Privacy and anonymity are two different concepts; however, both are essential in today’s digital world. Privacy means that online communications are confidential and no third party is allowed to intercept them in any way. Following this definition, the main concern of privacy is to keep the content of the online communication private. For example, when sending an encrypted e-mail, you are assuring your privacy by encrypting the e-mail content.
Protecting the privacy of your online communications is easier than staying anonymous online. As we already said, privacy is concerned with keeping communication content private. This can be mainly done through applying strong encryption to contents and keeping the encryption keys in a safe place. Anonymity is more difficult to achieve and needs good experience in Internet technologies in order to apply it successfully.
To transfer top-secret information online, the best solution is to use a combination of both. Anonymizing your Internet connection will make tracking you difficult—and even impossible—while encrypting your messages (or files) using strong encryption algorithms and complex passwords will make it impossible to read your content if your e-mail gets intercepted in one way or another. In this book, you will learn everything you need to implement this combination effectively to protect your confidential communications.
What Is Anonymity?
Internet anonymity refers to conducting your online activities without revealing your true identity. This effectively means concealing your real IP address and prevents others from tracking you online in any method to reveal your true identity.
Anonymity can be used for good and bad purposes. An example of good anonymity is when using it by journalists in third-world countries to avoid being tracked and captured by their local authorities. On the bad side, criminals can use anonymity to conceal their criminal activities from law enforcement authorities.
We can differentiate between many kinds of online anonymity, such as using anonymous payments, sending anonymous e-mails, surfing the Web anonymously, and anonymous web hosting and blogging. Generally speaking, anonymous online services include all services that do not reveal the true identity of its users.