Thursday, September 1, 2016

On how to keep your real identity secret when browsing the web

On how to establish a second
identity online and keeping it private.
Photo: Altrendo
On how to keep your online activities private from friends, family and colleagues.

People who visit TG sites and take part in forums where one discuss gender transformation and crossdressing may -- for obvious reasons -- feel the need to protect their real identity.

If you need to keep your other side a secret from family, friends, colleagues and other people, it is important to establish a good routine for reading and posting online.

Online life is becoming increasingly complicated. We often use several computers, smart phones and tablets at the same time, and the chances of someone finding out what you have been up to are increasing.

Outed by accident

I know of quite a few TG fiction fans who have had their secret "hobby" exposed to family and friends due to some accident:

1. They have been disturbed while reading and writing and left a Fictionmania story open in a tab.
2. There has been a computer crash and the PC has reopened the tabs from the previous session.
3. They have used their regular email instead of their dedicated TG email by mistake.
4. They have used their regular social media account instead of their dedicated TG one by mistake.
5. They have saved captions and stories in one of their regular document folders.
6. Family members have search the browser history in order to retrace a site and found World of TG in the list.

Compartmentalize!


The trick to avoiding this kind of calamity is to keep your online TG identity completely separate from your regular identity.

Compartmentalization is key. The best would be to use a separate computer, but since that is not often possible, you can do the following instead:

1. Establish a separate email address. Gmail or Yahoo Mail works well. Use a different password from the ones you are using for your ordinary mail and sites. Use this email address when signing up to sites.

2. Use a separate browser for your second life. Do not add this browser to desktop shortcuts. Note that there are alternative browsers for smart phones and tablets as well. Here are some popular alternatives to Explorer and Safari: Chrome, Firefox, Opera, Vivaldi, Seamonkey and Citrio.

3. Alternatively: Always use incognito/private browser windows when surfing as your second self. The advantage of doing so is that the browser will delete your history as soon as you close that window. Most browsers have this feature, but please note that this method is not 100 percent fool proof. 

4. When signing up for online forums, services or stores, use your second identity, and use a separate password.

5. If your second identity email contains references to your real life identity, make sure that you use a complex password combining, for instance, a long word phrase and a number. Do not use the same password for other sites online.

6. If you are writing TG stories or captions, save them on a separate password protected hard drive. Hard disks are very cheap these days. There is really no excuse for not doing so.

You can password protects hard drives using Bitlocker in Windows and Disk Utility in MacOS. Disconnect the hard drive and remove it when you have finished working.

7. Alternatively you may password protect a virtual disk image on a Mac or a folder in Windows. This is not equally safe, however, as you may leave it open by accident.

8. On smart phones and tablets: Keep shortcuts to TG relevant sites and apps in a separate folder and give this folder a non-revealing name.

9. If you want to protect your IP address from being tracked by sites, you need to invest in some kind of VPN solution or a specialized browser (Tor for Windows and Mac; Opera has a free one for smart phones and tablets, and for the Opera browser).

Note, however, that as long as you use one of the larger Internet Service Providers it is hard to use your IP address to find out who you are. At best, web site owners will find out what country or region you are in while surfing. (The ISP can find out, however.)

None of these solutions are hacker proof, but they will stop most people from discovering your other identity.

Thanks to the good people over at the Crossdream Life forum for crossdressers and crossdreamers for helping me with this blog post!

5 comments:

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  5. Chrome allows for multiple users, that has a separate favourite and history section.

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