Online Anonymity – The Struggles to Avoid Being Tracked

Online anonymity is becoming increasingly rare. In a data-centered world, it’s becoming more difficult to browse the internet without fear that you’re being tracked. Businesses, individuals, and cyber criminals all have their own reasons for tracking your browsing. But no matter how you look at it, privacy is extremely difficult to achieve online.

In this article, we look at online anonymity and the different ways in which you’re being tracked. We’ll also be looking at various ways you can protect your privacy, such as using a location-specific India proxy along with a private browser to hide your actions. Check out this article to learn more about these proxies.

How Are You Being Tracked Online?

There are numerous ways that websites, browsers, and search engines track your movements online. One of the primary ways is through your IP address. Your IP address is linked to every single request you make online. When you type a search into your search engine, the engine sees your IP and all its information. When you access a website or social media site, the platform also sees your IP address and related information.

 

Your IP address can then be tracked to give browsers and websites better insights into your preferences. They’ll be able to see what other searches you made, other websites or platforms you visited, and how long you spent on each one. Depending on how advanced the tracking tools are, they can even see exactly what information you interacted with.

 

Another way that you’re being tracked is through web cookies and beacons. Have you ever opened a website, only to get a notification that you need to accept cookies to use the site? These cookies are stored on your device and, in some cases, they’re used to track your online activity. They’ll record your browsing history, preferences, and behaviors. 

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Why Are You Being Tracked? 

One of the biggest reasons why you’re being tracked is data. Businesses rely on data to make important decisions. One of the best ways that businesses can collect a lot of data is by tracking your browsing activities. By seeing which pages you interact with and the searches you make, businesses can improve their services to make them more appealing.

Marketing is one area specifically that requires data in order to improve their efforts. 

 

Personalization of marketing is becoming the best way to improve your results. But how can you learn more about your target audience quickly? The answer is by tracking them online and seeing what they interact with. For example, if you notice a potential lead visiting multiple gaming websites, you can create content that appeals to them by including this in your marketing. Alternatively, if you see a lead interacting more with videos than written content, you can start adding more videos to your own content to appeal to their preferences.

While most businesses track you purely to improve their marketing, services, and the user experience, unfortunately, some individuals track users with nefarious purposes in mind. Hackers and cybercriminals will often track potential victims as part of their preparation for an attack. They might be learning more about you to craft a compelling fishing email, or to discover passwords and login credentials they can use to gain access to company systems.

Solutions to Online Tracking

Once you come to realize just how much websites and search engines know about you, the internet can become a scary place. However, there’s no need to escape to a life that’s off the grid just to protect your privacy. Let’s take a look at a few things you can do to protect your online privacy.

P2P IP Sharing

You might be thinking that if your IP is being used to track you, a solution could be to share IPs and devices. By sharing your IPs and switching the devices used frequently, you can throw tracks off, as any information gathered wouldn’t be accurate or coherent. This method is known as P2P (peer-to-peer) IP sharing and it’s often used in business setups. There are even certain businesses that will pay you to use your IP in this way. However, you should be wary, as this isn’t always safe and you have no control over how your IP is used.

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Tor Browser

Using the Tor browser is a better option than P2P IP sharing. It works in a very similar fashion as all requests are routed through various IPs to make the process completely anonymous. While many browsers offer incognito or private modes, Tor is the only one that’s truly private. It doesn’t track your browsing history and doesn’t keep a record of your IP address or related information.

Proxy and VPN

Proxies and VPNs are both great options for hiding your IP address. By using one of these tools, your IP is replaced by another one in order to protect your online anonymity. With a proxy, any requests go through the proxy server first before reaching the search engine or website. You can even use location-specific versions, such as an India proxy, to bypass geo-restrictions and obscure your location. When using an India proxy, you’ll be assigned an IP from within the country. This will make it look like you’re there when using the internet even if you aren’t really.

To gain a better understanding of proxies and how they function, I suggest watching this informative video. Proxy Server: What Is It and How Does It Work?

 

Final Thoughts

Every move you make online could be tracked by websites, businesses, or cyber criminals. However, there are ways to protect yourself. By obscuring your IP through P2P IP sharing, you can confuse trackers. However, there are better options available, such as using proxies and the Tor browser. If you’re concerned about your online privacy, give Tor a try now.