How to stay anonymous online on 10.8?

Discussion in 'OS X Mountain Lion (10.8)' started by ayasinsk, Sep 10, 2012.

  1. ayasinsk macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2008
    #1
    I got a macbook pro with 10.8 and I would like to know how I can protect my identity while browsing the interwebs, gaming online, and downloading torrents. Bitguard did not work for me for torrents, kept failing to connect for some reason. I got tor and vidaliya installed but the connection appears to be super slow. Also I play starcraft 2 online and over the weekend had an encounter with one of the players whom basically said that he will get my ip address and get my real address and so forth. I'm sure he wasn't successful since it takes real skills to hack into an internet service provider and get an actual subscriber's physical address. When I tried logging into my battle.net online gaming account (related to starcraft 2) it said it was locked due to "suspicious activity". Not sure if that sc2 user actually tried to do something or if had to with the fact that battle.net got hacked over the weekend.

    In any rate I would really appreciate if someone could post a guide or a link to a guide how can someone stay as anonymous as possible on a mac while browsing/gamin/torrenting.

    Thank You.

    PS. I got a login password for os x, built in firewall is turned on, and I was thinking of setting up my filevault tonight. I also scanned my macbook with norton antivirus app from app store (free) thinking maybe that sc2 user was able to install a keylogger on my computer but did not find anything.
     
  2. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #2
    Your IP address is available to any website you visit. It does not reveal your physical address. To see what information your IP address shows, go to WhatIsMyIPAddress.com.
    It is possible to hack an online account, such as an email account. Access to your computer is not required for that. Make sure your passwords are long and complex.
    You can use proxy servers, but really, it's not worth the effort. To protect your identity, don't use Facebook or Twitter or other social networking sites. Don't post pictures or information about yourself online.
    The only way a keylogger can be installed on your Mac is if you install it yourself or give someone access to install it.

    Macs are not immune to malware, but no true viruses exist in the wild that can run on Mac OS X, and there never have been any since it was released over 10 years ago. The only malware in the wild that can affect Mac OS X is a handful of trojans, which can be easily avoided by practicing safe computing (see below). Also, Mac OS X 10.6 and later versions have anti-malware protection built in, further reducing the need for 3rd party antivirus apps.
    1. Make sure your built-in Mac firewall is enabled in System Preferences > Security > Firewall

    2. Uncheck "Open "safe" files after downloading" in Safari > Preferences > General

    3. Disable Java in your browser (Safari, Chrome, Firefox). This will protect you from malware that exploits Java in your browser, including the recent Flashback trojan. Leave Java disabled until you visit a trusted site that requires it, then re-enable only for the duration of your visit to that site. (This is not to be confused with JavaScript, which you should leave enabled.)

    4. Change your DNS servers to OpenDNS servers by reading this.

    5. Be careful to only install software from trusted, reputable sites. Never install pirated software. If you're not sure about an app, ask in this forum before installing.

    6. Never let someone else have access to install anything on your Mac.

    7. Don't open files that you receive from unknown or untrusted sources.

    8. For added security, make sure all network, email, financial and other important passwords are long and complex, including upper and lower case letters, numbers and special characters.

    9. Always keep your Mac and application software updated. Use Software Update for your Mac software. For other software, it's safer to get updates from the developer's site or from the menu item "Check for updates", rather than installing from any notification window that pops up while you're surfing the web.
    That's all you need to do to keep your Mac completely free of any Mac OS X malware that has ever been released into the wild. While you may elect to use it, 3rd party antivirus software is not required to keep your Mac malware-free.
     
  3. ayasinsk thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2008
    #3
    Thank you for the info. Would recommend encrypting my hard drive? Any way to hide my ip while playing online games? I'm assuming only decent connection solutions to hide my ip while downloading torrents is through similar services such as bitguard.
     
  4. mrapplegate, Sep 10, 2012
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2012

    mrapplegate macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2011
    Location:
    Cincinnati, OH
    #4
    It's slower but you can use a Tor browser.
    https://www.torproject.org

    Oops, I missed the sentence where you have it installed. Ignore. Like you mentioned it's slow, but it will hide your IP well.
     
  5. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #5
    It's not necessary.
    Use proxy servers. If you use Google, you'll find hundreds of them.
    I don't torrent, so I can't help you there.
     
  6. mrapplegate macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2011
    Location:
    Cincinnati, OH
    #6
    Encrypting your hard drive won't hide your IP address.
     
  7. grapes911, Sep 10, 2012
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2012

    grapes911 Moderator emeritus

    grapes911

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2003
    Location:
    Citizens Bank Park
    #7
    You can never hide your IP while online.

    Think of the data you receive online as letters in the mail. If you don't give out your address, the post office cannot deliver your mail because they don't know where to deliver it. Online is the same same way. If you hide your IP address, the data will never make it to you because the server won't know where to send it.

    You can use a proxy. Using the mail analogy again, you can have Amazon deliver mail to a friend, and then have the friend mail the package to you. Amazon won't know your address, just your friend's address. But with a little detective work, and depending on how willing your friend is to give up your information, someone can easily determine who you are. Online proxies work the same way.

    Basically, don't worry about hiding your IP address. If you do anything worth hiding your IP, someone will track you down anyway.
     
  8. talmy macrumors 601

    talmy

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2009
    Location:
    Oregon
    #8
    Encrypting your hard drive will protect everything on your computer if it is stolen.
     
  9. ixodes macrumors 601

    ixodes

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2012
    Location:
    Pacific Coast, USA
    #9
    No matter what OS you're using, get off the Internet Now!

    Ha... Ha... Ha...

    OK, all kidding aside, the advice given in the posts above by GGJstudios, is excellent advice.

    If you follow it exactly, you'll be as safe as any of us can be. :)
     
  10. ayasinsk thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2008
    #10
    I know. I was just thinking in case someone remotely logs into my macbook or if it ever gets stolen the content of my hd is protected.
     
  11. mrapplegate macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2011
    Location:
    Cincinnati, OH
    #11
    Basically yes, I would encrypt if you are worried about it being taken. For simple piece of mind follow GGJstudios advice.
    Like others have said, it's impossible to hide. Even using Tor if not careful about it things can be traced back to you.
     
  12. ixodes macrumors 601

    ixodes

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2012
    Location:
    Pacific Coast, USA
    #12
    Kudos for a great job of explaining this using snail mail as example. I've never thought of using that analogy when I'm asked that same question.

    As a result my explanation is always way too verbose :)

    Now in the future I'll just borrow yours.

    Thanks!
     
  13. benthewraith macrumors 68040

    benthewraith

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    Location:
    Miami, FL
  14. mrapplegate macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2011
    Location:
    Cincinnati, OH
    #14
    A VPN does not hide an IP address, it just encrypts traffic. I think the OP is looking to hide his IP more than encrypt his traffic.
     
  15. ayasinsk thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2008
    #15
    No, never. What does it do? Also is it for certain connections or all my incoming/outgoing traffic?

    ----------

    So VPN hides what traffic goes from/to my computer?
     
  16. mrapplegate macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2011
    Location:
    Cincinnati, OH
    #16
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virtual_private_network

    A VPN only encrypts traffic, the VPN server's IP address is shown to any other server it connects to. It does not hide your IP address. A VPN encrypts all traffic.
     

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