With the implication of the latest technology, where data is spread all over the internet, cybersecurity concerns are increasing. People are trying to remain anonymous on the internet with the help of software like Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) through which, they conceal their real IP and location. Everyone holds the right to their privacy and any breach is severely punishable by cyber-crime laws. The question arises i.e. is anonymity important? This article is based on the pros and cons of being anonymous online.
Protects from online Stalker and Bullies
Amanda Todd’s suicide is a well-known cyber bullying case around a world, where a 15-year old girl hung herself at home due to cyber bullying. On one hand, where social media networks have lessened the distance of people, it has increased the risk of security. A person using social media account is subject to real-time monitoring when he/she upload photos, information, and thought-process. Cyber bullies harass people using these bits of information and blackmail them for their ulterior motives. If a person is anonymous, uses fake DPS, location, the online stalker has no means to stalk then, and hence, one is protected from a privacy breach.
Protects from potential thefts and frauds
Many advanced hackers use IPs to hack into the IT infrastructure and obtain data. Hence, if a person is browsing the internet through his personal computer with his real IP and weak firewall, he is subjected to a hacking threat. For instance, a person is using a local ISP internet connection through a router, a hacker in that router’s range can easily hack into the person’s computer stealing valuable information like credit cards, e-mail and banking details, ultimately leading to scams and frauds. Hence, masking real IP with a strong firewall protects a person from potential identity or credit card theft and fraud.
Freedom of Speech and Activity
Online anonymity not only enables a person to speak his mind but also enables him to establish a network of connections that is separate from his personal life. People are subjected to online bullying only when they are with their real personas. A masked persona hinders them powerless. Furthermore, anonymous personas can find like-minded connections, where people sharing similar interests and hobbies could be gathered without the expense of their privacy breach.
False Sense of Security
Even with using VPN software and hiding real personas, people are still exposed to abuse and psychological threats. Words are sometimes sharper than a sword and could affect mental health. There is no protection against such threats. Also, for advanced hackers, it is easier to breach firewalls and get through VPN software, hence, many people, under the sense of false security, are prone to make mistakes such as trolling and threats. The consequences of these acts lead to the enmity of hackers and the rest is known.
Hindrance to Law Enforcement
The least solved cases in the world are about cyber-crimes. Where online anonymity protects people’s privacy, on one hand, it gives a lot of ground for hackers to widen their operations. Law enforcement agencies and departments lack sufficient tools and resources to deal with hackers and online perpetrators. As a result, hackers have grown stronger over the past years and so do their attacks.