Online anonymity is a growing concern as we learn about more data breaches and companies tracking our activities and data online. While browsing the internet, you may inadvertently share your personal details and preferences with third-party companies without even realizing it.
This article will look at online anonymity and the different ways to stay anonymous online, such as using a location proxy like a US proxy or private browser.
In this article, we’ll be covering the following topics related to online anonymity:
- How are you being tracked online?
- Why are you being tracked?
- Ways to stay anonymous
How Are You Being Tracked Online?
The most common way you’re being tracked online is through your IP address. Every site you visit or spend time on monitors your activity on the site through your IP address. Your IP address is a unique identifier allocated to your network by your ISP. No other network will have the same IP address, which is how websites, apps and businesses can see who accesses their platform. This is also how they see how long you spend on different pages. Another thing they do is to leave cookies on your device. While these cookies are supposed to improve your browsing experience, some can also be used to track your activity after leaving the website.
IP tracking can give these websites a lot of personal information about you. Your IP address already shares some of your details with the website, such as your name, browser and version, operating system and other device details. Tracking cookies, fill in even more details by providing your browsing history, so sites you visited and how long you spent on them. If you had your GPS active on your mobile device (which is also linked to your IP address), apps and websites might track your location to see what shops you visit, restaurants you eat at, and even where you spend the night. This combined starts turning into a very accurate and scary picture of your life.
Why Are You Being Tracked?
One of the main reasons websites and businesses track you is for marketing purposes. The more information they can gather about you, the easier it is for them to create targeted ads. If businesses know what types of websites you visit and where you spend most of your time online, they can use that information to curate personalized advertisements that have a better chance of converting to a sale. This information is so important to businesses that they are even willing to pay for it.
Unfortunately, there are also other individuals who might track you to collect more information about you for nefarious reasons. This could include identity theft, stealing login credentials or launching ransomware, phishing or other attacks.
Ways To Stay Anonymous Online
Online privacy is extremely important. Nobody wants their personal details and history floating around somewhere and ending up in the wrong person’s hands. So how can you protect your online anonymity? Luckily, you can do a few things that don’t involve going off the grid. However, it does involve becoming more aware of how you use the internet and what information you put out there. Let’s look at a few ways you can stay anonymous online.
P2P IP Sharing
With most of us being tracked through our IP address, one way to stay safe online that has proven quite popular is P2P (peer-to-peer) IP sharing. In this type of network, users share their IP addresses and use each other’s devices as a proxy. All of the users in a P2P network have pseudonyms by default. Since the users of the IPs keep rotating, tracking is nearly impossible, and any data gathered will be incomplete and unusable. This is becoming so popular that some companies even pay users to become part of a P2P network. However, doing this only for the money and relying on other businesses might not be the best way to set up a safe P2P IP sharing network.
Proxies are another great solution since they completely disguise your IP address behind one of their own. There are also many different types of proxies that you can choose from. For example, you might decide to completely throw trackers off by using a location-specific proxy such as a US proxy, China proxy, etc. A US proxy is a residential proxy, meaning that the IP addresses in this pool are from real devices located in the US. Using one of these will make it look like you’re accessing the internet from within the US, even if you’re in another part of the world. You can also use these proxies to bypass geo-restrictions.
Many browsers claim to be private or promote versions that they say don’t track your browsing. However, many of these still keep some record of your online activity. The Tor browser is the best option if you want real online privacy while browsing. This is a truly private network that was created for users who weren’t allowed to visit certain websites or share certain opinions due to laws in their countries. Tor browser was born to give individuals a way to browse the internet without being tracked, records being kept, and even let users bypass certain geo-restrictions. If you’re concerned about your online anonymity, then you should definitely give Tor browser a try.
Online anonymity is a growing concern, and for a good reason. It’s challenging to feel safe with businesses and individuals tracking your every move online to make extra money. However, by implementing a few measures, such as using a proxy and Tor browser and being careful about what you share online, you can start protecting your online anonymity.