Let’s clear things out: many actions aimed at preserving anonymity are useless – they are only psychologically reassuring. Sealed the webcam, but left the microphone on, for example, to use a voice assistant? At least, artificial intelligence can wiretap you. Use a Tor browser and VPN services, but visit sites you used to visit before without them? You are not anonymous. You can accidentally reveal an identity, even discussing the weather.
So, no wonder why people become more curious about identity theft protection services: they try to find the solution that will help, at least, to deal with the consequences of identity theft. Because you can get complete anonymity only if you are constantly changing your digital identity.
The Ways You Reveal Yourself in the Network
Remember, your device leaves a unique print everywhere. Your identity can be calculated in hours, lists of fonts and plugins, and information about installed extensions, screen size, and other parameters. It’s like a fingerprint, but the online one. You can define a specific user for this unique combination of data. Even Tor isn’t as safe as it seems.
Do not forget about indirect methods of identifying the device through analysis of its unique information, even if you go online via private browser mode and clean cookies or use Tor/I2P. But if you don’t do anything unworthy, you shouldn’t be worried.
How to Become a Little Bit Anonymous
A basic anonymity level when most people don’t know who you are is a simple task, even for a newbie. All you need is a VPN, ad blocker, and privacy tool, such as Privacy Badger. This level of control will help to confuse your traces on the Internet and confuse those who will try to collect personal data.
The next level is achieving anonymity from the state. The state can force technology companies to hand over information that is locked in your phone – information that even the companies themselves do not know (for example, as in the situation with Apple in the case of the mass shooting in San Bernardino). Using special browsers, abandoning smartphones, and taking many other difficult steps, you can win back privacy on the Internet. However, while remaining an active user of gadgets, you need to be a software scientist to achieve real online anonymity.
Achieving absolute anonymity sounds romantic, but in fact – it is dangerous, as the moral level of many people can below. This freedom would come at the cost of giving dangerous individuals the right to steal, extort, and kidnap people for ransom. This would allow dangerous individuals to erase their criminal dossiers and continue to deceive others. You can argue that intruders will always find a way to deceive people. But, on the other hand, the entry threshold for them will be higher. The only question is trust in regulators.