Can You Truly Stay Anonymous on the Internet?


For most of us who spend hours on the internet each day, anonymity equals safety. It is a big place, after all, and stumbling upon trouble is never far away. Therefore, staying protected while browsing is paramount. But to be completely safe, you must remain anonymous – but is that possible?

Can you really stay anonymous when surfing the web? Let’s see how to effectively stay off the radar and protect yourself when you connect to the internet.

The Importance of Identity Protection

The network of networks was launched in 1983, giving millions of people a chance to connect anytime and anywhere. But few scientists and experts involved in the project could predict the impact this network would have on the entire world. Nearly 40 years of having a world wide web have changed us in so many ways – and not all of them are good. One thing that changed is the increased need for safety, which became a priority in the 2000s.

But how are safety and anonymity connected? And do we have to be anonymous to be safe?

Well, if no one knows who you are, you are less likely to be attacked. In other words, the less you reveal on the internet, the safer you are. Your data is protected, such as personal information, passwords, linked accounts, bank details, and even web tracking. This prevents identity theft, scams, hacking, and similar hazards.

Using protective measures to remain anonymous while browsing also saves your data from being collected by third-party companies. No one can know what you are interested in, where you spend time online, and your online browsing habits.

Some people use methods to hide their identity just because they want to – others fear for their privacy. Sure, there are other ways to protect yourself online without withholding information – but these measures are not as failsafe as those that provide anonymity. So, no – you don’t have to be anonymous to stay safe, per se, but it certainly helps a great deal.

What Anonymity Entails

What does it mean to be anonymous?

Most internet users think that hiding your name means being anonymous. But there’s more to anonymity than you might think. A user’s online identity consists of more than just a name – your movement across the network is closely followed by a number of companies, AI, and trackers whose only purpose is to learn which sites you’ve visited. It goes even deeper than that, of course, as the Netflix documentary The Social Dilemma pointed out. But although the documentary highlights the dangers of data collecting that can be used for various (and nefarious) purposes, not everything is as bleak.

Still, it cannot hurt to stay off the radar and choose what to share online.

How to Stay Anonymous on the Web

There are numerous ways to protect yourself by hiding your identity while enjoying online content.

One of the first things to do is to see what are you sharing online besides an IP address. This includes location, language, and time zone info. Such data is collected via IP addresses, and although it might not be harmful, it is used for marketing. Namely, companies collect such data to know what kind of content to offer to you. If you don’t want this to happen, disable these settings and opt for safer methods that would not reveal these details to anyone online.

VPNs are a great choice in situations where you are not trying to be anonymous but just safe. They have an array of purposes, including shopping online, gambling at best online casinos, and streaming blocked content. VPNs are a great way to access the internet safely, but it’s a myth that they hide you completely. You are not anonymous with a VPN, but you are safer.

Besides VPNs, you can also use proxies – although they are recommended for advanced users – and Tor. Tor is a perfect option if you want anonymity because it uses nodes and ‘tunnels’ to route web requests across the network. Tor has so many layers (The Onion Router) that it makes it almost impossible to penetrate and figure out what you are doing.

A useful thing to do is to regularly update your passwords. Passwords are easy to crack unless you know how to make strong ones. However, even if you have strong passwords, it’s important to remember that they should be all different – never repeat passwords – and should be changed from time to time.

While you are checking the strength of the passwords, check whether your browser is storing them. If yes, disable that too. Your entire search, download, and storage history on your browser can be used for malicious purposes, so it would be good to destroy the evidence before someone gets them.


We also have to point out that all these measures only bring a layer of protection to your identity, but they cannot fully protect you. In other words, it is impossible to stay anonymous completely while browsing.

However, it is also worth noting that, although you are not 100% anonymous, your data and identity are almost impossible to discover if you use all these protective measures. Of course, not being completely anonymous means someone might find your data, but it is usually locked so tight that it would take a lot of time to crack it. Hence, by using any proposed measures, you add a layer of safety – which is one of the main points of anonymity online.