Many feel privacy, at least online, may be going the way of the fax machine, the floppy disk and the eight-track player. A recent poll by the Pew Research Center revealed 59 percent of respondents believe it’s impossible to be totally anonymous online, as Mashable reports.
Despite the obvious lack of faith in the ability to remain anonymous, 86 percent stated they’ve taken precautions to protect anonymity by taking actions such as clearing cookies, using temporary email addresses and employing encryption in online communications.
With the advent of the Internet, followed by the big social media phenomenon of Facebook, there is no doubt how we interact as a society has changed. At the same time, surveys continue to show an increasing concern about privacy, according to Mashable.
New parents love using social media, especially Facebook, to share photos, as well as to seek support and connect with others during a stressful time. One study, as reported by Ohio State University’s research news, found that 44 percent of mothers said their Facebook use increased after giving birth.
We don’t want to give up our favorite form of sharing and connecting, but is it possible to continue to do so while still preserving anonymity? Consider these tools and other options for doing just that.
One excellent tool is DeleteMe, a service created by Abine. The team at Abine searches and finds all of your private data over hundreds of online data broker services, such as Spokeo and Intellius. The team then forces these sites to delete your data by sending each one an opt-out request. According to its site Abine.com, the service also continuously monitors these sites and ensures all of your additional personal information is removed as quickly as possible.
Abine also provides the public with do-it-yourself instructions. However, the process is so time-consuming, it is generally well-worth paying the current $129 annual charge for the service.
Tor is a free piece of software that can help keep your online activity anonymous by utilizing a layered encryption system. According to TorProject.org, it stands for “The Onion Router,” as it uses layers of encryption in order to protect data, obscuring the original source. Normally when users go to a website, communication is direct. With this option, the information you’re sending or receiving from your computer is encrypted.
Tor was originally developed for the U.S. Navy to safeguard military communication. You can pretty much guarantee it will protect your personal and business online activities.
You’ve probably noticed whenever you’ve searched on Google for a particular term, you inevitably receive ads related to that term. Your computer is not clairvoyant. Using Google, Yahoo, Bing or other search engines means everything you search is logged to your IP address. It is then used to create an extensive profile about all of your online activity.
By using StartPage.com for all of your searches, you can search anonymously and securely through Google. According to a post on LewRockwell.com, Start Page is known as “the world’s most private search engine” and does not collect or share any of your personal information.
With so much personal information potentially floating around online, protecting your identity is a must. As the Internet continues to expand, the rates of cyber crime also rise as businesses and government agencies are unable to monitor such a massive amount of data and prevent these crimes such as identity theft from occurring.
Using a service such as www.lifelock.com can help to not only decrease the chances of becoming a victim, but it can also be of assistance in the long, arduous process of recovery if identity theft does occur.