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					Anonymous E-mail & Other Ways to Stay
Anonymous Online
The world isn't as big as it used to be with the introduction of the World Wide Web and other
aspects of the internet. With the proliferation of information from top sources to virtually
anywhere in the world within seconds and vast cultural communities that where once separated
by space now able to confer and communicate in real time, cultural sharing and human
interaction has reached an entirely new level. Unfortunately with all of this sudden high speed
exposure to differing viewpoints and belief systems the need to express yourself anonymously
has also increased. This means that anonymous email and anonymous posts are more important
now than ever.

The main reason for this is that even though you do not put your personal information online,
others do. When you sign up for most things, use many services or enter into many contests you
expose yourself to corporations and entities that will sell your information to even less
scrupulous sources that will resell it and distribute it widely. This means that not just hackers, but
anyone interested can find out almost anything about you if it has ever been written down
anywhere but in your diary. (Sometimes even then) So, here are a number of tips to stay
anonymous online.

Install a Firewall - Though by far not the only option the firewall is a major component of
personal safety online. Even though some operating systems come with a firewall they are
hamstrung by antitrust laws that prevent them from full out competition with other companies
that specifically make this software. This means it has to be a barely functional application with
a great deal of room for improvement if it is going to be bundled with the operating system. A
dedicated standalone application like ZoneAlarm does a much better job. There are even better
firewalls, but generally the more powerful a firewall is, the more complicated it is and the greater
your level of understanding of the computer must be.

Use an Anonymous Proxy - There are paid or free services that will reroute you through a proxy
server, which is a server designed to hide your location. The paid services are better as they give
you more bandwidth and a less circuitous route while still maintaining your anonymity

Ecrypt your Data - There are applications like BitLocker, which comes with Windows 7, to
encrypt your data. However, the included apps may not always work the best, using a 16 round
Blowfish algorithm is still unbreakable and even with that has been supplanted by its successor
TwoFish. Make sure when you are selecting an application (like Puffer) you research it's
algorithm for weaknesses.

Use Meta Search - You find the idea of some of the major search engines having the options to
auction off or freely link your search queries or mishandle your IP a bit disconcerting. One way
around this is to use a meta search engine that does not tell these corporations anything about the
querent. Metacrawler is an example of one such meta engine.
Email safely - If you want to send an anonymous email there are quite a few services that will let
you send an anonymous email through their services without having to worry about being outed
or sold out.

Disguise your Machine - Hiding your Machine ID is a must. Your MAC address identifies your
computer and makes it traceable on any network. It's not easy to change your own MAC address
but you can use software programs like MacMakeup to broadcast a fake MAC address to cover
your trail.

Use Social Privacy - FaceBook, also known as Facebeast in some small circles for its penchant
for devouring personal information, is becoming quite ubiquitous. Many of the social sites like
FaceBook come with their privacy settings set to "shoot me, I'm right here!" with a big target
bouncing over your message box. Take the time to ratchet the security down in all the various
areas of your profile and settings.

				
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posted:6/28/2011
language:English
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