It seems that people using the Internet feel they have anonymity, where no one can find out who they are. So, some people will use applications like Bittorent to download illegal music or software applications, make forum postings with nasty or belligerent comments, and do whatever they want thinking no one will know it was them. Let me inform you, that you are never anonymous on the Internet. Whenever you visit any web site, the site’s server records the IP Address of the computer you are using for the connection. It can also record what kind of browser you are using, and the operating system of your computer. So what, you might ask? Well, the IP Address identifies YOUR specific computer on the Internet network, so you can definitely be tracked down. Your particular Internet Service Provider (ISP) knows exactly what your IP Address is, so they can very easily identify you if someone tells them you are doing abusive activity.
For example, someone tried to make a comment posting on this web blog with the message, “LOL YOU SUCK”. Fortunately, the WordPress software that I’m using requires new postings to be moderated by me, so this comment never made it to my web blog for others to see. Apparently, this person thought he or she was anonymously making this posting, however, I know exactly who their ISP is, what their computer IP Address is, and in what city and state they live in (since WordPress records such information). I also know the email address of their ISP to which I can send notification of abusive activity. So guess what, “firstname.lastname@example.org”? Your ISP may be contacting you soon about your adolescent behavior (or maybe your mommy and daddy will have a little chat with you?). LOL.
So those of you surfing the web from your work computer, be aware that your employer can easily record and track the web sites you visit. Of course, there’s anonymity software available where all your Internet activity is funneled through their independent servers (which is slow), however, don’t be surprised if they are tracking your activity and could be forced to release that information by court order.
So the moral of the story is that you are definitely not anonymous when surfing the web, so be careful what you do and post on web forums (especially you, Bob).