We had a live Q&A session on this topic on Facebook on 28/07/2017.
In the video, we demonstrate all the steps that are described on this page.
You can find the video here and on our YouTube channel.

Shopping anonymously on the Internet - is that possible?

We are often asked whether it is possible to shop anonymously on the Internet. The question is justified, because why should you have to give all your data just because you want to buy a bag of potting soil somewhere? We have put together some information that we hope will help you

What data is normally collected when shopping online?

There are 3 areas in which data is collected during online shopping:

Payment

Delivery

Device data

anonymous_payment_payment.png

anonymous_payment_delivery.png

anonymous_payment_data.png

Depending on the payment method, different data is generated and processed differently and passed on to service providers and banks.

For example: Your email address, account connection, credit card number, name, date of birth, address

The parcel carrier always needs an address including a person to whom the parcel should be delivered.

Exception: DHL service "Postlagerernd" (see below)

When surfing the Internet, you involuntarily leave data traces: your IP address and browser signature are stored in many places.

Is anonymous online shopping possible?

It is possible. But you have to consider all 3 areas

Anonymous payment

Delivery

Device data

anonymous_payment_payment_secure.png

anonymous_payment_delivery_secure.png

anonymous_payment_data_secure.png

The only way to pay truly anonymously is by Bitcoins. For this you need a Bitcoin wallet. Then you have to buy Bitcoins and store them in your Bitcoin Wallet. How to do all this is explained here.

You can then pay anonymously with your Bitcoins.

The parcel carrier usually needs an address with a name to deliver the package. Usually, parcel carriers do not check IDs, because they simply do not have time for that.

Just make sure that the name is also on the mailbox or on the doorbell.

Use the free Tor browser. With it you disguise your real IP address and don't leave any useful device data.

Tor Browser was recommended by Edward Snowden.

Frequently asked questions

Can't you just delete my data after the purchase?

Invoices are subject to the legal retention period. If we do not comply with this, we are liable to prosecution or risk being suspected of money laundering or tax evasion.

I find Bitcoin very cumbersome. Is there nothing simpler?

Not at the moment, unfortunately. There are other cryptocurrencies, but they all work on the same principle and are not easier to handle.

Which is safer? Shopping online or in a "real" store?

If you walk into a store dressed in a ski mask, pay with cash, and then carry your boxes home completely without leaving a trace (i.e., on foot) and without being recognized, then you've shopped anonymously in a store - congratulations!

In real life this does not work. Most people prefer to take the car. Cars have license plates. And almost nobody walks around with a ski mask. So it's enough if someone sees you leaving the store with your purchase and recognizes you, and your purchase in the store was no longer anonymous.

For this reason, we think online shopping as described above is definitely safer!

I still have a question!

No problem. Just send us an email.

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