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11 October 2022

3 Bright Ideas For Reinforcing Your Online Anonymity


Many people think that desiring anonymity suggests you plan to do something strange with it, but the truth is that you deserve to be exercise your right to privacy, within the bounds of the law, to whatever reason you wish. 


As such, the increasing digitization of our culture poses a problem to those who care about privacy - many software packages and services are free but use your data as the product. For example, TikTok, the popular social media app, has made headlines for its egregious use of data collection including gathering information about your device, its features, anything you type into their browser, and even your contacts. You need only look at the privacy policy you agree to in order to see this clearly laid out.


For some people, this is too much, and that’s a totally valid concern to have. So - if you wish to reinforce your online anonymity but still live a digital lifestyle, how can you achieve that? Well, true anonymity can be hard to find unless you live off-grid, only use highly secure devices, and encrypted traffic through public WiFi. We’re going to assume that you’ve made your peace with some level of tracking for practicalities sake, because more technical guides than this will be required if so. However, we do believe you’ll find some worth in the following advice:


Use Privacy-Prioritizing Services & Products


It’s possible to use services and products that allow you to avoid online tracking from companies seeking to build an advertising profile on you they can better market to. With search engines like DuckDuckGo that won’t track any of your searches or activity, to a de Googled phone that allows you a functional smartphone without any of the hidden trackers, you can invest your time and energy into alternative services made for consumer rights.


Steer Clear From Social Media, Or Use Private Accounts


Social media is notorious for tracking its users, and we’ve seen sites like Facebook and TikTok harvest data for questionable purposes. Does this mean you can never use a social media network again? Of course not, you get to decide what level of data harvesting you’re happy with. In some cases it can be worth only using it on desktop to avoid device fingerprinting and tracking your phone (Facebook often uses your contacts to build friend recommendation networks, for instance) while making a simplified account with limited volunteering info and secure privacy settings may be a tolerable way around it.


Be Careful Of Identifying Information


It’s best practice to never post pictures of yourself, your family, and certainly not your location online. It’s important to assume anything you put online will be there forever, and that anyone could see it even with privacy settings on. If you keep that in mind you can avoid taking your privacy for granted, and only volunteer it when necessary; like when being part of a websites ‘meet the team’ page for work.


With this advice, you’re sure to reinforce your online anonymity and exercise the rights you are entitled to.


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