Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Want Internet Anonymity? Be Creative!

When it comes to Internet Anonymity most people try to leak absolutely no information. This isn't always possible and definitely makes them look suspicious. What I propose is to be a little more creative! Create an imaginary character who will represent you online. This character must seem real enough in the way that you give out no real information of your own but still put together a complete, every-day person.

First of all find a name. Next come up with a birth date. After that decide where he will live (country, town, street and zip code). Write them down. These things are pretty much all you need to open an online account and should be the same in all accounts you will use under that name. So our character will need at least an e-mail address so create one. That's it! You can "play" this character and "become" him when in need to masquerade you actual identity.

Wish to enter a forum without giving your real name? Avoid something like "superman123" for your nickname. Use your character's name instead.

Now that we've solved the personal information issue, we want to make sure no digital trail will lead back to the real you. Use TOR along with Torbutton (if you have Firefox) to surf the Internet anonymously! I'd suggest you use a different Firefox profile or even a portable version like PortableFirefox to separate your real-you cookies and passwords from the character's, otherwise one may be able to link you two!

That's about it. The key element is NOT to hide your information but present false yet valid-looking to anyone who requests it. Even if some of your real data gets leaked in the process, one won't be able to tell which is fake and which is not so the "noise" produced by the imaginary character will still cover your tracks. Finally, remember that the character is a role you need to play. That character should seem to be a normal person going online, with habits (maybe subscribe to a couple mailing lists), hobbies and activities.

1 comment:

Jax Briosh said...

Some people take their internet role so seriously that they actually become it. Others, are so lazy that give their REAL information because they "Wont forget it". What people doesn't yet understand (imo) is that being "robed" online, is as easy -or hard- as being robed in real life. When someone follows you, you get scared, speed up your steps. When you get money from an ATM, you're careful not to reveal the amount you hold, or the password you give. Generally you are aware of the danger that hides in every situation and try to avoid it. All these, are almost the same in computers. The problem is that people are not AWARE of how to spot the danger and avoid it. They're not aware not because they cannot be informed, but because they don't want to. When a problem occurs, "let the pros handle it". Or "We'll call a friend who knows". Lady, you don't call a friend "who knows" when you get beaten for money, or robbed in the market. You don't call a friend even to go to the police station and sue the bastards. So, please don't call a friend when you are in "Internet trouble". Call a friend to inform you about it, not to save you every time you THINK you got a virus (when its just an ad), or a spyware/bot/worm/Trojan, just because your PC hangs during a game...
Anyway, if you want internet safety, you'll need Anonymity. If you need Anonymity... be creative!

Thank you Lego for this post.