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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.
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.
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.
While many choose to use closed-source, or proprietary software to browse the internet, there is a clear alternative. To browse more securely, the open-source Firefox should be used instead. Since Firefox is open source, we can view the source code and ensure that there are no backdoors. Although, if using Firefox, it is recommended to switch to a different search engine, such as DuckDuckGo, as opposed to Google (a suspected 'botnet'), which is used by default. Firefox is a secure and open source alternative to Google Chrome and Internet Explorer while remaining very fast.
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’s ways to get around Google’s insane profiling, see: Guide To Search Engines.
There’s great extensions out there for making you a lot less trackable. It should go without saying that you will be more anonymous with Mozilla Firefox compared to Google Chrome, just because of the fact that Google Chrome sends a lot of data about you back to Google.
Continuously Randomizes your Firefox/SeaMonkey HTTP User Agent and other headers, to Suppress Device Fingerprinting, and Resist Web Tracking.
Read the Firefox article for more addons.
The Google Chrome version of NoScript.
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.