The state of being anonymous. Meaning: not identified by name and not having outstanding, individual, or unusual features that enable identification.

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282
votes
12answers
48k views

Is it bad practice to use your real name online?

On some accounts I use my real name on-line (Google+/Facebook/Wikipedia/personal blog), others (Q&A/Gaming) I use an alias. My question is: Security and privacy wise, what can people do with my ...
191
votes
20answers
41k views

How can someone go off-web, and anonymise themselves after a life online?

With data mining tools like Maltego and other correlation tools for large data sets, if we conduct any transactions online assume that these can all be collated to build a good picture of what we do, ...
84
votes
12answers
23k views

Why is it difficult to catch “Anonymous” or “Lulzsec” (groups)?

I'm not security literate, and if I was, I probably wouldn't be asking this question. As a regular tech news follower, I'm really surprised by the outrage of Anonymous (hacker group), but as a ...
66
votes
6answers
11k views

How much can I trust Tor?

How much can I depend on Tor for anonymity? Is it completely secure? My usage is limited to accessing Twitter and Wordpress. I am a political activist from India and I do not enjoy the freedom of ...
41
votes
5answers
18k views

Anonymity on Facebook - how do they suggest people I should know?

I want to know how Facebook discovers the people who you know in real life or who know you. I tried the following to see if Facebook can still discover my acquaintances in real life and suggest them ...
36
votes
6answers
2k views

Is the concept of Authenticated Anonymity possible?

Or is authentication essentially incompatible with anonymity? If we have the idea that authentication is proving that someone is who they say they are and anonymity is essentially having an unknown ...
36
votes
2answers
7k views

Best practices for Tor use, in light of released NSA slides

It has been known in the security community that a tool as versatile as Tor is likely the target of intense interest from intelligence agencies. While the FBI has admitted responsibility for a Tor ...
34
votes
7answers
2k views

Why does one need a high level of privacy/anonymity for legal activities?

This question is sort-of spun off of a previous one. How to counter the statement: "You don't need (strong) security if you're not doing anything illegal"? There are a lot of great ...
28
votes
3answers
9k views

How does “check.torproject.org.” know if you're using TOR?

I'm looking at the results from the following URL and would like to know how does the TOR website "know" that TOR is being used or not. ...
25
votes
5answers
5k views

How to be completely anonymous online?

I recently saw this post on reddit: http://www.slashgeek.net/2012/06/15/how-to-be-completely-anonymous-online/ But the majority argument, both on reddit and on comments on that post seems to be that ...
23
votes
7answers
30k views

How can you be caught using Private VPN when there's no logs about who you are?

I know there are 2 services of VPN (free and paid). Normally, free VPNs need money from somewhere and sometimes they can sell your information to any agency that needs it. Now, if we are talking about ...
20
votes
4answers
998 views

Can anonymizing techniques make you less anonymous?

There's a recent report in the news of a Harvard student who emailed in a bomb threat so as to postpone year-end exams. According to the report, he carefully covered his tracks using the best ...
19
votes
7answers
2k views

How can I keep my identity anonymous as a website owner/administrator?

My question looks touchy, but I'll do my best to explain. You see, I live in country where democratic rules are quite, well, delusive. In theory, there is freedom of speech, democratic elections and ...
19
votes
1answer
4k views

What are darknets, and how can they be used to provide security and anonymity in network communication?

One of the major problems with the internet is that it's difficult to stay anonymous while retaining the ability to communicate with a large number of people. While encryption can be done effectively ...
17
votes
6answers
2k views

Anonymous web browser. Is it real?

Do anonymous browsers work? What principles do they use? Can I use them to test access to my web site? Can I detect if a visitor is using one? What is the different between traditional and anonymous ...
16
votes
15answers
24k views

How to remain 100% anonymous on the internet?

I was searching for methods or tools to remain completely anonymous on the internet. TOR came up but it is seems that it is far from perfect. Are there any 100% foolproof ways ? Or approximately 100% ...
15
votes
5answers
11k views

Does using an http proxy completely hide my real IP address?

