It’s not easy to tell privacy, security, and anonymity apart because it feels like they should be interchangeable. But they’re not. While these concepts do overlap — each one of them can be a part of another — they’re different and can’t replace each other. In this article, we will explain the difference between privacy, security, and anonymity, and how to achieve these conditions.
Let’s get down to the terminology
First of all, let’s determine what each of these concepts are.
Privacy is achieved when a user is free of any surveillance. It means, that no one can see their activity and sensitive information.
Security is achieved when a user is safe from danger. In the digital world, it means that no one can infect their device, get into it, interfere with connection, and steal personal data.
Anonymity is achieved when a user can’t be identified. It means, that the details about their identity are hidden.
Now let’s compare these concepts and see the difference between them to gain a better understanding.
Privacy and security
Here is an example of privacy. You’re at your home, but you didn’t lock the front door. No one can see you and what you’re doing because you’re alone. However, if anyone wanted, they could just open your front door and enter your home. Which means you’re not secure at all. In the digital world, you’re private when no one can see your online activity — typing or browsing. But it doesn’t mean that you can’t catch a virus from an infected site which means that you’re not secure.
The perfect example of security is a solitary prison cell. You’re by all means secure there — no one can enter your cell except for guards (who, let’s say, won’t harm you). But you’re watched over round-the-clock by those guards, so you’re secure but not private. In a digital world, you can be secure if you have an antivirus app. But even the strongest antivirus won’t save you from being surveilled by the same old Google, Facebook, and any hacker who has managed to enter the network you’re connected to and is sitting there gathering data about your activity.
To stay both secure and private you need to:
- Use an antivirus to protect your device from malware
- Use a VPN app to hide your activity. iNinja VPN will hide your IP address and encrypt your data making it impossible for hackers to get enough information to spy on you
- Not share your passwords with anyone you don’t trust (better — don’t share them with anyone)
- Not share your devices with anyone
- Avoid oversharing on social media
Privacy and anonymity
We’ve already figured out that you’re private when no one can see what you’re doing. In other words, it’s when you keep something private, hidden from others. Or when you just don’t want to share something because you don’t feel like doing that.
Anonymity is not sharing your identity. It means, that people will be able to see your actions but they won’t know who is standing behind those actions. For example, many offices have this tradition when they assign colleagues to each other, and each one of them needs to get a Christmas gift for the assigned person. It’s called “Secret Santa” and it displays anonymity perfectly. The person you got a gift for receives that gift and knows what it is — they know that someone got it for them. But that person won’t know it was you. So you’re staying anonymous.
There is another concept called pseudo-anonymity — it’s when a person wants to be identified by some nickname but not by their real identity. The perfect example would be the famous artist Banksy — a lot of people know his work and nickname but no one, except for his close people, we guess, knows his real name and the way he looks.
In the digital world, if you’re anonymous, the website you’re browsing can see your activity but not your real identity.
Privacy, security, anonymity, and a VPN app
So, how can a VPN app for Windows, macOS, and portable devices help? The iNinja VPN app hides your IP address thus allowing you to stay anonymous. At first, iNinja reroutes your connection to a VPN server and only then sends it to the destination server — for example, the website you wanted to visit. As a result, the destination site sees an IP address of a VPN server, not yours. And since an IP reveals your location quite precisely, by hiding it, the iNinja VPN app makes you anonymous.
Additionally, iNinja encrypts the data you send and receive — and when you enter a website, you simultaneously send and receive data to establish the connection — making it impossible to steal for hackers. It means, that a VPN app also makes you private since no one will be able to see what data you exchange. In addition to the hidden IP address, the encryption makes you both anonymous and private since any prying eyes will lack data to see your activity — let alone getting into your device and stealing your private information. And the latter also adds a layer of security.
So the iNinja VPN app will cover you completely, improving your privacy, anonymity, and security. Just don’t forget to use an antivirus program because even the best VPN app can’t protect you from malware, and remember to stay cautious. If you willingly share your personal information with malefactors, no app will be able to protect you from consequences.