Do you have an account on any application online? Some websites you might’ve hovered over? And there goes anonymity. It’s not you. It’s the nature of being in the digital age. Anonymity is taken for granted. People either aren’t aware of their information that gets collected or simply don’t care.
But, it seems like you do, and you want to achieve digital anonymity. However, as you might already know, obtaining complete anonymity, wiping out all your information off the planet is not really a plausible option anymore. So, let’s talk about anonymizing your information, which could potentially be used against you.
Anonymizing yourself is about going one step further with every activity you do on a daily basis, you may not even realize the information that is collected over harmless activities on the internet. Ail
Let’s assume the person who is going to demonstrate this is Frodo; let’s walk through his daily activities and rectify anonymity.
The tricky email anonymity
Frodo is a busy guy and likes to stay on top of his work. He wakes up in the morning and checks his emails. Now, besides the free email services such as Gmail, there are several others he can rely on to provide you privacy with encrypted messaging. But, encryption offers privacy so that only the person who can decrypt it is the one that can view the message. But, it does not offer anonymity. How? Your metadata is still out there. Someone with some hacker skills could easily find out who you are talking to you.
Securing metadata is an evolving field. But, for now, it is always good to ensure your message is encrypted. So, Frodo can now choose an email service that lets him encrypt.
Social media oversharer
While being busy, Frodo lives a lot of his life virtually, over social media. As he leaves for the day, he puts up pictures saying he dropped by at a Starbucks near his house, he also puts a couple of pictures of his friendly neighborhood.
This might seem like harmless habits, but with all of this information put together, a bad actor could easily decipher where he lives, and there goes his anonymity.
Now, Frodo, upon rectifying this, makes all his social media account private if he wants to share pictures with his close friends. If he wants to keep it public, he removes pictures that could possibly help someone discover his location and more.
Productivity snag rectified
He is finally at work, an set for the day. But, now, he has to sign in to multiple applications to start his day and sign in with multiple passwords. This could play out in three ways, both of which with scope for hacking.
He stores his passwords on his laptop on a passwordless excel sheet, or he stores it on his browser linked to his google account, or worst of sall, he has it all written down in a piece of paper.
All of these have known to be habits that could possibly even lead to a breach.
Thankfully, his organization decided to rectify this. They implement an Identity and Access Management solution, now all his passwords are in one place. He simply has to remember one password and the password manager can remember the rest, while the single sign-on solution can help him log in to all the applications at once.
Do not store those cookies
Frodo does a lot a of research for his role. He spends hours surfing through the internet scouting for information. All the while enabling cookies which track all his activity data.
This might seem like a harmless act, but some of them could even record how long he was on a website, what are his interests and so on. This might give way to a more personalized experience the next time but it isn’t worth it if he wants his data to be anonymous.
So he goes ahead and deletes all his cookies, a simple step.
Applications, too many applications
Frodo hears about this new food app, and downloads it. He enables all the permission it needs. But, have you wondering why a food app would need access to your contacts and storage? What are they going to do with this?
Frodo gives this a thought and now goes back to his settings, skims through all his applications and enables only those permissions which are crucial the app.
These are simple steps that can take your productivity a long way. Be like Frodo, realize where all can you rectify your digital habits and implement them!
It is impossible to achieve absolute anonymity, but you can definitely secure what’s personal, important and crucial.