what is the point of being anonymous?

Discussion in 'privacy problems' started by elcid123, Jan 8, 2013.

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  1. elcid123

    elcid123 Registered Member

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    what is the point of being anonymous? I have been on the Internet for years and I am a member of scores of websites and are known to many companies including government websites through my real email address. Is this not a case of bolting the stable door when the horse has long since bolted? What or how I am supposed to do delete ALL the traces of my IP and and real email address! How would you do this?
    I began another tread here and it never got to be seen here will this post be another one?
    Then I have a "smart television" (Internet enabled what do I do about that)
     
  2. MikeBCda

    MikeBCda Registered Member

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    I'd suggest that this topic more properly belongs in one of the Privacy or Security sections.
     
  3. TheWindBringeth

    TheWindBringeth Registered Member

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    If you search the net for commentary on why anonymity is important and beneficial you will find numerous perspectives and examples that will help you to better grasp things. However, here is something to think about...

    The point is to restrict others from receiving/possessing information that:

    1) They may use to acquire additional information that you might not want them to have. An example would be you giving your real email address (as opposed to a throw-away) to some entity and them running your email address through an appending service to acquire your name, address, telephone number, shopping records, etc... whatever records the appending service happened to have acquired and associated with your email address. Another example would be tracking your activities over time.

    2) They may use, possibly in conjunction with other information they can acquire, in ways you don't want them to. Perhaps they use it to target you for junk mail, spam, telemarketing, door to door advertising. Perhaps they use it to carry out identity theft. Perhaps they use it to target your home while they know, based on the information they've dug up, you will be away. Perhaps they use it to target you for harassment. Perhaps they use it to build up a profile of you for some other purpose you don't like. Whatever.

    3) They may voluntarily share with others that you don't want to have the information.

    4) They may lose to others that you don't want to have the information. A slip of the tongue, accidentally emailing the wrong file, them being the victims of a physical premises burglary or data breach.

    Note that a snowball effect is possible if the information is voluntarily shared or lost. You can't control what people do with information once they have it. However, you can control what information you give to them or allow them to take from you. At least some of the time. So anonymity is a tool, a technique, a means of exerting some control and trying to bound potential outcomes.

    You might look at it as some of the horses having escaped but if you start closing the door now you can prevent others from escaping. Note that the objective, of ordinary people at least, is not to achieve perfect anonymity. The objective is to find the right balance. There will always be cases where you can't be anonymous and others where you could but don't want to be. There will also be cases where you have some control over just how anonymous you are, and particularly if there are no compelling reasons to reveal information, you can play it safe and simply not do so.

    You can't. However, in some contexts you can change the information on record to something invalid, request that accounts/records be deleted, etc. One thing you should periodically do is check and change your IP Address. Likewise, you could change your real email address and perhaps start maintaining separate email addresses for separate purposes. Which can help prevent recipients from correlating records, prevent one data breach from affecting multiple accounts, things like that.

    For starters, familiarize yourself with all its settings and features and configure it to be as secure/private as you can, do your best to keep it updated if you have control over that, be very selective about what information you enter into it or expose to it via connected devices, consider covering any camera/mic when not in use, and consider isolating it from your primary home network.
     
  4. Mman79

    Mman79 Registered Member

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    You can't be 100% foolproof anonymous, otherwise you'd never be able to do anything, especially on the internet. Someone has to know who you are at some point, and even services that try to help you be more anonymous will know at the very least your real IP address. Keeping some personal data out of reach is both easy and necessary, but being completely unknown by anyone just isn't going to happen, and it's impractical.

    Unless your life or freedom depends on it, you don't need to try and be anonymous. Just be smart, use some common sense and don't volunteer more information than you really need to. Do you need to post doctor appointments, pictures of the outside of your house, vacation plans and such on Facebook? No, you don't. Do you really need to give your real first and last name and phone number to that freebie forum or newsletter you found on the net? No, 9 times out of 10 you need an email address and the rest can be just made up on the fly.

    What's already out there is out there to stay, you can't really reel all that volunteered data back in. As to "smart" TVs, I'd do my best to avoid them. But, since you already have one, as Wing said, lock it down as much as it lets you.
     
  5. TairikuOkami

    TairikuOkami Registered Member

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    None. But that depends what you are asking, being anonymous from a public or from a government. Public does not give a **** about you and the government can track you down no matter how many proxy you would use. Being an undetectable hacker is only an illusion from movies. People who use proxy and such are more closely watched.

    Well, there is an identity theft. But that is not just about internet, you should not share or throw away documents containing a birth date, a social number and so on, burn it.

