How to Be More Anonymous Online

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Being fully anonymous is next to impossible—but you can significantly limit what the internet knows about you by sticking to a few basic rules.


On the internet, everyone wants to know who you are. Websites are constantly asking for your email address or trying to place tracking cookies on your devices. A murky slurry of advertisers and tech firms track which websites you visit, predicting what your interests are and what you may want to buy. Search engines, browsers, and apps can log each search or scroll you make.

At this stage of the internet, being totally anonymous across your entire online life is incredibly hard to achieve. Phones, SIM cards, browsers, Wi-Fi networks, and more use identifiers that can be linked to your activity. But there are steps you can take to obscure your identity for everyday browsing.

If you’re looking to be truly anonymous or to protect your identity for a specific purpose—such as whistleblowing or activism—you should consider your threat model and individual security situation. But many of the changes you can make, which are listed below, are straightforward switches that can stop you from being tracked as much and apply to most people.

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The Hacking Threat Rises

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At The New Yorker last month, Sam Knight detailed the devastating consequences of a ransomware attack on the British Library in London: “The outage became an incident. The National Cyber Security Centre, a branch of G.C.H.Q., the British equivalent of the National Security Agency, got involved. On November 20th, a hacking group called Rhysida—after a genus of centipedes—offered 490,191 files stolen from the British Library for sale on the dark Web. United States cybersecurity officials describe Rhysida as a ‘ransomware-as-a-service’ provider—a gun for hire—part of an increasingly professional array of cyber-extortion organizations.” Knight also noted the widely international array of apparent victims of this group: “Since Rhysida surfaced, in May, its victims have included the Chilean Army, a medical-research lab in Australia, and Prospect Medical Holdings, a health-care company with hospitals in Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Connecticut, and California. There are reports that its code contains fragments of Russian, and it appears not to have struck inside Russia or its close allies.”
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Welcome to the generative AI election era

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Around one billion voters will head to polls all over the world this year, while wily campaigns and underfunded election officials will face pressure to use AI for efficiencies.

Why it matters: Conditions are ripe for bad actors to use generative AI to amplify efforts to suppress votes, libel candidates and incite violence.

The big picture: This year, more people will vote than any other year between 2004 and 2048.

  • It’s the first time in 60 years that the U.S. and U.K. are voting for new administrations in the same year and the first time since 2004 that the U.S. and EU are.
  • AI is just one category in a growing list of problems for election officials from poll worker shortage to violent threats and cybersecurity attacks.

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What an astronaut, Molly Baz, and your mom

can teach you about creativity


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As a journalist prone to nerding out on books about design and creativity, a fair number of them cross my desk. But within them, there’s often a preponderance of thought leadership presented at its thinnest—a veritable Ikea table of wisdom that, let’s admit, probably came from a ghostwriter to begin with. 

Which is why Mike Schnaidt’s Creative Endurance is such a delightful anomaly.  

Now, disclaimer up front: Schnaidt is the creative director of Fast Company—but we’d cover this book even if he wasn’t because it’s such an anomaly in the “creative inspo” genre. Crack its covers, and there’s a wonderland of editorial design inside. Concept-driven type treatments dance across colorful pages. Illustrations. Activities. But above all, insights on pushing through obstacles and remaining engaged in your process and practice from not only designers (though you’ll indeed find such minds as Sagi HavivJennifer Kinon, and Bobby C. Martin Jr. here), but also from athletes, an astronaut, architect, wardrobe stylist, chefs, a sommelier, and . . . a third grader. 

If the book feels unorthodox, that’s by design. When teaching at Kean University in 2022, Schnaidt, a marathoner, eschewed the typical portfolio presentation and instead gave a talk titled, “The Runner’s Guide to Design.”