Questions tagged [anonymity]

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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447 votes
14 answers
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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 ...
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300 votes
20 answers
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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, ...
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211 votes
9 answers
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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 hosts to authenticate? Could one id_rsa be malpractice for the privacy/anonymity policies? having ...
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121 votes
5 answers
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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 ...
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107 votes
12 answers
42k 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 ...
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85 votes
5 answers
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Is changing pitch enough for anonymizing a person's voice?

In every TV program where there's a person that wants to remain anonymous, they change their voice in a way that to me sounds like a simple increase or decrease in pitch (frequencies). What I'm ...
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84 votes
2 answers
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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 ...
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78 votes
5 answers
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What is torrent encryption and does it make my traffic anonymous?

This question is inspired by this article (in Russian) about a website called I Know What You Download. From what I understand, they scan the DHT networks and display torrents that any given IP ...
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77 votes
3 answers
6k views

How to publish scanned documents anonymously?

I was thinking of the following question for a long time and did not find a lot of material* in the web and nothing at all on Security.SE. I think its a very interesting question as it covers ...
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71 votes
1 answer
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Tell browser my site has no scripts

I have created a Tor hidden service site which has absolutely no JavaScript or other types of client side scripts. The page is HTML, CSS, images, and some JSP for handling user input. I encourage ...
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71 votes
6 answers
59k views

Differences between using Tor browser and VPN

I can't quite figure out the differences between using the Tor browser and using a VPN (like concretely proXPN). From what I understand the idea is the same, that they both hide the IP address. The ...
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66 votes
9 answers
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Why does one need a high level of privacy/anonymity for legal activities?

This question is sort-of spun off of a previous one. Why do law-abiding citizens need strong security? There are a lot of great security-focused answers there. However, I think the true question that ...
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64 votes
12 answers
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How would two people with burner phones communicate?

According to Edward Snowden in this tweet... Phones used in real-world ops are disposed on a per-action, or per-call basis. Lifetimes of minutes, hours. Not days. Let's imagine for a moment that I'...
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61 votes
6 answers
133k 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 ...
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55 votes
8 answers
17k views

How can I make payments on the Internet without leaving a money trail?

For someone who values anonymity and privacy, what is the recommended way to pay on the Internet? Example: To buy a domain or a VPN or another service I know that we can use cryptocurrencies, but at ...
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51 votes
7 answers
16k views

VPN + HTTPS = 100% anonymous?

Let's say I visit Twitter using HTTPS and a VPN First, I know that HTTPS is end-to-end encrypted, so no one except Twitter can know what data is sent, not even the VPN provider. Second, I know that ...
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46 votes
8 answers
118k 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 ...
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43 votes
5 answers
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How to be completely anonymous online?

I recently saw this post on reddit: How to be completely Anonymous online (June 2012). But the majority argument, both on reddit and on comments on that post seems to be that it is not possible to be ...
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42 votes
6 answers
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 ...
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42 votes
3 answers
25k 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 Project website "know" that Tor is being used or not. https://check.torproject.org/?lang=en-US&small=1&...
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41 votes
2 answers
9k views

Why hasn't anyone taken over Tor yet?

Tor is known to encrypt the transferred content and the meta information by layering the encryption. I know there have been correlation attacks that deanonymized some users by federal agencies. Why ...
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36 votes
7 answers
8k views

Is it possible to secretly monitor/backdoor hardware?

I've recently gained an interest in anonymity and the technical aspects of it. Is it possible for hardware to be bugged and monitored? I.e, can a seller of a processor bug it in order to report what ...
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33 votes
13 answers
83k 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% ...
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32 votes
4 answers
4k views

Relationship between Anonymity and Untraceability

Anonymity means that nobody knows your real identity (on the Internet). Untraceability means that nobody is able to trace back your actions to you. It appears to me that Anonymity and Untraceability ...
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29 votes
7 answers
4k views

When do honest people need privacy or anonymity? (e.g. they have nothing to hide) [closed]

I'm having a discussion with someone who thinks they don't need technical measures of privacy or anonymity. Common arguments against needing to care about privacy or anonymity include: Everything ...
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28 votes
4 answers
2k 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 ...
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27 votes
3 answers
7k views

What are the advantages of paying for a VPN service as opposed to hosting your own?

For a person looking to use a VPN solution for personal use, what are the pros and cons of paying for a VPN service as opposed to just hosting a VPN on your own rented, in the cloud server, except for ...
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26 votes
1 answer
8k 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 ...
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25 votes
5 answers
54k 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 ...
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25 votes
9 answers
19k views

What's 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 ...
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24 votes
6 answers
19k views

Why is Tor safer than a proxy?

If I use a Tor router to browse the regular internet, my traffic must leave the Tor network through an exit node. Apparently the exit node can see the data originally sent. Is this true? If an ...
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24 votes
1 answer
5k views

Could logless VPNs be traced?

Logless VPNs, such as ExpressVPN, claim that they can't tell authorities your real IP even if asked. They claim: No connection logs. Never logs connection timestamps, session duration, your ...
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23 votes
3 answers
13k views

Hashing email addresses for GDPR compliance

UPDATED We have a very unique scenario: We have several old databases of user accounts. We'd like a new system to be able to connect these old accounts to new accounts on the new system, if the user ...
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22 votes
4 answers
29k 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?
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22 votes
3 answers
4k 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 ...
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21 votes
7 answers
4k 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 ...
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20 votes
5 answers
3k 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 ...
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20 votes
7 answers
2k views

Could you anonymously upload a file on the internet if the threat model was the entire world trying to find your identity after you do so? [closed]

Thought experiment: You need to upload a file, and the threat model is the entire world trying to find out who you are after you do so. I know this is absurd, but bear with me, it's a thought ...
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19 votes
3 answers
24k views

How did the FBI compromise Tor users? [closed]

I read in this article that the FBI was able to crack the anonymity of Tor. From what I heard and read, onion routing makes it almost impossible to de-anonymize a user. The last time I heard anyone ...
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  • 411
19 votes
4 answers
81k views

VPN tunnel inside other VPN tunnel

This question is kind of asked already but it was asked with different context: VPN tunnel in VPN tunnel Connect through two VPN clients https://superuser.com/questions/763433/tunnel-in-a-tunnel-...
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19 votes
3 answers
11k views

How to handle emails as usernames under GDPR?

Using emails as usernames for webapps is a convenient way to avoid the "yet another online username" problem. As such, by using this approach, the emails should be easily available in the backend to ...
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16 votes
4 answers
9k views

Assuming I'm using Starbucks Wifi, is there a point of using a VPN if I want to remain anonymous?

Wouldn't using Starbucks Wifi make me somewhat anonymous since my ip address would be the same as other users connected to the same network? Therefore, no need to use a VPN assuming I don't want the ...
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16 votes
3 answers
3k views

ISPs are now adding unique header identifiers to web traffic. Can this be avoided? If so, how?

I'm a security-conscious Verizon user, and it has recently come to light that Verizon is now serving up my web traffic to ad partners while en route. I understand that once my data has left the device,...
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  • 258
15 votes
3 answers
1k 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 can discover that ?...
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14 votes
3 answers
67k 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 an ...
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14 votes
4 answers
18k 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 ...
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14 votes
2 answers
3k views

Onion routing vs crowds

I have been studying about computer security and at some point i came across the terms of onion routing and crowds. From what i have understood they are very similar in their usage (interchangeable). ...
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  • 181
13 votes
7 answers
2k 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 (...
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  • 267
13 votes
4 answers
8k 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 ...
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  • 2,137
12 votes
8 answers
13k 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 ...
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