How to Be an Anonymous Animal on Google Docs

Today, the process of file sharing online has become easier thanks to Google Spreadsheets and Google Docs. Now, if you want to share an Excel file with your friends or colleagues, or make a document available for all your contacts, you can click the Share File button, and it will send a link to your assigned contacts.

Of course, the usual file browsing without downloading it to your computer is more convenient and less memory-consuming. But what if you want to remain anonymous when viewing this file?

A well-known service, today, allows users to remain anonymous when viewing any file or document. To do this, special animal icons are created that hide the true visitor.

So, how do you become an anonymous animal on Google Docs? Let’s consider it in detail.

Previously, we’ve told you about Google data privacy. If you’ve missed it, you can read it here.

What are the animals?

Google has come up with a great idea that has two meanings: it draws attention to the problem of animal extinction and allows users to remain anonymous when viewing a file or document.

When someone sends us a link to a Google document, we often find a whole “zoo” inside: dolphins, beavers, camels, giraffes, pandas, and even non-existent kraken.

What is anonymous animal on Google

Such a method helps users to stay anonymous when access the files and documents that grant to everyone who has a link. Also, such a measure hides the real identity of each person, and protects his data from tracking, or spying.

How many animals exist in Google Docs?

All Google documents that are intended for public access can hide your identity using animals. This is a list of 73 animals that are on the verge of extinction. However, none of the users knows which of the animals will fall specifically to him. In addition, each time, the user appears under a new animal. The only way to find out what kind of animal you got this time is to ask another user. However, if you want to leave a comment in the document, other users will see your real name.

According to Google spokeswoman Kyrie Harmon, these animals have quite a long history. In 2012, the company’s employees wanted to diversify the boring platform for working with documents and make it a little more fun.

In the company, no one remembers which animal appeared first. The list of icons was constantly updated with more interesting, and sometimes even mystical, creatures. Now there is the largest rodent in the world, the capybara; the axolotl, a salamander with a child’s smile; the meme Nyan Cat; and the kraken – a sea monster of Scandinavian legends.

The designers went even further and included the list of extinct animal species (for example, the quagga, an extinct subspecies of zebra) and those on the verge of extinction. There are 73 creatures on the list, and according to the latest word, there are no plans to add new ones – yet.

What happens if more than 73 people view one file at the same time? Harmon says this happens so rarely that it can’t be a problem. But the team would not want to duplicate the animals and confuse the users.

And here is what the full list of animals looks like:

The list of Google animals
The list of anonymous Google animals
The list of anonymous animals on Google

How to be an anonymous animal on Google Docs

Anonymous animals will appear whenever someone grants access to a file as an “Anyone with a link” option.

According to official data, Google took care to select from the cutest and least known animal species. It chose the method of identity hiding for protection.

After document sharing, it will automatically become public, and everyone can access it with an animal icon instead of a real one. An icon appears by default. You can’t choose the one you like. However, you should remember that if you share a specific document with a particular user, his name will appear as a visitor of a document when he follows the link.

Sharing link on Google

In addition, if the owner of a spreadsheet or document specifically shared a file with you and other users, you or people will receive an email invitation to view, edit, or comment on the file.

After clicking on the link and clicking on it, are there any options to remain anonymous when viewing a Google document? Of course, there is. You can choose two of the following options.

First, you need to log out of your account before you click on the link and open the document. In this case, you can view any document anonymously by clicking on the link. Your profile will be hidden by one of the animals. However, remember that if you need to view the document several times, then do not log in to your account, so as not to reveal your identity.

Second, you can use incognito mode. In this mode, you also do not open your account, but use anonymous viewing of a file or document. In this case, instead of your name, the name of one of the 73 animals will be indicated.

Incognito mode on Google

Alternative method of anonymous access

Those users who have become disillusioned with Google’s privacy policy and have lost confidence in this media corporation can use an alternative method of viewing anonymous web browsing.

For example, you can choose to use Utopia – a decentralized P2P ecosystem that provides anonymous and private use of multiple tools for messaging, data transmission, creating web pages, browsing, making online payments, and much more. The most important thing is that the user always remains anonymous. No need to enable incognito mode or log out of your account. You can forget about the VPN and proxy, because no one knows the real IP address of any user.

Utopia is based on hybrid encryption technology that protects users’ data from outside influence and attacks. It has such typical functions as messenger, mail, browser, wallet, games, etc. All these things are available after anonymous registration. And if someone wants to share a file or document with other users, they can do it anonymously and securely as well. For instance, you can create a private chat or add the document to public channel where all participants are anonymous too.

Read more about the ecosystem here.


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