There are a great number of different threats to our privacy while online. Privacy online can only be measured in degrees, by how much time, effort and money it would cost to breach certain security that could be in place. The U.S. Office OF Personnel Management has been successfully hacked on numerous occasions. Multinational corporations such as Sony and Target, and celebrities like Jude Law, Britney Spears and yes even Donald Trump’s Twitter account has been hacked. Yahoo a dedicated technology company, and one of the largest free email providers in the world has had a billion personal user accounts compromised and violated.
At times the violation of our privacy can be fairly benign. A large number of companies are making a great deal of money gathering data(big data) about what media we consume and what we have to say. In many instances, marketing and research companies are looking for keyword strings in social media outlets, and information such as which website we use before and after clicking through a portal. By and large many of these research companies are looking for trends and large number, they aren’t that interested in what websites John Smith visits as an individual or, what grandma kettle had to say about a peach cobbler recipe.
While some online data miners may be harmless, there are also some black hats out there who are anything but. Not only are the black hats out to put you in the hurt locker, but we are seeing a growing trend of national, religious and state-sponsored attacks. These larger organizations are gathering information for any number of purposes. These powerful groups are well funded, equipped and trained. These groups can commit crimes as petty as emptying your bank account or as serious as disrupting regional medical and communication services.
Governments and big businesses have the responsibility, and the means to keep up with current privacy and security issues. This leaves the average person either taking responsibility for his own privacy and online security or left hoping that someone else will. At first it seems daunting, however, there are many things we can do to help protect our privacy.
• There are a number of easy steps you can take to help maintain your privacy:
• Use and established antivirus and security software suite.
• Insure that your computers and routers are password protected, not using the factory defaults.
• Make sure that you are using strong passwords, containing: uppercase letters, lowercase letters, number and special characters.
• If you have children in the home, ensure that they have their own user account on whatever devices you allow them to use.
• Establish a private user account. If others need access setup a separate account for them.
• While online, if you are in doubt regarding an email, message or popup err on the side of caution and delete it, X out of it, or reboot the device.
Learning how to strengthen your online privacy and security is only a google search away. Google, Microsoft and even the US government have published articles and tools that are commonly available.
Disclaimer: The content in this article is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of US Patriot Tactical.