Anonymous 101: The Basics of Computer Security

So you want to be Anonymous?

It’s not as difficult as you think. So many items and gadgets are connecting to the internet these days. It may seem complicated, but the Internet of Things is possible because of the simplicity of technology.

To be anonymous online, you must be safe online. This means following a few basic rules to:

1. Protect Your Computer

Install an antivirus, anti-spyware, and firewall for starters. Use a different company for each. I don’t list my security software online anymore because people take it as a dare to fuck with me.

2. Protect Your Network

Stop broadcasting your SSID. Set up a MAC filter. Install a wireless card capable of packet injection. Look up geofencing. You also need a 128-bit WEP key based on a three-word phrase.

3. Connect Through Proxies

Set-up proxies everywhere – all over the world. You never know when you’ll need one to connect through. Use a different proxy each time you connect – it helps you keep up with what the web looks like when accessed from different countries while making it harder to trace your activity.

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4. Set up a Virtual Private Network

Set up a VPN. It allows you to securely connect to your home network or go online with any device with the safety of your home network, using it as a proxy.

5. Keep Sensitive Data Offline

The reasons minors often get away with hacking is because they don’t own a network. Since you can’t protect yourself fully by the inherent insecurity of the internet, your best bet is to keep important data on offline hard drives.

6. Block Cookies and Clear Your Cache

You can set up your browser to automatically block cookies and clear your browsing history each time you disconnect. Be vigilant about where you browse and what you click. More often than not, people are caught by link baiting.

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7. Understand the Law

The reason you’re doing all this is because it doesn’t matter if they catch you, so long as they can’t prove it’s you. The more obstacles you place in front of them, the stronger your defense.

8. Block Traffic

Peerblock is a great port scanner that blocks traffic from a user-updated list of IP addresses. Typically, this will make services like Hulu and The New York Times more difficult to access, but that’s probably a good thing.

9. Encrypt Your Email

It’s important to understand PGP encryption makes your email virtually unreadable, but it’s not anonymous. The only way to anonymize email is similar to the Tor protocol.

10. Secure Your Chat

It’s no secret texting isn’t secure. In fact few messaging services are. Your conversations are monitored on Snapchat, Xbox Live,  WhatsApp, Skype, or any other VoIP, text,, and chat services. Look up Pidgin and other secure chat  programs.

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11. Spoof Your MAC

Every device has a MAC address, and learning to access and manipulate that MAC is essential to remaining anonymous online. Connect to different networks with different MACs running through different proxies to remain invisible within big data.

12.  Use Torrents

Torrents have outlasted Napster and Gnutella, but Tor is relatively new. Connecting through the Tor browser allows anonymity, although you’ll operate at a fraction of the speed. This is because nobody uses it yet. Torrents are used for porn, games, and Hollywood productions. Everyone uses it, and there’s no better method of secure file distribution, as proven every time a new episode of Game of Thrones comes out.

13.   Use TOR

The Onion Router is a secure browser based on the torrent protocol, much like how Limewire ran Gnutella. TOR is anonymous, but anonymity comes at the price of using a version of the web that emulates 1998. Of course, using TOR gets you into Silk Road, and various deep web features.

14.   STFU

People get caught because they talk. Few criminals are caught in the act, and the odds of someone actively monitoring you right now are slim. Even I’m not going to get around to noticing you unless you leave a comment, and I’m running this place. Don’t talk about your online stuff.

Have any tips on how to be anonymous? Let me know on Twitter, Facebook, or your favorite social network as @Versability.

Anonymous mask Versability gonzo whistleblowerBrian Penny is a former Operations Manager and Business Analyst at Bank of America turned whistleblower, troll, and freelance writer. Penny is a frequent contributor to Huffington Post, Hardcore Games, Cannabis Now, and The Street.


Brian Penny is a former Business Analyst and Operations Manager at Bank of America turned whistleblower, troll, and freelance writer.

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