The Benefits of Remaining Anonymous Online

With the widespread presence of the internet around us these days and the degree of involvement it has in most people’s lives, it’s irresponsible to remain ignorant about how the system works. You’re likely submitting a lot of information about yourself to various services on a daily basis without even thinking about it. Nevertheless, a careless approach to your browsing activities can cost you a lot in the long run and being informed on the possible actions you can take to stay protected is becoming increasingly important. If you’re not convinced that you should pay attention to your online privacy, consider some of the points below.

Communication Privacy

If you’re like most people, a large volume of your communication happens exclusively online – between WhatsApp, Messenger, Skype, Discord, and dozens of other services, there’s something for everyone in there. You should make it a point to stick to services that offer full encryption if you don’t want information falling into the wrong hands. This will also make it more difficult for someone to tie specific comments you’ve made to your real-life identity.

It is easier than you think to connect the dots and figure out who’s behind something said online. Just because you logged into a separate account and used private mode, it doesn’t mean you’ve covered your tracks.

Targeted Advertising

Advertising is all around us, and it’s becoming more and more focused on the tools that companies employ to grab your attention. Revealing too much about your identity can make it easier for marketers to target you. And while you might not see this as a problem, it can become one if you’re not careful with your money.

You might not even realize what’s happening. After all, good advertising works by making you believe that you need certain things when you actually don’t. And when the companies behind these ads are able to combine everything they know about you with advanced artificial intelligence technology, they can find patterns that might scare the average person.

Data Leaks

Major and small companies suffer from data leaks all the time, and this is starting to become a regular occurrence. And when it happens, it often means that a lot of information about you gets leaked online for anyone to explore. This can be damaging to anyone, depending on the sites you’ve visited, and it’s a problem that’s gaining more attention every day.

You can’t do anything to prevent the leaks themselves from happening, but you can make it more difficult for hackers to do anything useful with the information they’ve obtained by trying to remain anonymous. Leaks are also a reason to follow some standard security practices. For example, never reusing the same password across different accounts or using 2-factor authentication wherever it’s supported. These can make a hacker’s job more difficult when they’re trying to get to you.

Stalkers

Just because it’s never happened to you, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t worry about it. Stalking is a real problem, and it’s becoming easier for malicious people to gain information on their victims with the help of the internet and smart devices. If you catch the attention of the wrong person, they could make your life very difficult for some time by exploiting information about you that’s available online. And just like in the scenario described above, you can’t control what others think about you and how they act, but you can limit the amount of information they have access to.

You Don’t Have to Be Wrong

Last but not least, remember that even if you believe everything you’re doing online is innocent and doesn’t have the potential to land you in any trouble, that might not be true. Even if that’s the case now, the situation could change in a short period of time. New governments sometimes bring about drastic changes to laws and regulations, and you might find yourself in an uncomfortable situation if there’s a lot of information about you online.

Don’t fall for the trap of thinking that this could never happen to you – it happens more often than you might think, and one quick look around the news should be enough to make that point clear.

You should also consider how easy it is to protect yourself from incidents of this type. Tools like a proxy or VPN can go a long way to making your connection not only more private but more secure in general. You will even be able to use unencrypted apps and services (with some limitations) without worrying that someone might be watching your every move.

*** This is a Security Bloggers Network syndicated blog from Security – TechSpective authored by Scott O'Haire. Read the original post at: https://techspective.net/2019/02/13/the-benefits-of-remaining-anonymous-online/