Let's talk about anonymity on the internet, is it possible? It is advisable? It is safe?

By Paraguanads | FreeSpeech | 30 May 2021

In the plural world of the internet, we will find all kinds of people from all corners of the planet: from those who want to exhibit their "divine gifts", wealth, and anything else they consider unique, to those who prefer not to share absolutely any trait of their personal lives, to the point of lying within online communities to gain a certain status that they would not gain by being totally transparent. These are the popular "anonymous" (I enclose the term within quotation marks because, on the surface web, we will never be completely anonymous).

I'm "anonymous" and I consider that you can be completely anonymous on the internet, why do you say otherwise?

To be able to connect to the internet from any device you must need a data plan which must be sponsored by a private communications company (or ISP). No matter which it is, they must always have logs within their servers that records certain behaviors that our contracted IP address has performed during its useful life (if it is dynamic). Imagine that, in your case, you pretend to be "anonymous" by having a static IP: it is much more complicated because your error margin must be absolute zero (all devices within your network must be connected via paid VPN 24/7, without mention that you should have your firewall well configured).

The second fact that could destroy your "anonymity" is your VPN: if it is free, well, I inform you that at any time you can be discovered because all, absolutely all "free" VPNs, are monitored by services that ensure the online security of their customers. To cite an example, Google has an "anti-cheat" system where it detects "inflated" clicks on advertising banners sponsored by its AdSense service. With this, they avoid paying monetized users for inorganic traffic (achieved by own clicks or botnets). Also, some banking websites, which do not open if you do not enter from the country where the aforementioned bank is located.

Your browsing behavior can also give you away. All browsers store data about what you do in them, including the fact that almost all have implemented the use of unique hashes that identify each browser in a particular way by unique features of the device on which it is installed. This makes tracking by cookies (or those small files that are stored on your device and serve to track you / easily log in / keep unique changes on N website) a thing of the past. You can delete the latter, but your unique browser identification is very difficult for you to modify, so in this case we have another aspect that can give us away on the internet.

Should I mention that the way you write can also give away traits of your true identity? Highly constructed personalities (made to preserve "anonymity") can easily be noticed by those who know how to spot them (or are paid to do so). That would make you a target and subsequently you could be discovered.

Is it advisable to use anonymity on the internet, or incentivize for its use?

This answer is very personal because the context differs in each person and it is the most binding at the moment that the internet user begins to consider the idea of ​​“being anonymous” or “going anonymous”. In countries with social divergences (military catastrophes, emerging economies, among other factors), anonymity becomes - many, but not all times - something necessary to survive internal persecution: journalists, doctors, hackers and other professionals prefer the security and confidentiality of anonymity to communicate with their peers and provide their assistance within such a problematic context.

This is perfectly understandable and respectable, but, within these cases, there are always "false positives" that take advantage of this to exploit some type of profit, creating a negative precedent that significantly impacts the opinion that the common has about anonymity, in its legality and its effective application for altruistic purposes.

Personally, I have accepted semi anonymity: I have an alias that I took from an advertising project that I undertook in my area (Paraguana Advertising = ParaguanAds = Para) just for the “economy of letters”. My real name can be found on the internet very easily if you just put your mind to it. Hence, I coined the term "semi anonymity" because, for those who are passing through, my personal data should never attract their attention.

I always recommend my clients and friends to be careful on the internet with anonymous ones. This does not mean that they should not treat them, or share with them in online communities (Twitter, Discord, internal forums and gaming platforms), but rather I call to have a little more "malice" when it comes to taking all the facts for granted. It never hurts to investigate in order to create your own personal and balanced opinion of said anonymous / story.

Again, and as in all my past editions, I thank you for taking a few minutes to read this article and I invite you to discuss in the comments. How about anonymity? Do you know anonymous people?

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Venezuelan lawyer, IT support, DeFi advocate and @DexKit Consultant/Writer.


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