‘The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world that he didn’t exist.’ However surprising it may be, this quote, as old as time, aptly depicts the root cause of unmonitored activity on the internet- Anonymity. In 2021, the global pandemic has pushed adults and children to carry out all tasks online, exposing them to a troubling internet paradox- that not everything is what it seems to be.
Nowadays, 90% of websites promise to safeguard your identity by creating shields, such as usernames that grant the user absolute control and power over their actions in said websites. Anonymity poses both a boon and a curse: it provides a platform for people to exercise their right to freedom of speech, but may also make them subject to online abuse, or in other words, cyberbullying.
Lack of education on cyber safety makes children more vulnerable to precarious websites, enabling predators to violate the rights to privacy of such a user effortlessly.
According to a report, 66% of consumers are willing to sell or give away their personal data, including internet search history, location, and ID information such as a driver’s license.
Yet, there might be a more dangerous concept contrasting anonymity, referred to as doxing. Doxing is a malicious act, typically performed by skilled hackers, which reveals the identity of another user on the internet. It is done by selling personal details such as addresses, security numbers, or mobile numbers. Acts like disagreeing with a person over a sensitive topic may lead to the destruction of your privacy.
Fear not, fellow readers, for there are multiple ways to counter these lethal activities on the net. It is advisable to consult your loved ones about the sites and apps they use and their online experiences. Have a long, but much-needed chat with them about the dangers of interacting with strangers online and remind them that people don’t always seem to be what they are behind their masks. Explain that passwords are there to protect against things like identity theft.
Swimming through a stream of an online revolution, which only seems to get faster on the path to technological development, can be quite daunting at first. But remember, the benefits of using the net can outweigh the curses, for they can be dealt with in simple, but efficient ways.
– Key Popat 10E