“I don’t like to share my personal life… it wouldn’t be personal if I shared it.”
— George Clooney
Hide IP Tips
Using a VPN connection does not hide your real digital identity if you do not take the right precautions to hide it. There are several security flaws which could point to your digital identity. On this page we will give you some tips which are needed to hide your digital identity.
Why do you call it a "digital identity"?
A digital identity is not the same as your real identity, but it could be linked to you if you don’t watch out what you are doing. There are some tricks which tracking government companies are using in their attempt to find out who’s digital identity can be connected to a real identity. Here are some points to look at which could be part of your digital identity:
- ISP IP address
- MAC Address
- System time
- Operating System
- (all kinds of) Headers
- DNS Servers
- And more….
IP Address & MAC Address
There isn’t much you can do against your MAC address. This is hard coded into your network device and mostly assigned by the manufacturer, so a MAC address usually encodes the manufacturer’s registered identification number. There are ways to spoof your MAC address (Windows & MacOS), so definitely check around.
Your ISP IP address is the trickiest part, because this can be connected to your true identity. You could give up a false name when you order your internet connection, but at the end your payment processor is the leading part to reveal your identity. But it is the easiest part to hide it. A VPN connection could hide your identity, but only when you take care of all other parts which could reveal your true ISP IP.
Disable Flash, JAVA & ActiveX
Disabling Flash, JAVA and ActiveX increases your online security and most of all your privacy. These plugins are heavily written and security issues are well known by these plugins. Tracking companies are using “unknown” exploits to reveal your real IP even when you are on an unsecured VPN connection. Although you can set your browser to allow these plugins to work on trusted websites, it is better to learn to avoid them in the future.
Most Flash sites are converting their pages into HTML5 anyway and all browser manufacturers have announced that they will quit their support for Flash into their browsers.
We advice you to use multiple browsers if you still need Flash, JAVA or ActiveX for some reason. For instance Chromium (not Chrome!) which has a build in Flash support (but no JAVA support though). Use another browser where you can totally disable these plugins for your all day browsing.
Rule number 1 in being anonymous on the internet is to avoid your ISP’s DNS servers. They will log your activity which goes through their DNS servers and is a possible privacy issue.
First thing you can do is change your DNS servers in your ISP router to DNS servers which are known for not logging all activities which goes through their DNS servers.
Second, why not try DNScrypt? It is a nifty tool which holds a lot of DNS servers which does not log the activities going through their DNS servers. You can check the list here https://github.com/jedisct1/dnscrypt-proxy/blob/master/dnscrypt-resolvers.csv
Please be warned, OpenDNS servers are well known by privacy fighters, but they DO log all activities. And Google DNS servers is a simple NO GO!! We advise to use the DNS servers of the Swiss Privacy Foundation or Chaos Computer Club (CCC).
If you take an account at RootVPN you could use our own DNS servers and of course, they won’t log a single bit.
Use the Privacy mode in your browser
Most latest browsers gives you the ability to browse in Privacy mode. Find out how you can turn this on in your browser and use it as default.
Privacy mode does not leave any trace on your computer which is needed when you are on a shared computer. For more information read this Wiki page https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Privacy_mode
WebRTC is an API definition that allows voice and video chats as well as P2P filesharing within the browser, without the need of any extensions or plugin. But it also has a security flaw. If you don’t block it, it could reveal your ISP’s IP address. Even when you are behind a VPN connection.
There are several extensions available for Firefox and Chromium. Use “Disable WebRTC” for Firefox and “WebRTC Leak Prevent” for Chromium.
Alternative for Firefox is open the URL about:config and find media.peerconnection.enabled. Set it to False by double clicking it.
The WebRTC is not a VPN issue, but a function of your browser (Firefox & Chromium). If you are still experiencing issues when you are fixing the WebRTC leak in your browser, please contact us.
Many browsers can be “upgraded” by extensions (or add-ons). There are a lot of extensions which protects your digital identity. We strongly advice you to install some of these extensions. Here are some tips:
- uBlock Origin (for blocking ads)
- Canvasblocker (to prevent Canvas-Fingerprinting)
- Self Destructing Cookies (eliminates cookies)
- Ghostery (blocks any tracking attempt)
- NoScript (disables hidden scripts which are trying to open up some exploits)
- HTTPS Everywhere (routes your http pages to an https one if available)
- UAControl (change your user agent to whatever you want)
Most browsers are standard integrated with the Google search engine. We advice you to stop using Google as your search engine although we know that Google gives you the best results. But there is another search engine out there which is doing a great job and does not store any information about you.
Set your search engine to https://DuckDuckGo.com and search anonymous on the internet.