Technology threatens the privacy and security of content online. As such, there is need to hide such content online through proper and lawful measures. It is important to know what exactly should be hidden to avoid a breach of privacy and security.
Below are some of the ways your privacy online is breached and how and why we must hide info and internet other internet activities that can breach privacy and security of users online.
- Exchange of information online
This is especially so for corporates as well as individuals. Privacy of such entities can easily be breached during online communication. Companies and individuals should therefore hide such data and networks online in order to secure their interests. Use of Firewalls and VPN are some of the basic measures both companies and individuals can take to enhance their security online.
- Consumer protection
Corporations usually collect info about browsing history of target customers and use it in pushing relevant ads to their browsers or social apps. It is a breach of privacy to use info gathered online from potential customers to lay down your business strategies. Consumer info should therefore be hidden from potential data mining protocols.
- Vulnerable groups
Children especially during this era of advanced technology have access to info that is not appropriate for their age. They need to be protected from online harassment and also from accessing info that is not age appropriate. As such, there is need to hide access to such content online. Though parents and schools have the biggest responsibility for monitoring their kids online activities, it should be a social responsibility to all to ensure such info is hidden from kids.
- Cyber bullies and cyber threats
If access to your social online apps and also sharing important info online exposes one to cyber threat or bullying, then measures should be taken to hide one’s identity. Cases of online identity theft are also on the rise. As such, crimes may easily be committed using other people’s identity and this is not fair to the culprit. In this era, identity privacy is very important. One should struggle to ensure that their identity remains safe to avoid threats, bullying and identity theft
- Financial details
Fraud online is common in this technological era. This makes it important for such info to remain private. In case you transact online regularly, ensure that you are doing so at secure sites online. Take precaution to also do such transactions in a secure channel. You need to hide details regarding your bank accounts, credit cards and any other money related info you disclose online. Hackers can easily use such info to commit frauds and this leads to financial loss. When online, such info should be completely hidden. Gather info on online monetary transactions security measures to take and how to enhance your security while doing monetary transactions online.
- Data logs, searches and unauthorized online activities history of the user
Through cookies and some VPN service providers, in case certain data is required by a local authorities or other third parties, such info can easily be traced. This is a breach of privacy and security. Measures would therefore be taken to hide such data such that even after a search, no unauthorized data is found. There are service providers who will help in ensuring that your online use remains private and inaccessible by third parties now and in future.
- Mobile devices
The sensors in mobile devices have the ability to collect data and such data may be shared online exposing individuals privacy. The sensors include GPS location sensor, webcam, and cameras on the phone may collect data and such data may be shared online without the user’s knowledge. In such cases, user privacy knowledge and knowing how to change the configuration can really help one to hide their personal info online. Failure to hide such info may lead to potential physical harm. The general public should be informed of the need to hide such details online through settings that they configure in mobile phone devices.
- Internet of things; devices that, contain chips around your home can record and send info online. They include the smartphones, meter readers and also digital passports that have a chip which has relevant biometric data of the individual. If such info and chips are not secured, then a breach of security may be realized. The same case applies to credit cards as well that operate on chip technology. Data mining may also be possible through such info recorded on the internet of things devices and such info may in future be used for profiling and pushing ads to individuals depending on info recorded online based on their online activities. This is a breach of privacy and if such info is hidden, then such incidences will not happen.
Governments have adopted technology in governance as well. Biometric passports, e-voting, e- services offered by the government and various online platforms through which governments interact with citizens are various examples of government participation in online activities with the citizens. Such activities should be hidden in order to avoid sabotage or illegal data tampering especially in elections and in offering government services.
Reasons for privacy and security protection for online users
- Uphold moral autonomy; through data mining, this can influence your choices in life since ads will be pushed to your browser and this will influence your decisions and affect your autonomy in decision making.
- Inequality in exposure to info; this is a problem that can be solved through data laws governing the use of personal data.
- Prevent discrimination and injustice in information dissemination; corporates may gather the info you provide in one sector and use it in other sectors. This is injustice and a breach of privacy. For example, in cases where employers are able to gather info relating to your health, family background or past events in your life, such info can work against you in some instances especially in politics or in securing a job.
- Prevent harm; cyber crime and bullying occur when your privacy is infringed. Your financial status is also at risk in case hackers get info regarding your bank account. The same case applies to data shared online which may be used maliciously and this may harm the corporate or individual public image as well as their business in the long run.
When is security and privacy of online users breached?
Below are four major ways through which security and privacy online may be breached;
- Through social networking sites; this is mainly through Facebook, MySpace, and Instagram where online users share their content online on this platform. Basically, they share with friends but in some cases, such info ends up with other people who are not intended to receive such info. This is one-way security and privacy of an individual is threatened
- Data mining; corporations may try to gather info about users online in order to post relevant ads to their browser and online forums. The customer demographics gathered online can be used for promotional purposes without the consent of the user or target customer. This actually exposes the target customer privacy and it is not right.
- Cookies and VPN setups that log info/data
- Hacking of networks and systems
How one can hide content online and enhance their security and privacy
- Install firewalls
- Seek for anti-hacking mechanism installation
- Ensure one expresses their privacy preferences in social media apps
- Raising awareness on privacy need online through local authorities, non-governmental organizations, and lobbyists
- Sensitize the public on online privacy rights
- Develop technology to safeguard our online activities and ensure our safety is maintained
- Identity management
- Privacy enhancing technologies should be encouraged and the same info made public for individuals and corporates to know how to prevent data and content security and privacy breach