How to Practice Good Anonymity While Browsing the Internet
It is essential that all Internet users become aware of what is anonymity on the Internet if they haven’t already. In most cases however, as statistics show, users have little understanding of anonymity in general in the context of Internet use. And, in an Internet environment like today, that’s a big mistake. It would be like driving through the Amazon jungle in a topless vehicle.
Being anonymous on the Internet may seem synonymous with something clandestine, or risky, but it is quite the opposite in this context. Online anonymity is strongly encouraged these days, for very good reasons. When it comes to the modern internet, privacy and security are two basic items on the list that need to be checked off before doing anything else, e.g. shopping online, accessing accounts, email checking, social media and instant messaging. Putting on a headset before going online is always a good idea.
For the reasons above, everyone should understand what anonymity is and put into practice the knowledge and best practices below. This way, user data will remain safe and privacy will not be compromised. Privacy, after all, is a fundamental human right and this should also apply to the digital realm.
Why is anonymity important online?
Most people trust technology to an extent that defies logical reasoning. Not only do they trust tech devices, but they also trust the big brands behind those devices. And, they entrust these brands with their most valuable and sensitive data, handing it over to them without much thought. After all, these brands store the activity that takes place on these devices. However, it is not just the devices, but the constitution (structure) of the Internet itself that is an enemy of privacy and security.
Hiding behind a smartphone, laptop or other devices has never guaranteed any kind of security or anonymity. IT professionals have always known this. On the contrary, using these devices blindly is inherently dangerous. The reason people don’t know this is because the majority of people don’t understand privacy or cybersecurity, due to the boring and technical nature of these things. For most people, if there is a technical problem with the computer, they will contact a computer technician or contact the manufacturer. However, this in itself is far from a solution, and also a serious mistake.
A user’s anonymity can be violated in several ways;
- Data collection on the Internet
- Internet behavior and tracking analytics
- Devices like smartphones that track and record the user
- Other smart IoT devices that also do the same
When did all this start? Why is there an urgent need to be anonymous? Many people have understood that data is collected, websites are not genuine, and the internet is not safe overall. Nothing can be trusted, not even a seemingly innocuous Internet Service Provider (ISP) or the way the government handles data.
Over the years, the biggest tech companies have also proven to misuse customer data and loyalty. Proof of this is that the marketing of digital products and services (like social media platforms, instant messaging, games, etc.) for profit has diminished the importance of privacy, security and rights of consumers. clients.
It is also important to mention the presence of cybercrime on the Internet. Anonymity is also useful here, because if a user cannot be easily tracked, the risk of them suffering cyber incidents such as theft and/or identity theft is greatly reduced.
Fortunately, the IT community now knows a lot about anonymity, as an entire industry has grown up around this growing demand. The knowledge, as well as the tools, are there for those who seek them.
Anonymity Best Practices
The modern Internet and modern digital devices and services demand a certain amount of self-control from the user. It means understanding how to be anonymous and secure online. To do this, the user must take into account these well-known and tested guidelines;
- The use of readily available cybersecurity tools
- Make internet best practices a daily habit
Now, what are these cybersecurity tools and Internet habits that should be the default for anyone who interacts with technology on a daily basis? One of the most important is to understand that privacy and security settings exist for almost every service. These should be thoroughly considered (no skimming) and implemented where possible.
Second, using VPN or virtual private network software is recommended by everyone these days, like the world’s top information security experts. This is software that protects and anonymizes the user’s Internet connection from the source, immediately eliminating a host of problems. There are tons of premium VPN choices today that millions of people are already using.
The good old password is perhaps the most important, but the most basic and widely used security protocol. Millions of Internet users do not use strong enough passwords (long enough and random enough), or even worse, repeat the same password on several accounts. Worse still, some people tend to share their passwords online.
There are, of course, more guidelines that need to be followed. These are:
- Do not interact with suspicious or bizarre emails (phishing scam attempts)
- Using a Privacy-Focused Internet Browser to Reduce Tracking
- Opt for an alternative to mainstream messaging services (like Signal)
- Avoid unnecessary sharing of information on social networks
- Opting out of targeted online advertisements where possible
- Reject marketing cookies when accessing websites
Is it possible to be completely anonymous online? The answer to this question is: yes. However, it’s a lot of work to completely “unplug” and isn’t necessary unless the user is leaking government secrets or is a hardcore hacker.
Simply following the steps above and taking advantage of readily available cybersecurity tools will increase user anonymity from 0% to 90% anyway. Whether one needs that extra 10% to reach 100% depends on the activity, knowledge is just a click away.