Go stealth mode while surfing

Unless you’ve been living ‘off the grid’ – and we mean living off the land in a shack somewhere in the middle of nowhere like some kind of crazy hermit your entire life, it’s impossible to erase yourself from big data. Where everything is tracked logged analysed for all time. This handy guide will give you some pro tips on going incognito.

However there are now some services popping up that allow you to eliminate your web presence pretty much entirely. Then there is of course the need to go incognito from prying eyes of Google and Facebook who probably know you better than you know yourself.


Delete your accounts

Lets face it, this one is pretty extreme. All that history you have built up on your many social media profiles tells a lot about you to the companies that hold and sell this data. Then there are the accounts you have probably forgotten about (MySpace remember them) still holding on to all that personal data.

If you have forgotten some of you details or just cannot find where the option to delete is then there are a few services (some free) that take all the heavy lifting cafe of for you.

Account Killer have handy links to the forget me sections of many social platforms so if you are looking to remove yourself from one or all then this can be a good place to start.

Use a kill-all service

So you have deleted your accounts your data may still be there but there are some services out there that can take care of this for you. Deseat.me from Medium is a one stop shop for online annihilation. Simply log in to their site give them your gmail creds and it will do it thing. You do have to be comfortable with this as they now have the keys to the kingdom. But will up your incognito game.

Websites can betray your privacy. They’re constantly collecting information about you and comparing it with data obtained by other systems to advertise to you and, in some cases, to sell your personal information to other organisations. Most of us do not read those long and boring privacy policies but the extent to what the collect etc is usually published in these. Just look at the recent Facebook data breach where using data processors outside their control has meant some of your data may have been used for evil purposes.

There are services out there such as Delete.me who offer to remove your name from all data-broking sites across the web. It is paid for currently 129$ per year. Albine, guarantees it can thwart privacy violators year-round.If you keep paying them of course.


Use a VPN

A VPN can be used to conceal not only your location, but your IP address as well. So this is handy in situations when you are in a coffee shop using free WiFi and you do not want to be spoofed. Or you just don’t want you ISP to see what you are up to. Remember they also use this data for targeted ads etc.

By using a VPN you are allowing the provider to see all your internet traffic so it comes down to do you trust them more than your ISP. We at GR have tried a few and we found ourselves using Express VPN mainly but Nord and VPN Unlimited are as good. Interestingly Nord give you access Onion over VPN so no need to use the ToR browser. VPNs that have good privacy policies are some of the ultimate tools to go incognito.

google on laptop

Change your search engine

Google and others track everything you do on the net. Then follow you around with zombie ads etc. Also all your search history is collated aggregated and used for the gains of these large companies. Thankfully there is an alternative in Duck Duck Go. Their privacy policy is simple: “we don’t collect
or share any of your personal information.” They don’t store your search history. therefore have nothing
to sell to advertisers that track you across the internet.

We particularly like the browser plug in that blocks tracking services on websites. You can then choose to white list sites you trust.

Use a password service

Lets face it we all know that most of us use the same password for all our accounts. This is really bad as if one gets compromised the bad guys have access to everything else you use. Also it is really hard to remember lots of different passwords. There are some things you can do here. Use a phrase mixed or different phrase on each site. Or if you are like me use a password service like lastpass which I have found super easy and it generates random hard to guess passwords.

Use a different card for online purchases

A great pro tip here is to keep all your online purchases separate from your main bank account. Accounts like Monzo and alike allow you to freeze your card in real time so you can unfreeze it just before you make that purchase then freeze again. This approach allows you to limit your exposure to any hack due to keeping minimal funds in the account and keeping it frozen.