We like to think that the stuff we don online is anonymous, but the truth is privacy on the Internet does not really exist. Personal data ends up with your Internet service provider. Personal data is exposed by leaky products. Hackers access records without you ever knowing about it. Companies collect data as you browse online and then turn around and sell your private data to the highest bidder. Unless you take proactive steps to enhance your anonymity, your online traffic isn’t going to be nearly as safe as you think about. This article will explain how online anonymity works and explore measures you can take to improve your privacy and anonymity.
Online Privacy Doesn’t Exist
All the wonderful technological advances that we’ve made in the twenty-first century has transformed society and made all our lives better. However, all of this technology is vulnerable to anyone who has the knowledge to manipulate it. Unfortunately, the entities that know how to manipulate technology to their advantage are the ones we don’t want accessing our data, such as governments, hackers, and multinational corporations.
How to cover this topic: Talk about how privacy on the internet doesn’t really exist. Explain how personal data is getting exposed by leaky products, hacked records, sold private data, weak governmental protection of databases. Provide examples of poor/good online anonymity practices. A VPN should be presented as one of the good security measures for online anonymity. In some countries, companies and service providers have free rein to collect data from us and use that data however they see fit.
You see this every day when you’re online. If you were to shop for snow boots on Google today, you will probably start to see advertisements for snow boots all over the place almost immediately. While some might find these advertisements useful, the process is intrusive. Data can be used and sold, and in most places, there are very few rules governing what can and can’t be done with the data companies collect. The problem with data is that it hard to control. Once something is online, anyone with a WiFi connection can try to access it. You have to worry about leaks, theft, hacks, and more. Even when you browse in private mode, the privacy is still limited.
How to Improve Privacy
There are a few measures that you can take to improve your privacy online. One essential measure you need to take is improve your passwords. Your online data is only as safe as your passwords. You don’t want to use the same password for more than one account. You definitely do not want to reuse the password for your email. You want a lengthy and unique password. Avoid using your name or birthdate. The best option is to use a password generator. These passwords will be harder to crack.
Some other measures you can do include changing your browser settings to keep it from accepting cookies and install an ad blocker on your browser. You also want to be wary of what you put on social media. We often over share. If someone wants to attain private information about you, sites like Facebook are the first place they’re going to look. It is also a good idea to turn off ad personalization on Facebook.
Increase Anonymity with a VPN
One of the best measures you can take is to install a VPN on your devices. Read more on NordVPN review.
VPNs are specifically designed to make it harder for entities to track you or identify you while connected to the Internet. Most VPNs accomplish this my replacing your IP address with one of their own. Your traffic goes through an encrypted tunnel. This keeps your online activity private by preventing people from seeing where you are going and what you are doing. You want to look for a VPN that does not log your data. The nice thing about ExpressVPN is that you can use the VPN in conjunction with a Tor, what is known as Tor over VPN. This will essentially give you two layers of privacy. In addition to protecting your privacy and giving you anonymity, VPNs can be used to bypass streaming content that has geographical restrictions and to torrent content safely.
Our lives online are never as private as we want it to be. Most of us would prefer to be completely anonymous unless we’re interacting with friends. The reality is multinational companies are constantly collecting information about you, and you can’t really know what they’re using that data for. You also have to worry about hackers and other cybercriminals.
While some things are outside of your control, there is still plenty you can do to increase your anonymity while online.
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