Amazon is one of the greatest — or worst — advancements in technology (depending who you ask). For one, Amazon Prime makes it easy as pie to order anything and everything, with two-day shipping to boot. But also… maybe it’s a little too convenient to sit there and order more kitchen tools and bath mats from the comfort of your couch.
Whether you have an Android or an iPhone, the Amazon website and mobile app include plenty of useful tools like Prime Video, Amazon Music, or even access to an Alexa account or Fire TV.
Regardless, shopping online or on your mobile device can put your privacy at risk, as sites like Amazon track your purchase and browsing history to tailor ads directly to your liking. This can also give out some of your private information to people who probably shouldn’t have access.
However, if you set up your Amazon account anonymously, you’ll be able to circumvent a couple of these problems while still being able to shop until you drop. Here’s how to do it.
Use a Second Phone Number and Email
One of the easiest ways to secure an anonymous Amazon account is by using a second phone number and email when you sign up.
When you create a new Amazon account, there are a few pieces of personal information that you’ll need to give out on the registration page, such as a valid email and mobile phone number. You’ll probably also provide your credit card or debit card number as a payment method (if you’re not using a gift card), your full name, and a shipping address. Other information like wish lists are also accessible through your account settings.
If you use your personal email or phone number, you run the risk of providing some of your private information to Amazon as a corporation.
However, you can make a secondary email to use instead of your primary one. Not only does this protect you, but it can also keep unnecessary emails from Amazon out of sight and out of mind in a completely different inbox.
A second phone number is also helpful here because you may need to use multi-factor authentication to validate your account. Essentially, this involves using two or more contact methods which you’ll need to validate in order to prove to Amazon that you’re exactly who you say you are.
While this security feature is put in place to protect you, you can take it a step further by using a Burner number to authenticate your Amazon account. This way, you can keep your personal number completely separate.
Start Here: How to Get a Second Phone Number
Getting a second phone number through Burner is easy. All you need to do is input your preferred area code, and you’ll get an auto-generated number that matches.
When you need to use your Burner number for your dual-factor authentication one-time password (OTP) or code, you’ll still get a notification on the Burner app, so the validation is entirely seamless. The only difference is that your personal number is left entirely secure.
Plus, your second number can hide your personal cell from incoming callers so that you’re getting extra protection outside of just private browsing on Amazon. It also works both ways: When you make an outgoing call to someone else, they’ll only see your Burner number.
It’s a win-win for your peace of mind that also lets you shop online without worrying about being tracked. Get started with your seven-day free number trial.
Use an Incognito Browser to Shop in Private Step-By-Step
If you’re less worried about creating your account anonymously and more concerned about shopping without leaving a digital footprint, you may want to utilize the incognito browser on your computer. An incognito browser lets you surf the web without your search and activity history being saved. Just type in “www.amazon.com,” and you’ll be on the Amazon homepage and ready to shop.
On Google Chrome web browser with a Mac, you can make a new incognito tab by pressing Command, Shift, and the letter “n.” On Windows, Chrome OS, or Linux, you can do it by pressing Ctrl, Shift, and the letter “n.”
This tab will let you shop on Amazon or perform other tasks on the internet without them being saved in your search history. It’s perfect for hiding a surprise if you’re shopping for gifts around Christmas, birthdays, or other special occasions. While you can always just clear your browsing history, this ensures that you won't forget.
The only thing to remember about incognito browsing is that it is not necessarily anonymous. Companies can still track your ad data on an incognito tab, and the internet browsing software that you’re using can still have access to your search history if needed.
Importance of Internet Anonymity
Being anonymous on Amazon is important, but it’s just as important to be anonymous everywhere else online. Keeping to yourself when browsing can enhance your privacy to keep hackers and scammers from accessing your personal information, but it can also protect you from potential harassment when using social media sites.
Being smart and safe online can make it less stressful for you to meet new people through online dating, and it can also protect your computer from viruses and other types of malware. In general, giving out less information is always better — especially considering how cyberattacks have been on the rise.
Amazon makes it easy and efficient to shop online for whatever you need. However, shopping without an anonymous account can put your privacy and browsing history at risk while making it possible for other people to know what you’re ordering.
You can make an anonymous Amazon account by signing up with a secondary number and email outside of your primary ones. You can get a second number without needing to get a new cell phone by signing up for a Burner number. It will let you have access to your account while acting as a shield between your primary number.
But, if you just want to hide your shopping history, you can be sure to clear your search history after shopping or use an incognito tab to stay private at all times.
When it comes to internet privacy, be very afraid, analyst suggests | Harvard Gazette
Multifactor Authentication | The Ohio State University
The Cyberattacks Pandemic: A Look At Cybercrime in the COVID-19 Era | Techopedia