100% anonymous online – is it possible?

Last updated on January 10th, 2024

Do I need complete anonymity on the web?

Most people don’t need 100% anonymity on the Internet. Besides, complete anonymity is almost impossible to achieve. But sometimes you may find yourself in a situation where it’s okay to be completely paranoid about web browsing. Sometimes even your life and/or the lives of other people may depend on how anonymous you are on the Internet. If you are in such a situation, then do not be lazy and follow the instructions on this page.

Use this guide only if you really do not feel safe and if you really have important information or documents to share about corruption or other crimes. Any illegal actions you take on the Internet can have serious consequences for you.

Even a powerful tool like the Tor browser is not able to provide you with 100% anonymity. To get close to complete anonymity you will have to make some effort.

What device to use?

You need a laptop. Let’s list the Don’ts:

Do not use your personal laptop (or your personal computer, personal phone or other device).
Do not use your work laptop (or your work computer, work phone or other device).
Don’t buy a laptop online.

Buy a laptop from a store you don’t visit often. Pay in cash. Do not use credit cards. During the purchase, do not provide any of your personal data (names, addresses, identification numbers, etc.).

What operating system to use?

First option: The laptop must be without an operating system. After purchase, install Linux.

Option Two: Since this is a guide for absolute beginners, we will assume you haven’t worked with Linux. If you think you won’t be able to run Linux, then get a laptop with Windows pre-installed. Do not change any settings on the operating system.

How to connect to the Internet?

The Don’ts are:

Do not connect to the Internet through your home network.
Do not connect to the Internet through your work network.
Do not use your mobile internet.

Use public WiFi or sit in a cafe that offers free WiFi. If you have to pay for WiFi – don’t use a credit card. Whatever you buy – pay in cash. If you sit in a coffee shop, look around for cameras and sit so that the cameras cannot record your laptop monitor.

What to do when connecting to the Internet for the first time?

First we’ll list the Don’ts: Do not browse the web, do not open any sites, do not search on Google or other search engines, do not download any files, do not install any software, including do not download and do not install any VPN, do not bank, do not chat, do not check any of your emails, do not log into any social networks or other sites where you have a registration.

It’s unlikely that someone will track you through your laptop camera, but for your own peace of mind, even before you connect to the Internet, cover the camera with opaque tape.

The first time you connect to the Internet, immediately open the page https://www.torproject.org/download/ , download the Tor browser and install it. Forget about other browsers. From now on, use only the Tor browser.

After installing Tor, continue to follow some of the above rules, especially – do not log in to any sites where you have a previous registration.

How to hide the fact that I use Tor?

As mentioned before, when you browse through Tor, your ISP can’t know what sites you visit, but they can see that you’re using Tor. In some cases, it’s good to hide the very fact that you’re browsing through Tor. To do this you need to use the so-called Tor bridges.

Open Tor.
Click the Configure Connection button.
Find section Bridges -> Add a New Bridge.
Click the Select a Built-in Bridge button.
Click the obfs4 button.
Click OK and then hit the Connect button.
For more information, visit https://tb-manual.torproject.org/bridges/

How to get Tor and Tor bridge if Tor is blocked in my country?

If you cannot access the official website torproject.org, you can download Tor from some mirror website, for example: https://tor.eff.org

Also, you will need a new working Tor bridge.

To get a new Tor bridge, send an email to address bridges@torproject.org with empty subject and write the phrase “get transport obfs4” in the message body of the email. You must send the email from Gmail (https://gmail.com) or Riseup (https://riseup.net).

How to write anonymously online?

You will need to change your writing style. Usually in their speech and writing, people use specific phrases and make some spelling or punctuation mistakes. Ergo, a competent linguistic expertise can possibly reveal your identity. Therefore, you should try to write in a way that is different from the way you usually write on social networks and discussion boards.

For example – if you don’t use slang words in your everyday speech and in the social networks and forums you visit, now try to use slang expressions (and vice versa). Make deliberate spelling and punctuation mistakes that you normally don’t make, etc.

Even in an email that is supposed to be anonymous (using a combination of Tor Browser and Proton Mail), don’t write directly what you have to say. Use Aesopian language, metaphors, metonymies, allegories, idioms and all kinds of hints to show what you mean without having to write it directly.

How to send files (documents, images, etc.) anonymously?

Prepare the files you want to send and be sure to delete the metadata from them. For more information, read the page:

What is metadata and how to remove it?

Buy a new USB flash drive and put the files you want to send on it. Then attach the files to the email.

If you need to send an email, create a new ProtonMail account. Open the Tor browser and enter the address https://proton.me/

For detailed information, read the page:

How to send email anonymously?

If you need to send files to media, the best solution is to use the SecureDrop service (https://securedrop.org). List of media that have SecureDrop software installed: https://securedrop.org/directory/

For more information, read the page:

List of verified and safe darknet sites -> Official darknet related software

How to chat anonymously?

You will need a web-based chat client that does not keep logs. Such a chat is, for example, ChatCrypt.

Open Tor. Go to page https://client.chatcrypt.com/

Type some username, chat channel name and password. Do not use any of your existing usernames or passwords.

Then email the details (chat channel name and password) to whoever you want to chat with anonymously. Do not close the chat channel while waiting for the other person to join the conversation. If you write something before your interlocutor enters the channel, he will not see what you wrote. It is best to arrange in advance by email (Proton Mail) the date and time of the online meeting, the name of the channel and what usernames you will use.