Tricks to protect your Online & Crypto privacy
While the internet is becoming more regulated, checks and ID verifications become more often and state agencies are ramping up their operations to track online activity, multiple products are available to enhance your privacy online
Probably the easier but most important step is installing a browser with privacy features which can actively block ad trackers.
TOR Browser – anonymity
TOR blocks third party trackers, while deleting cookies and your browsing history the moment you close it. The already encrypted traffic is relayed randomly three times through the TOR nodes anonymising the data adding a layer of security. In simple words, the first node will know the IP address of the computer and will be encrypted as will the IP address of that node. The third node which is commonly referred as exit node will not know your IP address or your identity.
Brave Browser – block third party trackers
Brave is an open source web browser able to block trackers and ads to protect your privacy but most importantly, it’s free. For those interested in increased encryption private TOR windows are available enabling anonymous web communication and is attached to DuckDuckGo, a search engine which unlike Google doesn’t keep search history.
VPN Virtual Private Network – privacy
A TOR is very similar to VPN as both encrypt traffic but with a VPN instead of using multiple nodes, you get to choose the server you wish to connect to. Moreover, VPNs are ideal for geo-spoofing. As you choose the location of the server you will be connected to, a website you visit thinks you are located where your VPN server is.
* WARNING: Make sure to disable your VPN while using Crypto Thrills as per our T&C’s: “3.5 Should any player be found using a VPN, all winnings resulting from it will be made null and void.”
Best option to protect your privacy: VPN & TOR
Unless your computer is ancient, the best way to maintain your privacy online is combining TOR with VPN. With just TOR, your ISP won’t know the websites you accessed but will know that you are using TOR which unfortunately is often linked to the dark web, something you don’t want people to think. The VPN solves this issue as your ISP won’t know what you are doing but the VPN provider will know everything and you have to trust they are not saving that information.
By combining TOR with VPN you are ensuring there is no direct connection between your IP address and the sites you visited.
TAILS: The Amnesic Incognito Live System
For the more cautious, the best option would be installing a privacy operating system on your computer. If you have the financial ability to buy a new computer it will be even better.
Our recommendation, TAILS, can be booted from a USB stick and doesn’t need to use your hard drive. The moment you shut down your computer your browsing history, network connections, files and passwords will be automatically deleted.
Breaking any personal link with your bitcoin
1 payment – 1 address
As the blockchain is public, coins can be traced back to their block of creation with the full list of addresses it has gone through and this can be used to find to who they belong. To avoid that, the most effective way is never using an address more than once. Even if you have nothing to hide, if your coins were used for an illegal activity in the past government authorities have the power to freeze your account. Nowadays it’s also blockchain intelligence companies which are able to do so and sometimes even exchanges can check that.
With that in mind, using multiple addresses becomes essential. Also, avoid reconciling funds from different sources into a single wallet as it might ‘pollute’ your entire stash and naturally avoid listing your wallet addresses along with your identity in any website.
Coin Tumblers or Coin Mixers are services to obscure the origin of your coins. If you can afford paying a 1-3% commission they will mix your funds with those of other users, transfer them from one address to another and your stash will be as good as new fresh from the mine.
Swapping Bitcoin for Monero and back to Bitcoin
Bitcoin’s Blockchain is public so anyone can follow a series of transactions. That’s not the case with the blockchain’s of private coins with the most famous being Monero. So a way of anonymizing your bitcoins or any other coin using a public blockchain is exchanging them with a private coin like Monero and then making a confidential transaction to another XMR wallet. Then you can convert your stash to Bitcoin again and it will be impossible to trace its origin.
If you are interested in acquiring coins without any link to your identity there is also the old-school approach of purchasing cryptocurrencies on a store or via a Bitcoin ATM where you pay in cash.
The problems in this option are three:
The premium you will have to pay is significantly higher from a centralized exchange
If you are not using an ID there is a one thousand Euros cap, at least in EU countries
Not many Bitcoin ATMs or stores existing in some countries or cities
Mine your own Bitcoin – Virgin Bitcoin
If all the aforementioned options appear too complicated for you, you have two options left. Either purchase freshly minted Bitcoins, known as Virgin Bitcoins or mining your own Bitcoins.
In the first case the issue is that Virgin Bitcoins are sold for a 20% premium usually while in the second case, you will be competing with retail miners, private and publicly traded crypto mining companies worth up to nine figures.