Why you have to decide what you want to reveal on the Internet.
There are still some of my readers who are reluctant to observe. Many also have curtains on the windows at home, and they are reluctant to watch or even be filmed without warning. Well, the mass of users apparently has nothing to hide. (Sarcasm).
But those who now want to protect themselves from persecution by companies, advertising companies or governments on the Internet, can achieve a few things with few means. It is easy to leave very little traces on your activities on the internet, but it becomes more difficult if we want to talk about an "anonymous vocation". So, like many things in life, everything begins with a definition of concepts.
The transitions between the different concepts are fluid, there are no clear boundaries, but I will try to formulate the most important distinctions.
Low-energy surfing First and foremost, it is a protection concept against ubiquitous tracking and monitoring to create comprehensive personality profiles that can then be misused for targeted manipulation of the affected person. "Anonymity" (eg for risk groups such as whistleblowers) is not the focus here.
The term "low-profile", however, also excludes the possibility of leaving no traces at all. This means for the user then that he can always be exposed to a certain "naming his activities". It is simply trying to share as little as possible by negligent attitudes or willing sharing of own information with visited websites and services. The use of social media and the attempt to leave as few traces as possible, must not be mutually exclusive, because you should primarily be able to choose which information you are willing to share and which are not. Low-profile use of the Internet thus helps to gain more control over one's own data, but will be able to keep the user "anonymous".
Protection against tracking can be achieved through several measures:
Avoid long-term tracking markers (Cookies, EverCookies).
Disable features that are suitable for browser fingerprinting.
The desire to be able to inquire completely "anonymously" on the Internet is another goal. Here one must differentiate that there can be certain risk groups, which must protect themselves also by purposeful monitoring or repressions, but there is also also the Otto-Normalsurfer, which hardly noticeable but nevertheless "anonymous" in the Internet wants to move. Who rules, Do not respect laws oa state requirements, must fear repression by the power or state apparatus ... etc.
Endangered groups of people.
With the first group of people, measures to prevent surveillance are quite extensive, one also has to consider that there can be not only ONLINE but also conventional surveillance methods and that access and manipulation of one's own devices are also part of one targeted surveillance can be. In this case, it can be assumed that a wide variety of things are used here in combination and therefore increased caution and measures must be taken. That you also renew your own devices, which you will use to communicate or use the Internet, is essential.
The unobtrusive internet user.
Those who actually feel safe from targeted surveillance because they do not count to known risk groups, have it easier, but also in this case some drastic measures have to be taken.
How to achieve "anonymity"?
Anonymous Internet usage can be achieved by immersing in a sufficiently large group with identical characteristics, so that individual individuals are no longer distinguishable by features such as IP address, browser type, or other things. One of the best known implementations for "anonymity" is therefore also the TOR browser, which mixes IP-address as well as browser-IDs in the pool of users and thus leaves individuals unrecognized. Due to strong anonymisation tracking individual individuals to create personality profiles is of course impossible, a positive side effect. But also by different VPNServices with or without cascades, this effect can be achieved if the use of a suitable browser and its secure settings are also taken into account.
In order to achieve "safe surfing", one places the protection of the own computer and the local data against attacks from the InterNet in the center. The most important point is regular updates of browser and the operating system. You can harden (protect) the browser against attacks. But also a virtualization of the surfing environment can protect the local data against successfully compromised browsers. Typical is the use of security software, which is offered in a huge market. However, I'm skeptical of these solutions, as they tend to be rated or promoted for advertising rather than advertising purposes. Everything you can control yourself, such as the settings of your own applications and devices, you should also learn to control yourself. This makes you independent of expensive software and gains control over the security of your own system.
In addition to technical means, one's own behavior in the network is also crucial to achieving the desired goal. This then belongs to the field Awarness:
Who posts his life on Facebook or Twitter, of course, takes the analysis of the data for marketing purposes or political campaigns in purchasing.
Those who, as whistleblowers, send non-anonymised documents that can be traced back to a small group of people risk their anonymity.
Those who randomly install software from dubious sources such as the ComputerBild website risk the security of their system.