Internet privacy is an asset to every web user. However, the recent advancements in information technologies tend to transform the average consumer into a product by monitoring our every step, both in the real world and on the internet. Most popular websites and social media platforms are the gold mines of the XXI century, as the only barrier to keeping up with another explosion of IT advancements is a lack of data to create and improve new products, as well as train Artificial Intelligence (AI).
Not only are the future goals for technological advancement chaotic and dangerous, but modern tech companies also have all the cards in their hands. By controlling the most addictive platforms of media and entertainment, tech companies get internet users hooked on modern products, which are already extremely efficient tools for personal data collection. As the desire for more relevant information only keeps growing, so does the hardware and software with its intent to undermine the last shred of privacy.
A fight for online anonymity may feel like an uphill battle, but internet users in 2023 still have a few ways to minimize their digital footprint and fight for a private web experience. In this article, we take a deeper dive into the state of online privacy, which solutions do less than you would expect, and what our approach should be moving forward. For example, proxies can be a simple, lightweight solution that adds an extra layer of protection and privacy to your browsing experience.
With ranging proxy prices for different providers and services, these intermediary servers can make a difference and help minimize tracking online. For more information on proxy prices and proxies in general, check out Smartproxy – one of the best providers of proxy services in 2023, with affordable deals and interesting articles for all interested parties. For now, let’s look at the state of online privacy, prior violations, and potential solutions.
Resistance is futile, even if you change your settings
As we observe the overwhelming number of cases where private user data was compromised with the help of apps and trackers from tech giants, the most disturbing cases do not involve the manipulation of gullible users that accept all default settings. Instead, we have applications that continue tracking and registering your location, even if GPS tracking is disabled in the settings.
To make matters worse, many modern apps ask the user for permission to handle a lot more information than necessary. While precise tracking is important for navigation and fitness apps, when Netflix and weather apps start recording and pinging your precise movements, even though the approximate location within your IP address offers more than enough information, everything begins to feel unsettling.
Data collection from social media platforms is an entirely different beast, but the collected private information eventually accumulates into enormous data sets that can be sold for millions of dollars. While many tech companies behind social media platforms describe ad revenue as their main source of income, one cannot help but wonder about the dangers of such exposure and if there is any way to escape online tracking.
How to stay protected
Although we have recorded instances of third-party trackers and applications continuing the extraction of data despite the restrictions in their settings, adjusting our options is still a great first step to prevent some forms of tracking.
After that, you can spice up your connection with a user-agent extension that changes the displayed operating system (OS) and a browser version. The more parts of the private data portfolio we change, the smaller the digital footprint gets.
Finally, we have the main component of digital identity – an IP address. While most internet privacy tools do not do enough to improve online privacy, the solutions that alter the IP are the most effective ways to protect your identity.
Change your IP with proxy servers
Proxy servers are the most straightforward solution to our privacy problem. As the transmitted data packets leave our device, instead of heading over to the desired destination, they take an extra stop at the intermediary station to change the IP address.
There are two main types of proxy servers. First, we have datacenter proxies – servers that run on hardware in specialized data centers, but do not have a designated internet service provider.
Then there are residential proxies, which are far more authentic and secretive. These public IPs have real devices attached to them; therefore, connecting to these addresses is just like sharing the same address, which makes for a far better disguise.
Residential proxies are more expensive, but their massive global coverage makes up for it. The best providers offer millions of IP addresses for internet users looking for an anonymous browsing experience or a private geolocation change that will help you unlock restricted websites.
While the search for the best web privacy tool continues, proxy servers can be a great option that will minimize your digital footprint but staying fully private without going off the grid is not possible on the internet.