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Faking an Online Identity

by Mic Johnson

Allow me to start this article with two important points: it is easy to fake your online identity but doing so doesn’t mean you are doing it for malicious purposes. Faking your online identity is as  much of a safety precaution with all the identity theft cases rippling through our society. Now, faking some aspects of your digital identity are easier than you think in today’s modern world – getting a fake IP address, for example, takes only a couple of clicks.

Even though there are plenty of reasons to stay anonymous online, people still want to use services like Facebook and Instagram. Sadly, they require you to give up a lot of personal details.

Rather than placing your real identity in harm’s way, using an alternate identity for online activities is the better way to go. You still have access to the benefits of modern online services and social media sites, but you are not giving away control over your personal details in return.

Changing Your IP Address

The first and most important thing you need to do when trying to hide your true identity online is altering your IP address. Remember, websites and online services track you across the World Wide Web by using your IP address as one of the primary markers. It reveals a lot about you, including your geolocation and, for web giants like Google and Facebook, a lot of details about your online activities.

Faking your IP address is the perfect – and most crucial – first step in going anonymous online. There are two ways you can alter your public-facing IP address. You can pick the best provider and use a proxy server and put a smokescreen between your devices and the rest of the internet. Proxy servers act as an intermediary, which means the target servers will only see the IP address of your proxy.

Another way to hide or fake your IP address is by using a VPN. Unlike a proxy server, VPN or Virtual Private Network connects you to a single intermediary server using a secure connection method. Every request you send to the World Wide Web will then be processed and resent by the VPN server, creating yet another layer of protection in the process.

To make you even less trackable, make sure to set your browser’s cookie settings to refuse third-party cookies and delete all existing cookies when you close the browser. It will log you out of online sites, but it’s a small price to pay for online privacy.

An Online Persona

Once you have your original IP address masked, the rest of the process is fairly easy. In fact, you can tackle the next big challenge in the process: creating an online persona. Sure, this may seem like a big task to tackle at first, but you have plenty of tools and resources to help you get started.

You can, for example, prepare some avatars and photos for your online presence using AI-assisted tools. There are websites and online tools that offer AI-generated faces. You can try https://thispersondoesnotexist.com if you want to get started. As described, artificial intelligence is used to generate faces that don’t just look organic and real, but also unique.

That last part is actually important. Uniqueness is tied closely to your online persona. In order to create a believable online profile, you have to create an online presence that isn’t a copy of another. You can see how tools like ThisPersonDoesNotExist.com are useful in this process.

Of course, you still need to develop an entire persona for the new online identity; there is a tool for that too. Name-generator.com automatically generates the necessary details for your new online presence. Forget about setting an address, figuring out the right ZIP code to use, or even setting up an email address for the fake person. Everything is handled automatically for you.

At this point, you can begin setting up social media pages and other online presence to support the new identity. Creating an entire portfolio of online pages for the fake identity will help sell the effect and make the person more credible.

An Entire Online Presence

That brings us to the online presence itself. There are a few elements you want to add to make the online presence of the fake person – your alternate identity – believable. At the very least, you want to set up Twitter and Instagram accounts for the new identity, complete with photos and activities. It is a time-consuming process but a necessary step, nonetheless.

The more you add to the online presence, the more natural it will seem. Don’t be surprised to find people following your social media accounts and actually trying to communicate with you personally. That is how impactful a strong online presence can be.

What you do with the fake identity is entirely up to you. I’m not suggesting you use the online identity for malicious intents; not at all. Having an alternate identity for online activities is a great way to protect your personal life and fully benefit from online services without giving away too much about yourself.

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