Let me give you a few introductory thoughts on online anonymity!
Anonymity and privacy are two subjects that are very similar. The main difference is that privacy aims to prevent anyone from seeing what you do while anonymity hides who you are when you are doing whatever you are doing.
The way most of us are living today is making it increasingly difficult to uphold our privacy online. Internet technology relies on the flow of data because that is how developers and businesses know what their customers really want and need. All of our devices and software are constantly forwarding data back to the developers and businesses. In fact, the internet itself were built in a way that make everything you do leave a little trace that can be tracked back to you. This is the reason why online anonymity is so hard to achieve. Luckily for us, new tools are emerging.
Reasons Why Online Anonymity Is Important
Freedom of speech
Anonymity enables freedom of speech. It gives everybody the possibility to express their opinions without the risk of being discriminated. It gives everyone the right to speak without censorship or restraint by governments and authorities. A basic human right worth protecting.
Anonymity provides identity protection and creates a barrier between honest cyber citizens and cyber criminals. This enables anyone to use the internet safely.
Anonymity enables people with sensitive personal issues to reach out for help. May it be issues related to sexuality, medical conditions, legal issues or marital problems.
Delivery of sensitive data
Anonymity enables anyone trying to deliver sensitive data of any type, may it be personal, business or political, to do so in a secure manner without their identity being revealed.
Reasons Why Online Anonymity Is A Problem
Freedom of speech (again)
Freedom of speech on the internet generates an extreme amount of foul opinions, hate, harassment, extremism, racism, anti-feminism and other types of discriminating views.
Complicates crime fighting
Anonymity provides protection even for those with dishonest intentions and thus making it harder for the criminal justice system to catch anyone committing crimes.
Anonymity gives criminality a safe haven to thrive. If nobody would have to take responsibility for their own actions, then what would the internet look like?
Protecting your internet privacy can seem daunting if you don’t know how, but let’s start with the basics:
Understand how your data is collected
Almost every step information takes from your device to the web and back again can be used to trace you. The tips in this article will teach you how your personal information and identity are collected – and how to stop it.
Know your threat model
Everyone has different privacy needs, and that’s OK. A threat model is an analysis of how you’re vulnerable and who might want to take advantage of those vulnerabilities. Are you a high-level employee who has access to sensitive trade secrets? Do you have a social following that might include stalkers? Do you have an above-average income? Are you an ordinary person? Each of these people will have different threat models and all of them can benefit from more online anonymity.
Use the right tools
Privacy is important to a lot of people, so there are plenty of tools out there to help keep you anonymous. Once you know your threat model, you can choose your tools based on how you browse the internet and what you need to protect.
Learn good internet habits
On the internet, nobody can save you from yourself. The best security or anonymity tools won’t help you if you fall for a scam or decide to share private information on social media. Make sure you understand the tools you use online and where your data might end up when you share it.