Is Anonymity – A bane or a boon?
Since the innovation of the internet in the mid-1990’s, it has become accessible to the ordinary people and still growing at a steady rate. It is estimated 40% of the world’s population (3.5 billion people) have access to the internet.
The internet has made it possible to keep socialization intact. Socialization is our human nature, and it’s a daily routine to stay in touch with individuals in our societies to embrace civilization. Communication and sharing of information over the internet have created a bigger platform to diversify social networking.
Social network websites have emerged providing web-based services that allow someone to construct a public profile in a bounded system and articulate other persons to share the connection. Therefore, these sites help to register new users where they can share their information within the established connection.
There are many social networking sites today available to the public for free such as Instagram, Facebook, Google+, MySpace, Twitter and many others. Each social networking site has it unique features that differentiate it from the others, but the basic concept is to keep touch with other individuals and share information and views.
Anonymous browsing does not only concerns social networking sites. Any URL that you click into through the search engines is basically browsing. When you log in to various websites to get that information you want or perhaps leave an idea in their blog comment box, the same criteria uphold; to share information.
But, anonymity can be a good or bad thing. Communication and sharing of information can keep the evolution of humankind growing and at the same time cause physiological problems like addition, insults, extra.
Let’s try to compare and contrast the good and bad side of browsing and figure out whether anonymity is a bane or a boon.
The positive side of browsing
Keeping touch with friends – social media and online platforms are helping us to maintain friendship and have more friends. At least 57% new friends today met through the internet especially teenagers. Most importantly, we can keep touch with those people who are closest to our hearts.
Extended education – the internet has impacted people’s aspect of life and education is no exception. It has profoundly expanded the access to education. We don’t have to travel back and fro to school. It’s through online platform we can access classes, post assignments, and have a discussion for puzzles, quizzes, and tests.
Sharing information and knowledge – internet has revolutionized on how we share useful information and knowledge. It is considered the newest preferred medium of communication. It is almost in everything we do; be it buying a pizza, sharing good moments with friends, or sending an email.
Business interactive connectivity – every business has learned the power of the internet to connect with an interactive community that will improve their business needs and experiences. Over time, companies have been in a position to move to the next level. They can have the customer’s feedback, buy and sell both online and offline, and advertise their products. It all about to maintaining current customers and have new ones.
Creates job opportunities – jobs have been created by the emergency of the internet, including those that are directly linked such as software development, freelancing and affiliate marketing. At the same time, corporate societies advertise for new vacancies via the internet.
The negative side browsing
Gossips and rumors – Hatred takes over some of us and exposes it online. You will find some people spreading gossips and rumors to intimidate others to gain popularity. Bullying others has a severe impact on the victim. The victim becomes psychologically and emotionally affected.
Cyberstalking for teenagers – a group of teens may decide to bully their fellow teens. Recently there have been many reported cases of cyberstalking over the social media. Unfortunately, the technology making it easier for people to stay connected has also been associated with lowering online privacy. Harassments have become pressing issues that affect families, with teenagers particularly vulnerable.
Addiction– surfing the internet to some of us turn out to be addictive. Spending too much time in front of a computer or a phone becomes the center of their lives. Too much surfing leads to decreased productivity at the workplace and weak interaction with families and relatives.
Health problems – spending most of the time online causes health issues like sleepless nights, stress and depression. Be it online gaming, social network sites or any other form of browsing will complicate your health well being. The prospective risk for sleep and stress is reduced performance for both males and females.
Lack of privacy – lack of proper internet privacy to protect personal identification among is a complicated issue and full of conflicting interests. Criminals keep breaking into websites and stealing personal information to commit a crime. Every time we browse the internet, we are definitely exposed to these threats, and we just sit and watch whenever we are caught in the middle of it.
What about anonymity?
The negative side of browsing remains a big concern to most of us. That why borrowing another user identity has become very important. The most common and least complicated way is using a virtual private network to obtain anonymous browsing. Some of these anonymity providers are global while others are connected to the specific group of people and businesses.
Most websites are created in such a way they can obtain personal information for both recipient and the sender. For instance, advertising networks track your browsing history across those websites you visit. These advertising websites will then use the gathered information to send you unsolicited ads alongside promotional offers.
Websites use different technology to collect your personal information. A cookie is the best-known technology and comes first. When you visit a website, a small piece of information referred to as cookie is placed on your computer. And every time you revisit the site, your computer returns the information to the website.
The second and probably the most complicated is by using an IP address to track your online actions. An IP address is what identifies your computer in a network connected to multiple computers. The IP address is usually static, which means it doesn’t change. Hence, they can use an IP address to trace your location and the internet service, provider. The gathered information about you and stored it in their database and harmfully use it for whatever reason they may want.
Anonymity means browsing the internet with no chance of disclosing your personal information to the third party. Virtual private providers have made it possible for websites to stay the hell out of your personal information. But a lot of people believe anonymity is something that stalks or crooks. They further point out only those with evil intentions have something to hide. In some cases it’s true, but you have to surf anonymously if you are a victim of credit fraud.
Is, therefore, anonymity a bane or a boon?
Anonymity browsing is a boon. It just depends on how we browse, whether to have a better life or to deride it.
It’s very crucial not to dispose of personal information since no one would like to be a victim of fraud. Life will be of added value if we spend time anonymously browsing useful sites that will have a positive impact on our lives. In fact, most people choose to be more anonymous to keep off from hackers and third parties.
It is a good thing to look for anonymous services to replace the header with anonymous IP addresses like nobody at nowhere. This helps to keep other networks clueless of who you are and where you originate from.