Privacy is now our one of our greatest assets, and is in danger. Starting off the new year, more than 4.5 million users of the popular messaging app Snapchat saw their aliases and phone numbers were published online as a result of an attack on the security of the app. People often use the same username that they use on other online accounts, so you can use this information to associate phone numbers with Facebook or Twitter or just to find out the phone number of those people you want to contact. Rumors say that the purpose of hacking Snapchat was to make the public aware of a security breach. No doubt the debate over online privacy has been one that has most frequently articulated conversations around technology and everyday use we made of it in 2013, and it looks to continue a hot start this year. Some argue that the only way to absolutely protect our privacy is stay away from any internet connection.
Laziness is one of the major flaws that make us fall into easily avoidable mistakes. How many of us use different usernames and passwords for each service? Not many at all. People tend to use the same username and password for every website simply because it’s easy to remember. There are many services which generate passwords randomly, and which will give you an option to store them securely. Another example of laziness is not logging out when you finish browsing, but instead just closing the browser window. Yes, you will have to enter your password again when you want to log back in, but this will ensure that anyone who happens to use the same computer will not have access to your private information.
Some may state that they do not mind the espionage because they have nothing to hide. Well look at this way, it’s not simply a matter of hiding anything, but to protect what you consider being yours. The violation of privacy on the Internet is a very serious matter. It can be compared to a thief breaking in to your home. Wouldn’t you still lock your doors and turn on the alarm when you leave your house, even if you don’t have anything worth stealing in it? Of course you would, the same principal should be applied to protect your digital space as well.
It also helps to remember to turn off your GPS, Bluetooth, or Wi-Fi connectivity when they’re not in use. Spatial location is now accessible on some smartphones even if it’s not connected to the internet, which would make tracking where you go simple. If your GPS is always active, your definitely not make things easier for yourself. These small gestures need to become a standard practice for us to do automatically if we want to keep our privacy safe and still enjoy the benefits of the internet.