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Anonymizing yourself

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The internet is a cruel and horrible place. You might want to drop out of the matrix and join an anonymous network. A broad approach on how to start evading global data surveillance and improving your overall online privacy can be found here.

Simple guide to setting up and testing Tor

Anonymous Networks


Main article: Tor

Let's get something clear: Tor is NOT illegal to use (unless you live in one of those crazy whackjob countries run by a militant dictator). Tor traffic was NOT significantly reduced by the removal of Silk Road, and as far as is known, new compromises for the underlying Tor framework did not come about from the removal of Silk Road. If you are interested, concerned or sceptical, check out this video here and read the FAQ.

Tor sets up a SOCKS proxy to the normal internet, allowing you to send any application’s connection anonymously through the Tor network. Any connections made through Tor will be anonymised but not confidential unless you use end to end encryption in the application, like SSL/TLS for web browsing, or an SSH tunnel. Torrenting is discouraged as it uses up too much bandwidth.


I2P is end to end encrypted and separate from the normal internet; this means that connections through I2P are confidential and anonymous. No-one can know who you are talking to, or what you are saying to them, because there are no exit nodes. Tor hidden services (.onions) work in a similar way. All internet applications can be forwarded through I2P including ed2k, Gnutella, and torrents. Torrenting is encouraged on the I2P network, although you cannot connect to non-I2P torrent swarms. Internal services that would be called onions on the TOR network are called eepsites on the I2P network


Freenet is a distributed filesystem, where you can store files ‘in the cloud’ and download them anonymously from the Freenet network. Many of the files are HTML pages which can be viewed as static websites using a browser, and many are standalone files which can be searched and downloaded anonymously. Freenet content is undeletable as there is no way of knowing which node is holding each file.

Please note that its also chock-full of CP.


Safe Practices

  • Always use an open-source browser. This ensures it can be freely audited. Remember: Google Chrome is not open-source, Chromium is.
  • Use a search engine that respects your privacy such as DuckDuckGo or StartPage instead of Google or Bing.

Mozilla Firefox

To ensure maximum security while browsing the internet, always turn off third party cookies. Mozilla describes them as: For example, cnn.com might have a Facebook like button on their site. That like button will set a cookie that can be read by Facebook. That would be considered a third-party cookie.

Change your search engine. There are ways to get around Google’s insane profiling. See Search engines.


There are many extensions available for Firefox to make you less trackable. Read the Firefox article for a comprehensive list of addons.


Fingerprinting is the process of using otherwise non-identifying information to identify you. When enough non-identifying information is collected, you will usually be unique amongst others.

Threat Countermeasure
  • Plugins such as Flash or Java leak information.
Recommended: Disable and uninstall browser Plugins (note: Plugins are different than Extensions) such as Flash and Java.

Alternative: Set the plugin to "Ask to activate". You will still be vulnerable whenever you activate that plugin.

  • Javascript leaks information
Recommended: Disable Javascript

Alternative: Use NoScript to whitelist Javascript on a site-by-site basis. You will still be vulnerable on those sites.

  • HTTP Header information can be identifying
Recommended: Use an extension such as Secret Agent to randomize header information.
  • Cookies can be used to track you
Disable 3rd Party Cookies and use an extension such as Self-Destructing Cookies to automatically purge cookies.
  • IP Addresses can be personally identifiable
Recommended: Use an anonymous network, a non-logging VPN service, or a non-logging proxy service.
  • Cross-site Requests may expose you to tracking.
Recommended: Use an extension such as Request Policy to selectively whitelist such requests.
  • The HTTP referer header may leak information
Recommended: Turn off sending HTTP referer information.

Alternative: Install an extension such as Smart Referer to keep referer information limited to a single domain.

See also: EFF Panopticlick and evercookie.


DNS is what allows your computer to convert a domain name (such as wiki.installgentoo.com) into an IP address to connect to. That process is called resolving. When your computer attempts to resolve a domain name it queries a DNS server. Usually this will belong to your ISP if you have not configured it manually. Not all DNS servers are created equal. Some block queries to certain websites, some hijack queries and redirect them elsewhere, and some log your queries. You should look for a DNS server that is close by (to reduce latency in your requests) that doesn't log your IP address. In addition, you may want to use DNSCrypt for added protection.

Warning: Google DNS and OpenDNS log queries. Google "anonymizes" query information after a period of time, but keeps associated ISP information permanently.[1] OpenDNS logs your IP address and may also correlate it with other information that is normally non-personally identifying.[2] Avoid those two services.


End-to-end encryption for your DNS requests. This prevents any intermediaries from monitoring your DNS requests. It defaults to OpenDNS. You should change that using one of the additional DNS servers listed on dnscrypt.org.

See DNSCrypt for more information.


The OpenNIC Project is a privacy-minded collection of volunteer-run servers that also allow you to use extra TLDs such as .geek etc. Also features DNSCrypt support.

Operating Systems

While unfortunately, government organizations around the world have a variety of backdoors into a variety of operating systems, one can still attempt to be anonymous through a variety of methods. Free software alternatives to Windows or Mac OS appear to be more secure than their counterparts, since their code is almost always individually reviewed.


Tails is an OS specifically created to aim at preserving your privacy and anonymity. It forward all your packets through TOR network and leave no trace on the computer you are using it on. Your files and emails are also encrypted using top of the line cryptographic tools.


By their nature cellphones cannot be completely anonymous, but there are some steps that can be taken to at least limit your footprint.

Android Replacements

  • Replicant: A project to completely replace all proprietary components of Android.
  • Custom ROMs
  • Firefox OS: An alternative operating system by Mozilla that runs on some Android devices.

Alternative Google Apps

Removing Ads

  • AdAway: Hosts file based ad-blocking. (Requires root)
  • Adblock Plus
  • Lucky Patcher: Patches APKs to remove ads and allows you to disable the ad's activity itself. (Requires root)

Enforcing Permissions

  • XPrivacy
  • App Ops: Available since Android 4.3. Removed in 4.4.2, but still retained in custom ROMs. Allows you to tweak individual permissions on a per-app basis.


Related Links