If I obscure my IP by going through a free http proxy and visit a page, will that site's admin ever be able to find out my true IP or anything related to my true connection/info?
15
votes
5answers
10k views

What are the pros and cons of a VPN for privacy

Recently I have been getting more and more interested in the security (privacy and anonymity) issues of my online life. Not that I have anything to hide, or that what I do online is so interesting to ...
15
votes
5answers
2k views

Different strategies for online anonymity and their +/-s?

I saw this question about anonymous web browser, but I wanted to go a little bit more in depth. I prefer answers that take into account how a connection would be traced back, time it would take to ...
14
votes
3answers
731 views

can I identify the origin computer for a program?

I am Developing a program in several platforms and languages, But I don't want anybody to discover the origin computer where the program was developed, is there any way that someone (especially the ...
12
votes
7answers
1k views

How to browse the Internet safely?

What is the best way to browse the Internet safely? By safely I mean: anonymously having encrypted communication Extra bonus for: being able to do it with little or no performance impact cheaply ...
11
votes
8answers
7k views

How anonymous is my setup?

my friend and I are trying to make the most anonymous setup for a computer to do things across the internet without being known the location from which it came. Our setup is as follows: A windows ...
10
votes
8answers
7k views

Whats the best way to make my internet traffic anonymous?

Recently I have thought more and more about how to make my Internet traffic anonymous. Not for illegal reasons, but just to stop leaving information about me. The methods I know of to anonymize my ...
10
votes
4answers
5k views

Make online payments anonymously? [closed]

Is there a service/company which allows you to make anonymous payments online ? This is how i want the service to work - Just like a credit/debit card. When you make the payment online, instead of ...
9
votes
5answers
5k views

Is a Tor router really safer than a proxy?

If I use a Tor router to browse the regular internet that it has to leave the Tor network through an exit node. Apparently the exit node has all the information from the original user it came from on ...
8
votes
6answers
3k views

How can I send emails anonymously?

How can I send email anonymously? We used to track email's IP and its location based upon the email headers, and there are many possible ways to track the email's id's which were sent by the anonymous ...
8
votes
5answers
2k views

What do the various browser “private modes” do?

Recently there has been some disagreement as to what "private mode" means when it comes to various browsers. Primarily I am referring to... IE's "InPrivate Browsing" Google Chrome's "Incognito ...
8
votes
4answers
433 views

Does OpenID, SAML pose a threat to Tor's anonymity? How can I protect from a compromised .exit node?

This is a thought experiment on the interaction between Tor, OpenID and one (or more) compromised nodes in the secure path. I'm focused on how to use technology in a way that adds value to a secure ...
8
votes
2answers
169 views

Why does Tor use a new route every few minutes

As far as I know, Tor selects three new nodes every few minutes. What is the advantage of this? The only thing I came up with was to prevent "Bad exit nodes" from viewing too much of your (hopefully ...
7
votes
4answers
337 views

How to suspend a user from my website and prevent them from creating a second account?

I am an outsourcing person, not a programmer. My website is a shopping website (think eBay). My website will need a user suspension feature, in case a user violates the terms and conditions. The ...
7
votes
3answers
4k views

Detecting Tor proxy by reading request headers

I am a newbie to the field of security. As I was trying to explore more about HTTP request and response headers, I came across this website which provides a detailed analysis of the request header ...
7
votes
1answer
165 views

Deanonymizing users by introducing structured delays to the network?

Here is a scheme for deanonymizing a user that I've been thinking about, just out of curiosity. I tried searching for it but didn't find much. Does this technique have a name? Are there any papers or ...
7
votes
1answer
439 views

Can BitTorrent clients be fingerprinted?

As https://panopticlick.eff.org/ demonstrates, web browsers are very prone to fingerprinting, both active and passive (often you can fingerprint a web browser by simply monitoring the wire). My ...
7
votes
3answers
3k views

Private Tor networks: what are the benefits, and how would it be accomplished?

