Protect Your Personal Data with Anonymous Hosting
By Michael Benninger
There are any number of reasons why you might be interested in hosting a website that isn’t associated with your name. Perhaps you’re a journalist with a story that could result in career suicide if it bore your byline. Or maybe you’re a corporate whistleblower with an alarming message you’d like leaked without consequences.
Then again, there’s a chance you don’t have anything secretive to share, and that you simply wish to express yourself anonymously. Whatever your reasons, you now have the ability to publish your information online without jeopardizing your privacy. Here’s an overview of what anonymous hosting involves and how you can get started.
What is Anonymous Hosting?
Anonymous hosting is a service that involves hosting a website for an unidentifiable owner. Most hosting companies don’t offer such plans, and instead ask users early on for their name and email address at the very least. And as far as financial transactions are concerned, most companies will require you to pay with accounts linked to your identity. For those who wish to keep their name unaffiliated with their website, these companies don’t leave many options. But some solutions do exist for those concerned about their privacy.
Getting Started with Anonymous Web Hosting
In the United States and European Union, hosting companies are required by law to collect personal data about their customers. And although many anonymous webmasters use fake names or other less-than-honest means to set up their sites on domestic hosts, more moral methods do exist. A handful of companies on the Internet advertise anonymous hosting, and they don’t ask for any personal information. Nearly all of these service providers are based offshore, and they largely rely upon bitcoin as a method of payment. By virtue of operating in this legal gray-area, it’s reasonable to assume not all of these companies are trustworthy. Fortunately, though, you do have reputable and reliable options.
Options for Anonymous Server Hosting
If you’re only in need of a simple site, you can use an anonymous email address to set up an account on Tumblr or WordPress. It’s recommended, though, that you cover your tracks by accessing the Internet via a virtual private network or by using the anonymous Tor browser. If you’re interested in building a more sophisticated site, three of your top options are Iceland’s Orange Website, Sweden’s PRQ, and the Anonymous Speech platform. Each of these options are completely legal and only require an email address to get started. PRQ tends to be a bit pricy, while the other two options are far more affordable.
Things to Keep in Mind
- Limit the number of third-party services you integrate into your site, and avoid using Google Analytics or other tracking tools.
- Use a virtual private network or the Tor browser whenever you connect to your anonymous email account or interact with your site at all.
Now that you have a solid understanding of how to get set up with anonymous hosting, take some time to set up your secretive site today.
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