Understanding the Benefits and Limits of Internet Anonymity

No matter how social a person may be, keeping your activities secret will help ensure that you have a spic and span reputation online. You show people what you want them to see, and still have your dignity and reputation intact. However, with the rise of Internet and social media, it is already difficult to protect your identity and stay anonymous.

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Even if you use an alias, you are not sure if your identity is protected from theft, bullying, and other harmful Internet effects. While anonymity made people speak out without fear of the repercussions their actions will make, it is not enough to protect yourself from Internet crimes. As long as you are active online, thieves can use your identity to commit crimes.

Experts at data manipulation (a.k.a. Hackers) can have a number of fake identities and expertly gain access to other people's online data. Since no one knows who they are as they use fake passwords, accounts, and names, they can create numerous Internet crimes, such as bullying, racism, impersonation of people and stock market manipulation.

If you believe using an alias online can protect you from hackers, you are wrong. Your digital footprint can easily be deconstructed and sensitive information you thought you were protecting can be traced back to you. Hackers can hack into your account and find out your real identity -- especially if you have more than two accounts.

They will use the newly acquired identity to commit crimes, possibly destroying your identity and your reputation.

Why does this happen? Well, the Internet has recorded and archived your real profile already. You already established your real identity the moment you started using the Internet. You may use aliases and different usernames in forums and blogs, but you still have your Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts. Hackers can easily identify you with these social media accounts, especially if they are connected to your aliases. No matter how anonymous you are, there is a big chance you will become a victim of identity theft.

Internet Security Tips

However, there are ways to prevent yourself from becoming a victim. All you have to do is just follow a few tips.

• Never be complacent in creating passwords. As much as possible, never use simple passwords or, worse, use the same one on all of your accounts. Even if they are complicated, some websites have less security in protecting passwords. It is hard to memorize many passwords, but this is for your own good and the protection of your identity.

• Make sure the website you are visiting is not fake because leading you to a fake website is what hackers like to do. This is especially true for websites that ask for your personal details.

• If you are going to be anonymous online and are going to do stuff that may have repercussions, make sure you stay anonymous. Do not go out revealing who you are even offline because the world has become a smaller place with the Internet.

• Lastly, try using Web anonymizers hat help hide your identity while using the Internet. They come in the form of VPNs, web proxies, and other online anonymity enhancing services. When you have these, thieves and hackers will have a hard tie tracking or monitoring your activity and location.