As you probably know, VPNs are good for a number of things – from unlocking websites that are otherwise off-limits (usually due to geographic, political and other restrictions) to improving your overall online security and privacy. VPNs allows you to remain anonymous on the internet. In this day and age, so much of your lives leaks to the online realm, and we do most of the leaking ourselves – especially through social media, information, pictures, videos and other snippets of our lives. But that doesn’t mean that anonymity is no longer important – in fact, today it is probably more important than ever.
Many people feel that, if they have nothing to hide, they don’t really have to worry about anonymity. But remember what Edward Snowden said a few years back? “Even if you are not doing anything wrong, you are being watched and recorded.” You have to admit, it’s not a pleasant realization. Today, any agency or individual, government-associated or not, can monitor your online activity with an astonishing ease, and rather cheaply too, so the scope of the monitoring is, naturally, much, much wider. This fact alone, and the fact that even though what you’re doing online is completely innocent, inspires a rather uncomfortable feeling, and that is one of the main reasons why people turn to VPNs and other technologies hoping it would protect their privacy and make them, well, anonymous.
In addition to this, there are several other reasons why you should care about online anonymity and privacy of your data and your traffic.
Freedom of speech
These days, you can’t really say anything about anyone without the risk of being caught and facing the consequences. It may not sound like a big deal to you if you live in the countries where freedom of speech is an essential human right, but there are places in this world where you can end up in jail for saying the wrong things about the wrong people. You might also think that hiding behind a pseudonym and registering with an ad hoc email account should be protection enough, but it isn’t, mainly because your IP address, through which you can easily be traced. VPN services change your IP, or, better yet, assign you a new one, usually one associated with a distant geographic location, giving you the liberty to say whatever you want on any social media platform, comments section or forum.
Freedom of movement
Here, by “movement” we don’t necessarily mean moving in the physical world, but in the online realm. When you’re anonymous, you can access any website you want, and no one will know you’ve been there. No one will be able to pull your records and say, “See Sir, on this particular day last month you have visited a shady adult website, purchased this embarrassing item from an online store and expressed your support for this questionable goal.”
Creating an online persona
Whatever reason you might have for wanting to build an online persona that is not only different from what you are “in the real world” but also completely anonymous and cannot be traced back to you, is possible thanks to technologies like VPNs. You can be whoever you want online when you are anonymous, and the two personas won’t ever collide. Some people like to keep their online life separate from their everyday reality, whether we are talking about shared hobbies and interests or activities that you don’t want everyone to know about, for whatever reason. As long as it’s not illegal, of course.
Being anonymous online also means being protected from hackers, snoopers and watchers in general. As we already said earlier, people these days tend to share too much of their lives to the online world. Obviously, when your basic information, like name, gender, age, location, school, job, marital status, family and other data become exposed in such a way, you are exposing yourself to potential harm. Anonymity protects you from that by assuring no one can ever find out who you are, where you live, and so on.
Online anonymity is also important in terms of data safety. Your personal data may not seem that important or valuable to you, but it certainly is too various “bad guys” just waiting in the dark corners of the web for you to expose your credit card information, transactions, banking info, personal data and so on.
Obviously, there are many benefits to online privacy and anonymity. You can take all the necessary measures, protect yourself with passwords, be careful about what you share and with whom, but that only protects you to a certain extent. Fortunately, there are ways that can help you reach full anonymity, and one of the most efficient ones is VPNs.
VPNs are valuable for a number of reasons, and the most important one is definitely security. Your data gets encrypted and your traffic is protected. More importantly, a VPN assures your anonymity. It manages to do so by both masking your real IP address (and hence your location and identity) and by creating an encrypted tunnel through which all of your traffic travels. You get total online freedom, the ability to access anything you want, say what you want and do what you want, and also get valuable protection of your true identity.
It is extremely important to note that you should only strive for anonymity through VPNs for regular, legal activities. Using a VPN for illegal stuff is not supported or tolerated by any VPN service provider, not to mention that it is unethical. Like we said, everyone can be monitored and, therefore, everyone should protect their privacy, but that should be your only motivation for aspiring to online anonymity.