Many people do not take the privacy and anonymity of their information seriously. The reason being that they feel they have nothing to hide at all. Above all, they do not understand the difference between privacy and anonymity, confusing them with each other and considering them to be the same.

Since stealing and intruding into personal information is a crime in many countries, maintaining privacy is your right. Privacy refers to the content, content of an email for instance. Moreover, you have a right to remain anonymous as well. Anonymity refers your own identity, that is, the sender or the receiver of an email.

Let’s consider privacy and anonymity from the following perspectives to understand these concepts better:


When sending out an email, both the sender and the receiver’s email addresses are public. This means that the email can be used to trace you back, leaving your identity to be public. If the email is not encrypted, this means that the content of the email is open and can be accessed and read by anyone. For instance, if you choose to encrypt your email, your message will become private but the sender and receiver of the email will remain public. This means no one else can read the content of the email except the sender and the receiver.


Similar to an email, phone calling numbers are not anonymous as well. Again, if you encrypt the message or the information being delivered on the phone, then it becomes private. This means that the content remains between the people on either side of the phone only.


When browsing the web, understanding the difference between privacy and anonymity becomes difficult. Mostly, people connect to the internet via an unencrypted connection. So anyone who possesses technical knowledge can find out about the online user’s identity and activities. For instance, your ISP assigns you with an IP address, which means neither you nor your activities, are private.

However, by installing a VPN connection, you will be able to make your identity anonymous and your activities private. This means that not even your ISP will be able to trace your activities and your browsing experience will remain uninterrupted by unwanted hackers.

Cloud Storage

This example is a comprehensive one. Every piece of information that you upload on cloud storage is readable by the service provider; meaning that it is public. Nonetheless, once you encrypt the data prior to uploading it onto cloud storage, it becomes private. Make sure you safely retain your key because anyone who gets hold of it can decrypt your private information.

During the sign up process, most people opt for a free account and don’t fill in the personal information or enter false personal information, which leaves them anonymous. However, if you are paying for the account, then you will be required to give out your financial information. In other words, you will no longer be anonymous.

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