An anonymity set is a group of individuals or entities that cannot be distinguished from one another based on certain characteristics. In the context of internet privacy and security, an anonymity set refers to a group of users who cannot be distinguished from one another based on their internet activity.
In other words, in a room full of people wearing red shirts, wear a red shirt. You don’t want to be the only person wearing a blue shirt.
For example, imagine that a group of people are all using the same anonymity software or network to access the internet. An observer might see their internet activity, but they would not be able to determine which person is responsible for a particular action. In this case, the group of people would be considered an anonymity set because it is not possible to identify a specific individual based on their internet activity. Some real world examples include:
- Browser – Simply put, to stay in the largest anonymity set you need to use one of the most popular browsers: Firefox, Chrome, Brave, Edge, etc. Using extremely outdated versions with dozens of extensions makes you highly identifiable.
- OS – If your goal is to blend in, stick with the most recent versions of either macOS, Windows, or Linux. Using outdated or obscure Linux distros makes you highly identifiable.
- VPN – Again, stick with well known and popular VPNs. Unfortunately that makes it easier for websites to blacklist you, but it helps your traffic “blend in”.
- Geographical Region – As mentioned in other articles, there is nothing to gain by spoofing your location unless your are specifically using the VPN for that reason. My advice is to stay within your time zone as a general rule of thumb.
Anonymity sets can be used in conjunction with other privacy and security measures, such as VPNs (virtual private networks) and TOR (The Onion Router), to help protect the identity and activity of users online. However, it is important to note that anonymity sets are not foolproof and can be compromised in certain circumstances, such as through the use of sophisticated tracking techniques or through user error.
Anonymity sets can be used to protect the privacy of users by making it more difficult to identify and track individual users. However, it is important to note that anonymity sets are not foolproof and can be compromised in certain circumstances, such as through the use of sophisticated tracking techniques or through user error.