A. On the discussion forum, please describe the reasons for having a totally anonymous means of accessing the internet. Please also discuss the dangers of that same internet. Minimum 250 words.
B. Respond to two classmates’ postings. Minimum 100 words per posting.
REPLY – 1
Anonymity means the state of being unrecognized. On the internet, it is used to refer to the ability of an internet user to access a site on the internet without his/her identity being established. There are some reasons as to why people prefer being anonymous on the internet. Some of these reasons include;
First is the desire of protecting the identity. Although one might not be undertaking any illegal activity, everyone needs some aspect of privacy. There are some social classes that people attain that call for this king of concealed identity. People who are introverts tend to like carrying out their activities incognito. The other need for anonymity is the need to avoid personal harassment that comes from online attacks due to an individual’s opinions. At times when one gives their views via social media, the opponents to that opinion might bash the proponent, leading to damage to his reputation (Christopherson, 2007). However, once a person has hidden his/her online identity, such attacks will not be directed to his identity. Lastly, anonymity helps to conceal the identity of people who may need to ask very sensitive questions via the internet. For instance, one may need to inquire from health experts via the online platforms concerning his/her health conditions and the possible symptoms of some disease. People feel more comfortable when they do this incognito.
Some of the dangers that come along with the use of the internet include cyber threats and cyberbullying. Here, the security of one’s personal information is put at risk due to the possibility of phishing. Also, internet users may, at times, bully a person by spreading false information about them (James, 2008). Furthermore, cases of sexual abuse by people taking part in online dating have been on the rise. Exposure of children to the internet has also led to moral decadence. This is why a need arises to come up with measures to mitigate some of these problems.
Christopherson, K. M. (2007). The positive and negative implications of anonymity in Internet social interactions: “On the Internet, Nobody Knows You’re a Dog.” Computers in Human Behavior, 23(6), 3038-3056.
James, J. (2008). Digital divide complacency: Misconceptions and dangers. The Information Society, 24(1), 54-61.
REPLY – 2
In today’s world, all of us are dependent on the Internet for various reasons. It’s main ability to connect people via electronic devices; to have information available to many of us and major source of entertainment. However, it is to be noted that there are disadvantages due to internet as well. They include malware, cyber-attacks, security issues, etc.
Keeping that in the mind, user privacy is a major concern. Data can be accessed by any hacker to misuse it. To reduce such activities, anonymizer services, have been introduced. Although they serve the purpose but then they do have their own disadvantages as well.
HTTP, the hyper text transfer protocol, allows you to get HTML documents and is a client-server protocol, which will allow user to access the documents accessing via a web browser through a request and response cycle. Even though HTTP is simple, extensible and stateless, it doesn’t store any information that is sent to the server.
An anonymizer is a proxy tool which helps to make the attempts made on the internet untraceable. Using of an anonymizer will help to reduce risks to some extent and avoid thefts. Data anonymization is a process implemented to protect data. It protects data by either encrypting the data. (Eckert C., Pircher A., 2001)
There are different levels of anonymity. They are defined as below
Level 1: Pseudo-anonymity with respect to the communication partner
Level 2: Pseudo-anonymity with respect to the anonymizing service
Level 3: Anonymity with respect to the communication partner
Level 4: Anonymity with respect to the anonymizing service
Level 5: Anonymity with respect to third parties
Level 6: Anonymity with respect to the anonymizer
There are different kinds of anonymizer services. They are Log-file anonymizer; proxy anonymizer and the web anonymizer. Developed for the Apache Web server, the log file anonymizer, preserves the privacy of user’s data. The proxy anonymizer will receive requests and forwards them to the original proxy server after hiding and modifying the information that was sent.
It is to be considered that there are problems with the anonymity of the data. They are re-identification. In case of a health care organization, data security and privacy are very important. Data masking doesn’t use metrics to measure the actual risk of re-identification and they deal with direct identifiers, which is a potential issue as to uniquely identify the data, identifiers such as name, email or social security number, etc. and if such data is eliminated, it is surely is an issue. To avoid such instances, data masking needs to be done to fields that don’t need any analytics. (Privacy Analytics, 2017).
Eckert C., Pircher A. (2001) Internet Anonymity: Problems and Solutions. In: Dupuy M., Paradinas P. (eds) Trusted Information. SEC 2001. IFIP International Federation for Information Processing, vol 65. Springer, Boston, MA
Privacy Analytics. (Jan 9th, 2017). The Problem with Data Masking Techniques. Retrieved from https://privacy-analytics.com/de-id-university/blog/problem-data-masking-techniques/
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