Paying anonymously online is another step you can take in enhancing your privacy.
When purchasing anything online, be it physical or digital, you can potentially give out an awful lot of data and many other pieces of sensitive information. From Names, addresses, phone numbers, date of birth, gender, emails, credit card details, etc.
Unscrupulous websites can sell this data to others or even in extreme cases steal you credit card or bank details. Do you know if the data you just entered into a website is retained only by them? With so many scams and fraudsters on the internet, how can you decide if a website is trusted or not?
In the current climate with the N.S.A. and many other data snooping agencies, the least amount of data you give out, the better. Paying anonymously can shield your identity, and keep your data private to you.
Prepaid cards and Gift cards
You can make online purchases with a pre-paid card in the same way you can a regular credit card. Prepaid cards bought with cash are also virtually anonymous online. A lot of websites accept Amazon as a form of payment, so an Amazon giftcard can be an anonymous checkout gateway.
Disposable, masked credit cards
MaskMe from Abine is a FREE disposable credit card service. With MaskMe, you checkout as usual but create disposable, masked cards on the spot, keeping your actual credit card safe from untrustworthy merchants and hackers. You choose how much you want to add to a card, and that much will be on the card (you can refill cards or get new ones each time). You can choose to obtain a new card whenever needed.
Use a Crypto-Currency
Using a crypto-currency like Bitcoin. A lot of companies now accept BitCoins and it is thought to be one of the best ways to make anonymous purchases online.
However, remember Bitcoin is not inherently anonymous as you can be traced via your Bitcoin Wallet but there are number of ways to making the purchase of Bitcoins themselves more anonymous:-
- Pre-paid credit can then be used to buy Bitcoins anonymously if the transaction is performed through disposable email addresses etc.
- The website LocalBitcoins.com lets you find Bitcoin sellers who live near you. Once you have found a seller you are happy with, it is up to you to contact them and to arrange the transaction between you.
- Use a mixer service like SharedCoin which anonymises your Bitcoins by swapping them with multiple other users
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