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Rambler wrote (edited )

For privacy, to me, it was a matter of removing myself from social media. Facebook seemed like it'd be hard to 'give up', even though I didn't use it for much more than following some hobby related groups or Messenger to talk to family.

But I downloaded my data from it, deactivated it. Haven't looked back. Seriously, it's so easy to quit. Tell your friends to PM you their numbers and to download the Signal app. Share your email address on your timeline. If someone wants to keep in touch with you, they will keep in touch with you. If they do not, then why care? Deactivate it and don't look back, you'll be happier when you're not fed information that an algorithm has determined will get YOU to click more and spend more time on the site.

Then I did the same for Instagram. IG, though owned by Facebook, made it much more difficult to remove yourself from it. I first deactivated my account, but re-activated it so that I could download my data from it. But then, had to wait a week as IG only allows you to deactivate your account once per week, and all of these actions must take place from their desktop site, not on the mobile app. What a fucking trainwreck of a process that is.

I haven't missed IG, either. For me, I just followed a lot of outdoorsy people and some real life friends. I liked seeing pictures of nature, cabins and all that. And all I posted was the same, since I enjoy landscape photography and nature in general. I can view that stuff anywhere, but haven't found a place (yet) to really share some of the work I do or have done.

Anyway, all of that was just to be a bit more private, mainly from employers who may find me as I search for work. Not that I ever really posted any opinions publicly.

But when reviewing the data I downloaded about myself, I began to want to become more anonymous online, too. These companies collect a metric shit-ton of data about you, and it just felt... concerning.

So that's when I stopped using the same username in more than one place, started to convince my friends/family to use Signal. Well, at least a couple of them do now. And it's my main form of communication with them. Started to De-Google my life. Started to use anonymity networks like I2P and Tor more, and research others. A big reason why this site exists is to encourage others to use and research various networks as well and to encourage them to be more privacy minded.

So to answer you second question: Do you seek anonymity?

Not 100%. At least not as 'Rambler'. I'm working on a commercial project completely unrelated to this site that will eventually be tied to my real identity, and I'm okay with that. I've mentioned it elsewhere on the web but not here (well until now). I've spoken enough about interests in places like IRC that would give a rough profile of me, and have typed enough messages to reveal a writing style that could be analyzed further with the above profile. If someone was determined enough they may be able to plot out my normal times online, my timezone to narrow down a geographical region, paint a profile of me based on comments about events, probably guess an age range with relative accuracy, etc.

But, my goal isn't to be 100% anonymous anyway. It's to simply be more in control with what is available to others and to move away from big tech.

With that said I've been 'somewhat' privacy minded for years, having used Linux primarily for the last 10-15 years, having ran a Pi-Hole to block ads/trackers/other junk at the network level since the project was young 4 or 5 years ago, always used password managers and randomly created passwords/phrases for every site as good security practice, etc, etc. But that is the 'lite' version of how I operate now, so to speak.

Can you be 100% anonymous? I'd say so, if we're talking about public facing identity online. Though I believe that there would be ways for the alphabet agencies to determine the identity of someone online who may have caught their interest, but you'd have to have REALLY caught their interest for that process to even begin, and the amount of resources they'd have to burn through to ID someone who is being very careful would be insane.


solstice wrote (edited )

And all I posted was the same, since I enjoy landscape photography and nature in general. I can view that stuff anywhere, but haven't found a place (yet) to really share some of the work I do or have done.

You could set up a Pixelfed instance. It's like a self-hosted, federated (ActivityPub) Instagram.


Rambler wrote

You could set up a Pixelfed instance. It's like a self-hosted, federated (ActivityPub) Instagram.

I'll take a gander. I've not really messed with any federated stuff yet. Looks good though, at a glance.


dandrews OP wrote

Thank you Rambler for your thorough response! I found a lot of my thoughts is your reply, even if right now I haven't reached your level of privacy practices (still on social media, using google products, etc.). I try to use floss software where possible and I'm interested in privacy and security topics. My anonymity part of the question was purely from a curiosity stance, since I'm really fascinated with this kind of stuff and this website permits my to apply it a little bit. Surely, my style (especially my typos) is recognizable and traceable, but I'm still going to try to achieve it and to find instruments to spread my opinions. For this I'd like to thank you again Rambler. With this platform you have given a little place to escape my ordinary life without feeling like an outcast for using tor. I hope that Ramble will live a long life!



Wahaha wrote

Not as much as I could and I have no illusion of attaining anonymity. I try to walk a path towards more anonymity, but I'm walking it very slowly. In the end I'm compromising a lot for convenience. Like the saying goes, security at the expense of convenience goes at the expense of security.


dandrews OP wrote

I am also compromising a little bit, but I'm finding more and more ways to do it. Ramble is a wonderful example!


furry wrote

Any account that doesn't need to be tied to me I deleted and made an anon account if I still wanted to use it. However, I think I would go insane seeking full anonymity/privacy; There are so many ways companies/people could track you if they desired and I still want to talk to my friends and go by my username that I've been going for by a good portion of my life. So I still keep a Discord, Telegram, Youtube, Steam account, etc.

I run Qubes OS to keep my digital life compartmentalized as well as for security; This lets me set up different network and firewall vms to run things like a tor gateway vm and vpn vm. For example, I have a separate crypto appvm which runs through a different firewall vpn and then through my tor vm to hide my IP. I also use Vivaldi as my main browser with Brave and hardened Firefox as my alt browsers.

I plan to install a custom rom or Linux on my phone since im still using the default one. I know I can still go deeper into the privacy rabbit hole but I think I am at a good point now.


mr4channer wrote

use altnets, yggdrasil, i2p, loki/oxen net. tor for clearnet browsing.