Why Do People Deserve Internet Privacy and Anonymity?

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Why Do People Deserve Internet Privacy and Anonymity?

Nowadays Internet Privacy and Anonymity are of crucial importance! However, it’s easy to confuse these two concepts with each other. Privacy is to protect yourself while on the Web in such a way that nobody can see what you are busy doing, although they may be able to determine who you are; whereas if you’re anonymous, nobody knows who you are, although they may be able to observe what you’re doing. Of course, since they can’t figure out who you are, knowing what you’re doing has limited value.

With the advent of “fake news” and more serious crimes committed over the Internet, anonymity has become a hotly disputed political issue. Here’s why:

The Good

There’s no doubt that anonymity on the internet can do a lot of good. In countries with repressive governments that have a penchant for cracking down on descent, it’s a vital civic tool to promote citizen engagement. Anonymity allows government whistle blowers to provide information to journalists without fear of reprisal. It can even help facilitate large-scale protests which in the past have led to revolutions.

The Bad

Unfortunately, people who utilize anonymity for self-serving reasons will always be with us. Whether it’s to hurl insults via social media, harass a person or groups of people, or covertly monitor another user’s actions, anonymity can most certainly be used to ill effect.

The Ugly

The black market thrives on anonymity. The dark web is a place where anonymity and privacy come together to allow anyone with enough motivation to purchase a bewildering array of illegal goods and services – from drugs to guns to assassinations. However, this “wild west of the Internet” can also be used for less blatantly illegal purposes, such as to purchase prescription drugs at lower prices than you’ll find in your own country.

What do People try to Protect?

According to the Chief Digital Officer; Baglan Rhymes of AnchorFree; leader in Internet Freedom, privacy consists of many aspects. There is who you are and then what you do. Who you are is defined by your PII (personally identifiable information) which includes physical address, date of birth, phone numbers, social security number, email addresses and more including your IP address. What you do consists of your activities and transactions while online, including articles you read, online purchases you make, websites you visit, comments you post, personas you follow and which searches you execute.

What Data can be used for

Of course, PII is the most valuable data from a privacy perspective. With that, criminals can easily create a fake identity based on your information – with disastrous results for your finances. It’s also a goldmine for anyone who may be interested in stalking you.

Your transaction data is also very valuable not only to potential stalkers but to marketers who want to profile you so they can more successfully sell you goods and services. They’re always on the lookout for this kind of data, and there are numerous ways for them to get it – especially outside of Europe. In fact, it can be sold and resold multiple times. Companies, called data brokers, collect and maintain data involving millions of individuals. After analyzing, segmenting and packaging, they can sell your personal data without your permission or knowledge While this data does not generally include PII, it may be narrowed down to a single IP address which in return can be attributed to an individual.

If you’re searching for a way to make full use of the Internet without being vulnerable to data brokers and other unscrupulous actors, you can turn to companies such as AnchorFree.com that provides tools to help you surf the web without worrying what kind of digital footprint you’re leaving behind.Visit their informative website at http://www.anchorfree.com to learn more about privacy and peruse their services. With a little research, you can learn to protect yourself so that the next time you go online, your data – personal and otherwise – will not be up for grabs.

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