Hey Anon,

Here's my quick guide to being anonymous on the internet. Being (and staying) anonymous is important since people out there will target you even for showing an interest in Bitcoin. This is obviously a nym that I'm on, and it's certainly not my first, and likely won't be my last. Hopefully this will help someone wanting to ensure their OPSEC is good enough to make them feel secure both online and in the real world

First, I think it's important to have a normie (nameface-like) account which is tied to your real name. You'll never use this for anything Bitcoin-related of course, but this is only to have some form of online presence as your actual self. This can be as simple as an email, LinkedIn, and Twitter, for literally all the normie shit that may be expected of you. I use the normie email for banking and things like that. For LinkedIn and Twitter it's obvious if you know you'll never need to work for an employer again you'd skip that, but if you're not there yet, just follow some CEOs and like some woke shit every once in a while.

The Digital Life

There are tons of guides out there to teach one how to be anonymous on the internet. Personally, I feel that most of them are over-the-top with paranoia, which may be necessary in some cases, but not so much for shit-talking with people online about Bitcoin (yet?). It's good to get an overall understanding of the most-anonymous services/utilities you can use, but I think it can be simplified quite a bit.

Password managers and generated passwords should be used for everything you set up regardless. I use Bitwarden for this and a YubiKey for 2FA. This way I don't have to memorize passwords (except the one to log into Bitwarden) and it makes it easy to organize my anonymous accounts.

VPNs are essential to routing your traffic outside of your network so that your ISP can't snoop on you. There are good and bad VPNs out there, I would just stick with Mullvad. Mullvad is simple enough that you just generate an account and pay it, they even take bitcoin (main chain only, no Lighting Network yet). One account will let you have up to 5 devices connected so make sure that your desktop/laptop is always connected as well as your phone. You should configure the client to connect at startup on all devices. I haven't noticed any significant speed difference while being connected to a VPN at all times.

I always make a new email for any nym. For this I use ProtonMail because it's simple and they don't require a lot of info to sign up. They have a free plan that gives 500 MB of storage which is plenty for this purpose since you shouldn't be receiving too many emails on this account anyway.

With the new email, you're now able to make a Twitter account and whatever services you want to associate with the nym. However, the fewer services the better so that your online footprint is smaller. For example, I don't set up a Telegram or Signal for nyms since you need a phone number to sign up. You should also consider segregating your browser habits by using one browser only for anonymous accounts, and another for your normal self things (like banking, shopping, etc.). This is the hardest part is remembering to separate out the different lives you have to keep from slipping and getting them mixed up.

This brings me to KYC-free bitcoin, which is what I'm actively learning about now. There are other guides on how to keep your bitcoin transactions anonymous, so I won't cover that here. But I will briefly discuss what I think is good practice for wallet management. I keep all KYC-free bitcoin its own hardware wallet (a ColdCard), so that I'm certain that I don't accidentally mix it with doxxed coins (bought from an exchange).

Let's Get Physical

Physical security is equally important. You don't want to have gone through all that trouble to stay anon online, only to be an easy target in real life.

An important point when dealing with my bitcoin is I never use the same computer as I browse on. I have a separate laptop with Linux (Ubuntu is fine enough for this) installed which is the only machine that my hardware wallets ever plug into. If you're not technically savvy, you should spend some time here to learn some Linux basics, since Windows and MacOS simply can't be trusted with regards to privacy. When using the separate laptop, you should always bookmark the common sites you need, and once you have them bookmarked, only use those bookmarks (never click on links, but you shouldn't be browsing on this machine anyway).

Neighbors will ask you what you do for work. You will want to orange pill them. If, over time while talking with them, you feel that they hold the same values of security as you do, feel free to tell them about Bitcoin (remember, talk about bitcoin, not your bitcoin) to gauge their interest. Most likely though, they're an unnecessary risk since you don't know who they'll tell in passing that all your money is from bitcoin and word spreads. You'll want to have a response for them, so just be prepared with an answer.

What to do at conferences, should you actually attend? Be yourself of course, kind and courteous, like most Bitcoiners are. Simply don't reveal that you have any specific nym. If you encounter a nameface that you've interacted with online, at most tell them you're anon and you've had a few conversations with them before. That's not revealing enough for them to figure out who you are (they talk to a lot of people) and it's reassuring enough that you're not some stalker. If you're a popular nym, you may be tempted to tell someone or to tell a particular nameface that you're you, don't!

1 sats \ 0 replies \ @MrLuee 11 Oct

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Cross-linking this as I find this to be a good resource/starting point as well https://stacker.news/items/3326

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1 sats \ 0 replies \ @bataroot 10 Oct

In the same line of thought, a helpful resource to de-google your digital presence https://github.com/tycrek/degoogle

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1 sats \ 0 replies \ @delfinkrt 10 Oct

nice work

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