The online environment is full of hackers who can gain access to your account without too much hassle. This is one of the reasons why you need to know a few simple tricks to protect your online privacy.
Sometimes a simple paragraph with your information that you post online can be enough for a skilled hacker to gain access to your account. You can never be too sure when it comes to your privacy, and what many don’t realize is that your identity is more than an identity card and your driver’s license, it can be your pet’s name and birthday. Your identity can be as simple as where you are and your last name.
Why do you need to preserve your anonymity?
Any online user has the right to anonymity. Fear that they may damage their image causes some people to give up their right to free speech. So, being anonymous, we have more courage to express our opinion because we know that we will not be reprimanded by our acquaintances, if they could see, by chance, the message posted on the Internet.
Freedom of expression is the fundamental right of man to say what he thinks openly, honestly and without putting on certain barriers. Many of us did not have this gift of free writing, and we often think that among the readers there are well-known people who will not be able to understand the style of expression: a little ironic, grotesque or very romantic.
So, anonymity is an easy way to express: you write honestly, openly and freely about what is happening in society, you say what you want to happen, you analyze the behavior of certain people, you can comment on anything and whatever on different websites.
Cookies are the most basic and widespread means of collecting personal data. They are small files, saved by web browsers on the user’s device and save certain information. Direct cookies, although they can be blocked, are useful and justified. A website will remember that you are logged in to your account or that you have chosen certain options.
Disabling these cookies will create amnesia for your favorite websites, which will forget that you have visited them before. All configurations made will have to be resumed. Problematic are third-party cookies, which send information to websites you may have never visited or companies with which you have no connection. For example, an advertisement may provide these cookies to an advertising company. Disabling these cookies is easy, as any of the major web browsers offer this option.
In addition to cookies, users can also be tracked and identified online through what is called a digital fingerprint. It can access a device’s graphics chipset and create a unique fingerprint for that device. The fingerprint is not stored on the device. It reaches the company that created it and is used to track the user’s online activities.
There are two ways to combat fingerprinting: by blocking it or by falsifying it. Blocking is not an effective method. Extensions and applications that do this can in turn be used as a means of identification in the online environment. Instead, it is recommended to use extensions. They intervene before the fingerprint is sent to the server and add false information. In this way, the fingerprint will no longer be able to indicate the real identity.
How to become anonymous online?
Those who want to become anonymous, to hide under an invisible cloak, to stay on the Internet so that no one knows who they are and what websites they access, have tools to help them.
The best way to surf the web anonymously is a proxy. They guarantee online privacy by providing a distinct IP address that works as a buffer between you and the visited website. While the website can still retain the data you insert into it, the proxy prevents the website from collecting data such as your personal IP address.
Keep in mind that free proxies are remarkably different from paid services. Organizations that promote these free public proxies are not completely straightforward about their services. There is no method to guarantee that these free proxies are not sharing your data and browsing information with third parties or that they don’t use it in illicit ways. Moreover, many users remain stuck on the same proxy IP address. Paid proxies usually provide more high-speed browsing, while free proxies significantly hinder your queries.
Also, there are many kinds of proxies, from transparent proxies (that don’t hide your real IP) to elite proxies. By using an elite proxy, the visited website won’t even know that you are behind a proxy. From its point of view, the proxy’s IP is your real IP address. Moreover, elite residential proxies will have a real user’s IP address and will not raise any suspicion whatsoever about the IP’s origin.
Internet privacy is a myth. There is no total privacy, neither in applications nor in web browsers. However, there are many options for limiting the amount of personal information that is collected.
The user is the most valued commodity on the internet. His personal information is wanted by all entities that live from advertising. Some behave decently in this regard, while others exceed any limit of any kind in the chase for as much data on as many people as possible. It is not the data itself that is the ultimate goal of these companies, but the conclusions that can be drawn from them and that can be used to serve the right advertisement at the right time and place.
Unfortunately, online privacy is a battle that cannot be won by the user. There are too many forms of pursuit and too many companies with significant resources at stake. However, there are ways to counter most of these leaks as we have already noticed in this article.
Written by Helen Bold, Content Writer
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