What are the benefits of someone building a private Tor network? ...One that is disconnected from the well-known network being used on the Internet at-large. My intent is to make Tor more ...
6
votes
6answers
875 views

Secure Internet Polling

In the United States, there has been a lot of talk about creating a secure polling system that would operate over the internet. I have also heard that Securing a poll over the Internet is impossible. ...
6
votes
10answers
1k views

Surfing anynomously

For work I often go to China, and there I met some dissidents I would like to help. I need to upload some videos to an ftp server in Europe. I will connect through a public hotspot without ...
6
votes
4answers
1k views

Is it possible for a third party to sniff data off the line to an ISP and determine what the user is doing?

Can somebody hack the line between my router and service provider and monitor what I'm doing online and what sites I'm visiting?
6
votes
3answers
62 views

Patient Hashes for Compression and Security

Are there any front-running approaches to using server-generated hashes to encapsulate patient condition in a concise manner while maximizing security? For example, a system to represent current med ...
6
votes
3answers
4k views

What is the best practice: separate ssh-key per host and user VS one ssh-key for all hosts?

Is it better to create a separate ssh-key for each host and user or just using the id_rsa key for all host to authenticate? Could one id_rsa be a malpractice for the privacy/anonymity policies? ...
6
votes
2answers
163 views

Can the use of GPS devices leak personal identifiable information?

When you use a GPS device, satellite signals are used to give you your position. It seems reasonable to assume that information about the device you're using may be transmitted to the satellite as ...
6
votes
4answers
17k views

Advanced techniques for detecting a proxy/getting original IP

In what manner can a website detect my original IP address, even though I'm using a proxy server? I've noticed this with a few sites. There are four proxy methods I've used: Firefox with a proxy ...
6
votes
3answers
1k views

Circumventing Device Fingerprinting

Regarding the concept of device (browser) fingerprinting, would it be possible for the user to spoof fingerprinting data by giving random information such that your fingerprint changes after every ...
6
votes
1answer
332 views

How far should I go in creating anonymity?

I am in the early design stages of a system (QuestGuide) to help researchers gather information (arbitrarily complex), analyze it, annotate it, visualize it, and, ultimately, share it. There are ...
5
votes
5answers
4k views

How to avoid leaving any local trace that I went to a website?

I want to visit a web site, but I want to ensure there is no trace left on my computer that I did so. How do I do that? This question is not concerned with anonymity or detection on the network ...
5
votes
2answers
221 views

Can Heartbleed expose a TOR user's IP address?

It is interesting to observe, that TOR exit nodes with out-of-date OpenSSL implementations can themselves be affected by the Heartbleed bug. Can Heartbleed expose a TOR user's IP address merely by ...
5
votes
4answers
282 views

Establishing a Reputable Pseudonym with PGP Key

This has become a bit of a thought experiment for me. Suppose someone would like to establish a pseudonym along with a corresponding PGP Key, how could other people verify the correspondence between ...
5
votes
1answer
465 views

What level of anonymity do VPNs provide?

When I use VPN is entire Internet usage protected or only some subset of traffic? For example, Is my IMAP email provider only going to see VPN's IP address? Is my DNS provider only going to see ...
5
votes
1answer
194 views

What Steps Does An Anonymous Artist Need To Take to Retain Anonymity? [closed]

I read these questions which had great information: How can I keep my identity anonymous as a website owner/administrator? and How much can I trust Tor?, however I wonder if this is too extreme for my ...
5
votes
1answer
161 views

Where are the anonymous/private domain validation SSL certs?

I have yet to find a CA that doesn't require personal information for DV certificates. Is this because all of the major browsers and operating systems have a policy to reject CAs that don't require ...
4
votes
3answers
10k views

Downloading files using Tor

I have the Tor Browser Bundle installed and have been using the Firefox Tor browser. If I attempt to download a file or email attachment I get the following warning I understand that if I download ...