Maintaining perfect anonymity is impossible; but near-perfect anonymity can be achieved. We say this because of this simple case: if your computer is compromised, while it is powered on, either by physical theft or a terrible software virus, no amount of security efforts can save it. Strong encryption can be bypassed in this fictional scenario. Some may doubt even the efficacy of hardware itself, and assume that all modern hardware is spyware. We do not intend to induce schizophrenia; rather, we would like to interject calmness, by providing a solution for very good anonymity.
- The only scheme for perfect online anonymity is to not use the Web.
The below paragraphs contain links to outside websites and sources of data; we maintain that the individual must verify the links therein.
- Purchase a cheap laptop or desktop from Craigslist (or a similar site) or a friend with cash- no credit or debit; the operating system does not matter; do NOT use an older computer of your own- the MAC address of this computer is likely already linked to your person
- (Most secure) Install the Tails OS onto a small flash drive and boot from this (note: Tails is amnesic, meaning it has no permanent storage); this acts as a disposable OS
- (Very secure) Install the Qubes + Whonix operating system combo if you prefer near-perfect security and normal computer functions (like permanent storage); read Qubes' hardware compatibility list to ensure that one's hardware is compatible with Qubes: https://www.qubes-os.org/hcl/ (https://archive.is/5Cpxz)
- (Secure) Install Whonix's gateway and workspace into two VirtualBox VMs, inside a Linux host OS; do not use Windows or MacOS as the host OS; this use of VMs can be used to get the functionalities of any other OS, while maintaining a Linux base
- Encrypt all drives of the computer with VeraCrypt
- Follow the same procedures detailed in DHitMA: Preserving Your Online Anonymity in using this computer; but, do not EVER use or log into ANY accounts that may be linked to you
- Start absolutely FRESH and make new accounts for everything you need; re-using old accounts, if they have already been established as belonging to you, defeats the purpose of using this scheme
- Using Tails or Whonix routes ALL Internet traffic through the Tor protocol (not just your Web browser), so a VPN is not necessary if this route is taken
We recommend reading Whonix's warning page, https://www.whonix.org/wiki/Warning (https://archive.is/LxDil), to understand why no scheme is perfect.