Nobody wants to use the internet only to find that someone knows which sites you’ve visited. Online privacy is something we all want and expect, but in reality, it is quite difficult to attain without taking extra measures. With websites and businesses tracking your every move and collecting every tiny bit of your data, you are truly exposed online. So, how can you truly stay anonymous online?
This article will look closely at online anonymity and why it’s so difficult to stay private online. We’ll also be looking at why users are being tracked. Finally, we’ll cover a few different ways that users can improve their online anonymity, such as using a private browser and a reliable proxy. For the best proxy prices, Smartproxy is worth checking out.
We’ll be covering the following topics related to online anonymity:
- Why is our privacy threatened online?
- Why is online anonymity difficult to achieve?
- How to stay private online?
Why Is Our Privacy Threatened Online?
Businesses and websites rely on data to make different decisions. They’ve become so dependent on this information to remain competitive that some businesses are even willing to pay for data. This makes it a lucrative source of income for anyone with experience in collecting data.
Why Is Our Data Valuable, And What Happens To It?
User data is frequently collected and sold to businesses for marketing purposes. The more information that these businesses have on their target market, the better they can target ads to see a bigger return on investment as well as more leads and sales revenue. For example, when Facebook (now Meta) acquired WhatsApp, they spent $19.60 billion on the purchase. At the time, WhatsApp had 500 million users. This means that Facebook paid approximately $39.60 for each user’s data, such as name, address, telephone number, email and location.
However, at this stage, it’s still difficult to place an average value on a single user’s data as too many factors still influence it. More complete data sets, or that of more influential people, can be much more valuable. Sometimes the data of a single adult will sell for less than a dollar, but there are also cases where a user sold his own data on Kickstarter for $2733.00.
However, businesses aren’t the only ones interested in tracking users. Hackers and other cybercriminals will also track users and collect their data. This data can then either be sold on the dark web for other nefarious purposes or used by the individual to launch a bigger attack. These cybercriminals can use the data that they collect in phishing attacks, ransomware attacks, identity theft and fraud and many other malicious activities.
Why Is Online Anonymity Difficult To Achieve?
The main reason why it’s so difficult to stay anonymous online lies in a basic necessity we require to use the internet – our IP addresses. Your IP address is a unique identifier provided by your ISP. The IP address is essential for you to use the internet as it facilitates communication between the user and the different web servers. However, your IP address also contains a lot of information about you, including your name, ISP, location and more. It’s also an easy thing for websites and other individuals to track.
By having access to your IP address, websites can see your browsing history, search history and even how long you spend on different platforms. By tracking the location of your IP, individuals can also find out where you shop, which restaurants you visit, which doctors you frequent and even where you spend the night.
How To Stay Private Online?
Let’s take a look at what you can do to improve your online anonymity and stay private online.
P2P IP Sharing
P2P IP sharing is a process where users all share their device IP addresses with each other and basically use them as a type of proxy server. By doing this, a single individual cannot be tracked unless they connect to another network. This has become a popular practice that some businesses even offer to pay users to do. However, it should be noted that this is not truly private, and risks are associated with sharing an IP with businesses for money.
A better solution than P2P IP sharing already exists, and it’s called the Tor browser. Tor browser is one of the very few truly private browsers available. Many browsers offer private browsing or incognito modes, but your IP can still be tracked when using these. Tor, on the other hand, cannot be tracked and completely protects the user while browsing. If you haven’t tried it yet, you should give Tor a chance for your anonymity’s sake.
Proxies are one of the best ways to stay anonymous online. They completely hide your IP behind one of their own. This means that while browsing, websites and trackers will never see your IP address and can’t use it to track you. Proxy prices may be a bit more expensive than other measures, but they do provide complete anonymity. If you had to choose between these proxy prices and becoming a victim of identity theft, the proxy starts looking much more affordable.
VPNs are encrypted networks that protect the user’s identity online. Similarly to proxies, they don’t share your IP with web servers. However, VPNs can be banned on certain platforms.
Online anonymity is a difficult thing to achieve and one that many of us strive for. However, by implementing a few protective measures, such as private browsers and proxies, you can start protecting your privacy online and keep you from being tracked.