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How to Avoid Being Tracked Online

How to Avoid Being Tracked Online

Question: When a person searches around on the Internet, how would they go about making it so that others aren't able to keep track of where the traffic comes from? For example, when I go to a medical site and request information using another email address, can they tell where the contact really originated from?

If the site has a light load, they could literally track every single IP address and email address that's used to visit their site, and sync them with most email systems, in order to identify exactly who you are and what you were doing on their site, along with whatever conversations you held with them by email.

If you use your own computer and email accounts to visit these sites, then all of that is possible.

What is the solution?

You could choose to use a proxy to visit the site(s), but on some sites that would actually open you up to more closely being monitored. I personally always check the IP addresses of any contacts we receive (the form sends this information along) which enables me to know whether to completely ignore it (example; if it's coming from Korea, Brazil, or through a proxy), or how much time and effort to actually allocate to it (example; if it's coming from a college campus or government IP space).

Instead, if you're wanting to reduce the chances of your being traced, the things you should do include:

If you're not yet using OpenDNS, set it up now:

In addition to just being a great service to protect your computer from phishing sites, malware sites and other undesirable content, doing this will help with managing access on your nextwork for any teenagers in the home, too.

OpenDNS can be used to filter social networking and other types of sites that could be used (primarily through toolbars, chat networks or widgets on other sites) to trace you across the Internet, effectively eliminating any hope of anonymity.

~Shawn K. Hall

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