17 steps to being completely anonymous online

The default state of internet privacy is a travesty. But if you're willing to work hard, you can experience the next best thing to absolute internet anonymity.

There is no real default privacy on the internet.

Even many of the tools explicitly designed to protect your privacy don’t work quite as well as advertised. Our personal information is eroded through a combination of user information-driven commerce (nearly every company sells your personal data), weak governmental protections, leaky products, hacked records and a society that, in general, feels meh toward privacy in the first place.

The end result is that it isn’t all that difficult for anyone to buy or see your personal information. You don’t have to be a government official with a legal warrant to peer into someone’s life. But just because your privacy isn’t protected by default doesn’t mean you can’t take steps to improve it. Here's how to take back a bit of your private life:

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