How do hackers ensure they are safe online?

Hackers are very aware of what traces they leave on the Internet. They know what is happening in the background and how all these exchanges are taking place. In fact, we can learn some lessons from hackers' operations to remain anonymous.

1. Use VPNs to maintain privacy

When you visit a website or web application, it gets a lot of information about your browser, your device, and how you access the site. Sites store this information, sometimes because of their own rules and sometimes because of the political rules of the country to which the site belongs. Realizing this, hackers will take various measures to hide this information.

The first method of hiding is the use of a VPN and a proxy. A VPN makes it appear that the device the user is using is in another region, such as another country. Using a VPN can provide the user with a temporary IP as a mask for the connection.

However, VPN and proxy providers can also record what users do while using their services. Eventually, someone will know the user's true identity. Therefore, hackers who know this do not like this approach.

Manipulation of this situation is possible. Hackers who do not want to take advantage of off-the-shelf VPN and proxy services can create their own VPN services. For example, a malicious actor would go to a cafe with a public Internet network and, then, connect the Raspberry Pi device to the network without anyone noticing. After that, they can go home and connect to the open port on the Raspberry Pi and enable Internet access. Now, the network traffic will pass through the cafe's network. This may be feasible, but putting the Raspberry Pi in a cafe without getting caught and keeping everything completely secret is easier said than done.

Having said that, since the activities of the average user may not be as risky as hacking. In this case, for simple day-to-day tasks and privacy needs, there is no harm in using a VPN.

2. Anonymous use of social media

Social media has created a space in which many people can constantly share their daily lives. As a result, it has become much easier to gather information about people. Hackers don't want to be too visible on the Internet, so they stay away from social media accounts or use anonymous accounts. In order for these accounts to remain anonymous, hackers must follow certain rules.

The most important of these is when considering a fake Twitter account. A hacker who wants to remain completely anonymous will not open a Twitter account using their own cell phone, email address or home Internet. The hacker would first buy an old, passworded, hard-to-trace phone. Then, without revealing their identity or being caught by any security cameras, they obtain a new phone number. Finally, the hacker opens a Twitter account by creating a disposable email account or a work email account on the Tor network. In this case, the hacker can only access the account through the public network to maintain privacy.

However, even this is not completely secure, as hackers can never ensure the security of the public network. And the possibility of making mistakes is high.

3. Create long and complex passwords

Password security is a critical issue for hackers and individual users alike. To remain invisible, hackers will use strong passwords to protect themselves. A strong password here is not 8 to 10 characters. Typically, hackers will use passwords of 25 to 30 characters for illegal operations. Of course, these passwords are usually hard to remember, but there are ways to make them easier to remember.

Users can create a new password by encrypting the lyrics of a familiar poem or song; they can also change the letters using numbers and special characters to get a strong password.

In addition, hackers will be able to use a password manager to manage their passwords. Although they prefer open source password managers, they often write their own proprietary password managers. But a more secure way than that is to use the most primitive paper and pen. They write their passwords on paper, and only they know where the paper is hidden.

4. send emails without revealing their identity

Hackers who want to remain anonymous don't resort to mainstream email providers. Instead, they prefer to use systems that provide disposable email addresses. They also choose to conduct all their transactions on the Tor network. This further increases their secrecy. After using the email, they immediately abandon the email address and do not use it again.

5. Establishing a secure Internet connection

In order for hackers to be completely confidential and anonymous, they must also have a secure, untraceable Internet connection. We cannot achieve this by simply using a more private web browser or changing modems.

Many people think that connecting to the Tor network is enough to protect privacy, but this idea is wrong. It is necessary to continue to take all security measures when connecting to the Tor network. Simply downloading the Tor browser to your computer is not enough; hackers need to run their computers entirely on Tor. This can be achieved by the Tor network using Windows and Mac operating systems, but these operating systems are not designed to be anonymous. It is much safer for hackers to use an operating system like Tails.

The Tails Linux distribution is like a disposable operating system. It uses the RAM of the computer and does not store data on the storage drive. Therefore, when the operating system is shut down, all actions done by the user in that session are automatically deleted. Of course, Tails still needs to download updates. In this respect, it is still not possible to talk about achieving full anonymity.

In conclusion

Most of us don't need the extreme anonymity that hackers seek, but it's still a good idea to learn something from the privacy techniques that hackers often use. The use of VPNs and proxies makes a lot of sense for protecting a certain level of privacy. In addition, setting a longer, more complex password can further improve user security.

However, it is unrealistic to expect that the operating system will automatically delete data as soon as it is shut down. Frequent connection to the Tor network is also not a requirement for daily use. In addition, the vast majority of websites on the Tor network are insecure, and it is advisable to never visit them if you can.

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