Most of the people don’t realise the importance of protecting their data which has become a great deal with increasing number of hacks happening day by day. In just the past few years, customers have been affected by breaches at companies ranging from Equifax to Uber, along with phishing and malware attacks on individuals. Various organisations have been trying to educate businesses and people, the need for cybersecurity and what they can do to protect themselves. ( image - erolnews )
Data Privacy Day is recognised internationally on every 28th January. Its main purpose is to make people aware of the best practices for privacy and data protection. It is currently observed in 50 countries, including India.
I know that most of the people aren’t tech savvy and they are unaware of how they can protect their data. But, that doesn’t mean that they don’t understand situations where their information might be used. In past few years, web has transformed our lives in such a manner that we now spend most of our time online. For every single piece of information we want there is some content on the web. But, along with the revolution that internet has provided us, it has also opened the door for harming our privacy. ( image - media.licdn )
Let us take an insight on how our privacy is harmed by the current way of internet business.
For everything we do on internet – post photos on social media sites, chat with friends, or search for anything online – we are not charged, though, they have become an essential part of our lives. So, how do the internet companies earn money and spend it in giving salaries or building infrastructure. What they basically do is track, save and learn your usage statistics on the web. And, based on this, companies place advertisements on websites according to user’s needs. For example, a clothing company would want their advertisements to be shown more frequently to a someone who loves to shop for trending clothes. They might try to push their privacy boundaries in order to gain insight of user’s usage statistics so that they are able to sell their product. ( image - learning goods )
The revenue from advertisement is the motivation behind harnessing our privacy. Coupled with cheap and more advanced, faster data storage technologies, the companies are more eager to save every bit of data they can get. Since, artificial intelligence is being pushed forward, it may be possible that the machines would now be able to gather data much more efficiently than before and it may be used against us, in future. Our most intimate data, controlled by those whose interests are advertisement based targeting and combined with data analysis programs, could lead to discrimination and loss of freedom.
Here, I have used the example of advertisement based breaching of data to explain how your privacy is harmed, but there are more ways someone might try to steal your information. So, as a user of all these web services, you should at least try to protect your data by using better quality passwords wherever required, keeping your devices which are connected to internet always updated as they may be susceptible to security flaws, and also, you can guard your information by sharing data only with specific people and by not making it public. Try to discover ways you can make your data more secure and hopefully, enjoy privacy.