anonymity when surfing the internet and to reduce cyber security risk, use a VPN.

If you have a question about cyber security protections for your business, contact MBSG for a free consultation.