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Anonymity on the Internet - how realistic is it

31.01.2023
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In addition to general anonymity, which is generally very useful when having discussions, especially with the powerful, there are two basic things you can protect by maintaining your own privacy and anonymity online.

Most importantly, you will be able to protect your identity, as well as the identities of your friends and family members. Breaking your privacy can lead to something more dangerous than just an annoying targeted marketing campaign. There is a risk of more serious problems, such as the theft of your identity. In addition, the personal information you gave to another person or company could fall into the hands of hackers if they have a data breach or premeditated hack.

Second, you will be able to protect your personal information. Your personal data includes photos, videos and chat messages, as well as your professional data and documents, which can be work files, company information or anything similar that you normally store in your computer memory. Failing to protect this kind of data can lead to significant financial and legal problems, depending on the type of data you host and store. In addition, the data stolen from you could be the subject of blackmail demanding a ransom payment, which means that someone will threaten to release your own data if you don't pay the blackmailers. If something like this does happen to you, it's best to go to the police. It's important to catch the blackmailer, as there's no guarantee that your information won't be released, even if you pay for it.

Finally, your information could be used by scammers and abusers for their own benefit and you won't even know it. If you have internet publicity and your information is publicly available, which is not uncommon now, you are open to attack or some kind of malicious influence on you.

Personal privacy and device privacyThere are two kinds of privacy: individual privacy and privacy of your devices.

If you want to protect your privacy, for starters, don't make it publicly available, don't post actual information about yourself, your family, work, hobbies, your status and wealth on social media, don't give anyone your passwords, PINs or your personal cell phone number.

Important note: Having two phone numbers is becoming increasingly necessary to protect your privacy and anonymity online. It makes sense to have a dedicated phone number for strictly personal purposes and another one for various other needs. Using one number for all purposes can be insecure, as hackers can clone your phone and easily gain access to everything associated with that number. If you only have one phone number, make sure that it is not publicly available and that you do not share it with any companies, retailers or other unknown and/or untrustworthy entities.

Technical privacy is designed to protect your device data, and therefore your personal information. Devices now include not only your computer or smartphone, but all devices in your home, including game consoles, printers, smart TV or any other device. With the rise of the Internet of Things (IoT), there is a long list of devices that can connect to the Internet, and they will all use the same router with the same IP address provided by your Internet Service Provider (ISP). To ensure technical privacy, you should be sure to connect all of your devices to a VPN, as well as update their software and protect them with anti-virus and anti-spyware software.

Privacy and security of personal dataPersonal privacy and anonymity on the Internet can only be assured through strong data protection. We can expect that new laws will be created in the future to help protect individual security on the Internet even better, but this still will not solve the problem of illegal data collection and abuse by companies, institutions or other organizations to which we have shared our data.

Because of these risks, we will all need to make a personal effort to protect both ourselves and the people we communicate with, especially those who hold our data. This will be several layers of security.

In order to externally protect your information, you need to make every effort on your own to ensure your own anonymity on the Internet. If you really need to have a personal Facebook account to communicate with your family members, make the account as sparse as possible. You should not provide your own email address, home address, or cell phone number. You should also not list any employers, as this may contribute to the collection of information about you, but already through the employer.

Secondly, you will definitely need to connect all your devices to the Internet using a virtual private network - VPN, it will hide the IP address provided by your ISP, which is directly linked to your personal data: your name and home address.

Finally, internal protection is ensured by regular software updates on all your devices and the use of reliable professional anti-virus and anti-spyware software.

How does a VPN protect your privacy and anonymity online?Nowadays, almost no internet connection can do without a VPN; this is an acknowledged fact. However, not all VPN services are the same, there is a big difference between a simple proxy connection, a free VPN or a high-speed VPN service that is provided by a professional VPN provider. Because technology improvements have made VPN prices generally available, there's no reason that would prevent you from signing up for a VPN and getting the fastest VPN access to the Internet at the same speed as a regular connection to your ISP.

Using a VPN server will mask your IP address. The VPN will also provide you with a tunnel connection that will protect your devices from your online activity being monitored and collecting metadata. This is important because your privacy and anonymity online can sometimes be compromised by your ISP, and a VPN tunnel won't let that happen. A VPN is the only way to reliably protect your data and important information; it allows you to keep your privacy and anonymity online at all times.