Why You Are Never Private Online

Society | January 27, 2022, Thursday // 12:17
Bulgaria: Why You Are Never Private Online pixabay.com

The internet has come a long way since its infancy. What seemed like an ever-growing haven for geeks and technology enthusiasts has expanded into an inconceivable digital world full of information and mysteries.

However, as we observe further advancements in information technologies, the power of digital structures gravitates towards tech giants that have the resources to control the data on the web. For example, what started as an idea for a search engine, Google utilized the revolutionary idea to become an unstoppable internet services company that manipulates the way we use the web and constantly pushes it to new heights. For non-tech-savvy internet users, Google is the internet: we use an internet browser developed by Google, and in most cases, there is no need to use web addresses - most of the time, everything is taken care of by the almighty search engine.

At first, one of the main appeals of the internet was its anonymity. A space that connects people all around the world without exposing their identity offers valuable freedom and safety for some individuals, but also creates opportunities for criminals to communicate and share dangerous ideas. Internet privacy was necessary to accelerate the development of computer systems and the modernization of the world we see today, but progress and convenience come at the price of privacy and anonymity.

Anything you post can be scraped or hacked. If your data is online, you are never private. Even though we can change an IP address with a proxy server or a chrome proxy extension, that does not prevent digital fingerprints that stay forever on the web, tying your actions to your identity. However, that does not mean that preventive measures are useless. Even a simple chrome proxy extension masks your network identity, which can be used by cybercriminals to determine your approximate location, launch Denial of Service (DoS) attacks, and in worst cases - get access to your computer and track data packets that contain sensitive information. In this article, we will explain why internet users today are never private online, but preventive measures can be taken to minimize exposure. Click here to learn more about internet privacy from one of the best proxy server providers. For now, let's focus on the lack of anonymity and the consequences of digital footprints.

Social media networks - the new masters of our data

Most people on the web are familiar with the embarrassing experience of reviewing your old pictures and posts on Facebook, Instagram, and other prevalent social media platforms. While most of them will remind you of the good old days spent with friends, anything you post on the internet is never private. This is a cause for concern and even paranoia for many social media users that regret some of the actions committed on the web.

Unfortunately, the only way to ensure privacy and anonymity in such cases is to limit or completely avoid posting on social media. While all your decisions can remain in the database of these networks, you can still delete your posts to prevent others from seeing them. This is especially useful when trying to create a more serious, presentable profile for future connections, or creating a better first impression for a future employer.

While internet privacy can still be a cause for concern for an average web surfer, the extent of potential threats is far greater for influencers and other public figures. Social media networks have many benefits that allow them to stay in touch with fans and supporters. However, to maximize engagement and growth of a fan base, these social media accounts have to create more posts than an average user while also slipping in entertaining elements of personal life. Then, even a simple post has to be overanalyzed to avoid unwanted exposure that could ruin one's public image. Since we are never private online, every step will leave an everlasting footprint.

You can still fight for your privacy

Fortunately, we have simple yet effective tools that help us prevent a big part of the exposure of data online. A simple proxy server that carries data packets on your behalf will hide your IP address from the recipient server. This is especially useful for unprotected HTTP connections, where an owner can see unencrypted data packets, as well as your IP address.

Even if proxy servers do not erase your digital footprints, any actions that are not tied to your social media profile will be much harder to trace back to your network identity. Because the demand for proxy servers and other privacy tools is growing, it sends a clear signal to big tech companies that internet users show an active interest in the lack of privacy and humane technology.

However, do not be mistaken: these tools allow you to access geo-blocked websites and protect your IP address, but they are powerless against social media platforms that already have tons of information that links you to certain devices, IP addresses, and even browsing patterns. You might feel like your every step is being watched, and you would be right. Even with different preventive measures, advertisers place third-party cookies on websites that will recognize you, even with a different IP address. There is no privacy on the internet, and we would be fools to expect it. To preserve some level of anonymity, stay mindful of your decisions on the web and use preventive tools for an additional level of protection.

 

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