Community//

Here’s Why Being Anonymous Over The Internet is a Myth

Services like VPN and Tor can help but they are not 100% effective in masking your identity.

The Thrive Global Community welcomes voices from many spheres on our open platform. We publish pieces as written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Community stories are not commissioned by our editorial team and must meet our guidelines prior to being published.

The world is getting more connected to each other because of the internet. We can easily call, send texts, and communicate with other people over the internet no matter where they are. The internet has expanded to up to 210 countries in less than the past 20 years. Needless to say, the World Wide Web is really huge and getting more popular day by day.

Now, you might be aware of the fact that every device which is connected to the internet is assigned a unique IP address. With this IP address, we can distinguish users on the web.

Many companies like Facebook, Amazon, and Google track this IP address and keep a track of the list of the websites that you visit in order to show you targeted advertisements. But is it possible to become completely anonymous on the internet so that you can avoid getting tracked down by their sneaky eyes? Read on.

What information can be revealed by an IP address?

An IP address will be assigned to you by your ISP. It might be also dependent upon your location. However, it becomes easy to track an IP address.

An IP address can also reveal information about your precise location (Well if you were wondering how does Google search knows about your current precise location even when the location services are turned off, now you know.)

You see, not only major companies can peek into what sites your browsing on the internet but your ISP can also view the websites that you were visiting and log the information. Creepy, right? That’s why many people prefer to stay anonymous on the web. 

Do we become anonymous by using a VPN?

A VPN does not make you completely anonymous. It just changes your IP address but your identity is still not completely hidden. Even though many VPN services claim that they “do not log” any information about their users, every VPN service has at least one piece of information that can be used to distinguish the users online.

So the next time when you see a VPN company advertising about making you ‘completely’ anonymous on the internet, you know straight away that it is a lie.

Well, how about using Tor? Does it make you anonymous?

Using Tor may seem promising to become anonymous but unfortunately, it won’t completely conceal your identity either.

Even when you are using Tor to get online, your IP address can be leaked by plugins, JavaScript, and other applications that running on your computer. However, the Tor bundle can avoid leaking out your IP by disabling Adobe Flash Player, and JavaScript. But the exit nodes of Tor can still be traced so you’re not completely anonymous.

Tor creates different tunnels through which your internet traffic is routed but eventually, it has to emerge from those tunnels and reach out to the website server. The path between the last tunnel and the website’s server is known as the ‘exit node’ and they can be easily sniffed by the server.

Conclusion

Nevertheless, you are being watched on the World Wide Web no matter how hard you try.

But the thing is that if you are not involved in any dirty business, you’ll be fine. The ISPs don’t usually expose sensitive information about their users. The worst thing that could happen is that you may see some advertisements that are related to your browsing history or your recent activities on the internet.

    Share your comments below. Please read our commenting guidelines before posting. If you have a concern about a comment, report it here.

    You might also like...

    Community//

    Digital Anonymity is Difficult in Today’s World

    by Shishir Kathurwar
    Community//

    Chris Marsh of VyprVPN: “Do what you love”

    by David Liu
    Community//

    How Has The Internet Affected Our Health And Well being?

    by Leslie Wilder

    Sign up for the Thrive Global newsletter

    Will be used in accordance with our privacy policy.

    Thrive Global
    People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.

    - MARCUS AURELIUS

    We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.