    As for sharing the other info, it has already been told. People have been robbed, when they posted on FB, that they are on a vacation. Consider everything you will post or do on the internet as a public knowledge, because it can find its way everywhere. I do not hide behind proxy, I am not ashamed for my opinions, even for unpopular ones. :rolleyes:
     
  6. PJC

    PJC Very Frequent Poster

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    -What is the point of being Anonymous?
    Is this a Rhetorical question? o_O
     
  7. elcid123

    elcid123 Registered Member

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    Thanks for the replies, I posted this same question to a number of security providers offering proxy's, vpns and anonymous email accounts so far none have responded. I have been on the Web since 1995 and have always been concerned with security, I remember people writing and saying around a decade or so ago "you don't need anti-virus it slows your computer down, you don't need firewalls! Imagine this today. I of course agree with the points raised though this thread, However, I do consider you should take what measures that you deem necessary to protect your privacy on the the Internet and from malicious people. Really to be completely safe on the web don't be on it in the first place, if fact if you can do without the technology of the last 20 years or so you will will not only save your self a considerable amount of money but all this that comes with it, whatever the source may be, corporations, government's. The threats are real if fact I think if people did not buy computers, mobile phones, televisions et cetera they would be given away or you could buy them dirt cheap. This is a global industry worth trillions in monetary terms alone, then there is the political and ideological which all this technology employs to enormous effect. I have yet to decide which is worth more! Possibly a symbiotic relationship.
     
  8. Mman79

    Mman79 Registered Member

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    :D My gut tells me you might be thinking of the wrong anonymous. But no, the poster just wondered if you really needed to hide on the internet. And, like I said previously, you don't, and really can't. There will always be a point before anonymity that your real identity will either be known or can be found out. Even if you could become a "ghost", it wouldn't be practical to continually do so.

    @Elcid123: Even if 10 years ago you were told you didn't need security software, you were being lied to. I quite well remember plenty of nasty worms and other fun things going around at that time. Back in 95? Not really. Viruses were there, but they didn't get spread around like a cold in a preschool either.
     
  9. mirimir

    mirimir Registered Member

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    I don't think that it's about being anonymous. Secretive people -- who only pay cash, refuse to show ID, don't have bank accounts, etc -- do attract attention. However, discretion about controversial activities is always prudent. In my case, I'm primarily being discrete about my interest in privacy and anonymity. And so I'm pseudonymous about such activities. But I'm sure that, for at least some Wilders users, privacy and anonymity are crucial for freedom and safety.
     
  10. PJC

    PJC Very Frequent Poster

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    Just joking, guys...:argh:
     
  11. Security Novice

    Security Novice Registered Member

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    Don't want Big Brother constantly monitoring what I do.

    Simple as that.
     
  12. DrBenGolfing

    DrBenGolfing Registered Member

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    All those anonymous group hackers in jail thought they were anonymous.
     
  13. mirimir

    mirimir Registered Member

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    Most of them are in jail because (1) they made stupid mistakes (like using HideMyAss for hacking Sony) and/or (2) they weren't anonymous to each other (and were outed by associates who had made stupid mistakes).
     
  14. DrBenGolfing

    DrBenGolfing Registered Member

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    Everyone of them will eventually wind up in the Crossbar Hotel. Those not already there just haven't done something serious enough to piss off the right people, yet.
     
  15. EncryptedBytes

    EncryptedBytes Registered Member

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    I've sent you a private message. Sums up my reasoning nicely.
     
  16. Security Novice

    Security Novice Registered Member

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    Where they using Tor ontop of HideMyAss?

    Even with Tor, if the FBI knows your approximate geographic location, you are ****ed. Hammond's address was in Chicago. Then the fbi narrowed his location and busted him. Despite using tor. Hence you must not reveal ANY personal info to remain anonymous.

    Also Sabu forgot to use tor through irc. What kind of hacker does that? IRC should always be routed through Tor in a fail safe manner which he probably didn't do.
     
  17. Nebulus

    Nebulus Registered Member

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    There are some places in this world where having a card or a bank account is the exception :) So being suspect because you use only cash happens only in some countries.
     
  18. mirimir

    mirimir Registered Member

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    Good point! So, in such places, not paying cash is suspect ;) They key is blending in.
     
  19. pajenn

    pajenn Registered Member

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    I don't want future employers, freinds/girlfriends, laywers, etc. to see every post I've ever made on the internet by google searching my name. But that's just me. A secondary reason is to avoid spam.
     
  20. ComputerSaysNo

    ComputerSaysNo Registered Member

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    Sabu posted his own website in IRC which had his real name in a whois search.

    Sabu also snitched on everyone, and I mean everyone. He is still snitching and trying to entrap people for the FBI according to cryptome.
     
  21. mirimir

    mirimir Registered Member

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    It depends on where you are, and what you do.
     
  22. DesuMaiden

    DesuMaiden Registered Member

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    Where is your source he linked his real identity on IRC? That is incredible claim. I don't believe any hacker would do something that foollish. Epic failure indeed.

    What kind of site did he own? Couldn't he have created the site without his real name?
     
  23. ComputerSaysNo

    ComputerSaysNo Registered Member

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    Pammy Olsen writer for Forbes wrote an excellent book on Lulzsec, it was in the book.
     
  24. DesuMaiden

    DesuMaiden Registered Member

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    I don't think that busted him. He forgot to tunnel his ip through tor. That busted him.
     
  25. mirimir

    mirimir Registered Member

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    What I remember reading is that, at least once, he used IRC without tunneling through Tor.
     
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