Muddy up your Digital Footprint with a VPN

onlinefottprint-vpn There was a time when the Internet was a highly-unregulated kingdom unto itself where the browsing activities of Web surfers were hard things to track. Over the years, things have changed. While the Internet remains largely unregulated, it is far easier these days to leave a trail that almost anyone can follow. You can take measures to reduce or even eliminate your digital footprint by using a VPN.

What is a digital footprint?

Each time you connect to the Internet you potentially create a trail for someone to follow. That “footprint” can be used to connect all of your Internet activities and give someone a comprehensive view of your likes and preferences. Leaving behind a trail online has caused some people to lose their job, get into trouble at school, and experience problems at home.

Your footprint can be left in a variety of ways. Using sites that require a login, like Facebook or Twitter, will certainly create a trail, but there are other ways you can be tracked. Many websites use cookies and Java-based applications to track your Internet activity and create a demographic profile. Many of these applications are fairly harmless, but they still help put together the pieces of the puzzle that is your online identity.

Your online identity

Most people draw little distinction between the person they are offline and the person they are online. They use the Internet pretty much the same way they use any other form of communication. For some, however, establishing an online identity that is somewhat removed from the person they really are is beneficial. Not all of the reasons for doing this are bad ones.

Bloggers may want to maintain their blogs in anonymity because of the opinions they express. Those opinions might not be acceptable to their circle of family or friends. Gay and Lesbian individuals who must remain “in the closet” during their offline life can create an online identity that allows them to freely express who they genuinely are. There are numerous reasons a person might seek to create a line between their online and offline activities, and not all of them are bad.

Sometimes, a person just wants to indulge in the fantasy afforded by an online identity. They can be anything they want to be while connecting with people they will probably never meet in real life. A little fantasy in this regard is truly harmless, but it can easily be misconstrued by someone who determines the real identity of the person behind the profile.

Who is tracking my Internet activity?

At the top of the list would be government agencies that are shoring up surveillance under the pretense of security. Look, we’re not in the business of creating or advocating conspiracy theories, but the facts are pretty simple: in the post-9-11 world many governments have gone overboard in monitoring usage of the Internet. The US alone regularly requests and receives demographic data from many Internet websites. Can you imagine what that process is like in a country which does not herald freedom of speech, like China? You will probably never do or say anything online that will perk up the ears of the government, but then again you might. The point here is that you don’t want to get caught up in the overly cautious net of government surveillance.

Credit agencies, skip tracers, and attorneys can also be interested in tracking online activities. Some spouses have reason to suspect that their partner is cheating, and an online trail might confirm their suspicions. If you happen to be using the Wi-Fi at work on your own device, some employers feel that your browsing history is fair game. God forbid you should look at a soft-porn website on the job. Employees have been fired for far less.

Muddy up the water!

If you truly want to remain anonymous online, the trick is to throw digital bloodhounds off the trail by using a VPN from A VPN can go a long way toward restoring your Internet freedom. It obscures, or masks, your IP address, the virtual calling card you leave behind at every website. Any attempts to track that IP address will only lead back to the VPN server. A VPN also turns your data transfer into unrecognizable gibberish with a process called encryption. Encryption is a fancy word for an elaborate cipher, and it is nigh-impossible to crack.

You’re still going to need to change some of your browsing habits if you really want to remain anonymous, but using a VPN is the foundation you need to erase your digital footprint. A few moments spent right now purchasing and setting up your VPN can save you a lot of embarrassment later on. Every moment you wait is a moment that someone could be following your digital trail.

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