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Survey results were released in mid-2015 that provide insight into how everyday users — like you and me — view and value online anonymity in this current day and age. Some of the answers were as expected, but a few were not.

Want to know why you should value your privacy on the Internet? Here are the most common reasons given in the survey.

online-anonymity-reasons-why

1. Compromised personal accounts. We’re talking about things like email and social media being taken over by someone without your permission. Can you imagine the damage someone could do to your name if they gained access to your accounts?

2. Relationship problems due to something posted online. We’ve all posted something online that we eventually came to regret. In fact, it’s not uncommon to hear about how stray comments have made their way back to bosses, resulting in disciplinary action or firings What Behavior Will Get You Into Trouble On Twitter What Behavior Will Get You Into Trouble On Twitter There used to be a time when an employer would laugh at you if you were an avid social media user. Nowadays, employers will think you’re a weirdo if you don’t use Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn,... Read More .

3. History of being stalked or harassed. Nothing will make you appreciate anonymity more than having your life ruined through the Internet 5 Life-Ruining Ways You Can Be Victimized Online 5 Life-Ruining Ways You Can Be Victimized Online The Internet is not as anonymous as you might think it is. If somebody wants to find out who you are and where you live, the tiniest bit of information can lead back to you... Read More . Be careful when posting personal information online. People can use it to track you down.

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4. Identity theft and online fraud. If you aren’t careful, people can and will break into your accounts, take your money, and turn your life into a living hell. Familiarize yourself with the warning signs of identity theft 6 Warning Signs Of Digital Identity Theft You Shouldn't Ignore 6 Warning Signs Of Digital Identity Theft You Shouldn't Ignore Identity theft isn't too rare of an occurrence these days, yet we often fall into the trap of thinking that it'll always happen to "someone else". Don't ignore the warning signs. Read More  so you’re never caught off guard.

Online anonymity is more important than most people realize, and we all need to one degree or another 3 Undeniable Reasons Why You Need Online Anonymity 3 Undeniable Reasons Why You Need Online Anonymity Many people don't believe in online anonymity, mainly because it has the potential to enable and encourage undesirable behavior. But without anonymity, people's lives can easily be ruined forever... Read More . Even though anonymity is near impossible right now Can You Really Be Anonymous Online? Can You Really Be Anonymous Online? We all have things we'd rather not tell the world about. I think it's time we clear up a few things about anonymity online -- and answer once and for all, whether it's really possible. Read More , within a few years we may actually see a truly anonymous Internet The MegaNet: How an Internet Without IP Addresses Would Work The MegaNet: How an Internet Without IP Addresses Would Work The proposed MegaNet is everything the Internet was meant to be, but is it even feasible or is it all baseless hype? Read More , so cross your fingers!

Do you care about online anonymity? What steps do you take to safeguard your identity? Tell us in the comments below!

Image Credits: Shadowy Guy on Laptop by icsnaps via Shutterstock, Survey Results by Attentiv

  1. Read and Share
    March 20, 2016 at 5:25 pm

    "Let’s put the blame for our loss of Internet privacy right where it belongs – look in the mirror. "

    You hit it right on the nail!

  2. Mike
    March 18, 2016 at 9:45 pm

    If TPP is ratified,you will risk losing more than your privacy online. You could be looking at a $10K fine just for watching a copyright protected video on YouTube,for example: stopthetrap.net

  3. Howard A Pearce @HAPLibertarian
    March 18, 2016 at 9:09 pm

    The problem is that the U.S. government with support/backing from MakeUseOf supported Net Neutrality where the state can now control the internet (to some extent, so far).

    But I've heard through the ACLU that Net Neutrality 2 might be on its way.

    I would never support support speech neutrality, but maybe MakeUseOf would !

  4. fcd76218
    March 18, 2016 at 1:46 pm

    We, as users, can clamor for privacy on the Internet till we;re blue in the face but our chances of having it are nonexistent as long as private and governmental entities insist that it is their God and Constitution-given right to know EVERYTHING there is to know about us. Governmental entities justify their data collection by claiming to be need the data so they can protect us from terrorists and prevent crime. Private entities justify their data collection by claiming that they need it to better serve us.

    "within a few years we may actually see a truly anonymous Internet, so cross your fingers!"
    You can cross your fingers, your arms, your legs and even your eyes but first you have to ask yourself two questions:
    1) What is more important, national security or personal privacy?
    2) Is the convenience of being presented with ads only for stuff we are interested in worth the loss of personal privacy?
    In case of #1, you know damn well that the government(s) will try to ram through all kinds of laws and statutes making "national security" needs override any rights to privacy. In case of #2, we, the customers, will eagerly and willingly give up all matter of private data in order to make our daily lives a little more convenient for ourselves.

    Let's put the blame for our loss of Internet privacy right where it belongs - look in the mirror. Do we even realize how much data we freely give out on a daily basis? Do we even care?! Just look at the amount of sensitive personal and private data is posted on social networks. We cannot wait to post online the latest lurid and gory details of our lives. If we were a little more reticent in answering intrusive questions online, we might have more privacy.

    This past Sunday, 60 Minutes had a report on the terrorist attacks in Paris. As part of the report, 60 minutes conducted interviews with Pavel Durov, the developer of Telegraph, and with the French chief terrorism investigator. The interviewer tried to make Durov accept the responsibility for the Paris attacks because he was opposed to putting a back-door into Telegraph. In his interview, the chief terrorism investigator basically said that privacy be damned, law enforcement needs to know the contents of private conversations. When interviewed for another 60 Minutes report, the current Director of the CIA said essentially the same thing. With Durov (and Apple) being considered complicit in terrorist attacks, and such anti-encryption sentiments being held and expressed by various senior government officials, what chance do we have for maintaining privacy.

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