Internet Privacy: Are You Being Watched?
With the advent of the internet, new challenges have spawned that threaten our established way of life. We find ourselves in a position of heightened exposure of our lives on the World Wide Web. Add that to the fact that most mobile phones today have in-built cameras and internet connectivity, and you realize that it takes only five clicks to find details of your life on the internet.
The United States has been battling continual calls by intelligence agencies to pass bills that allow them to eavesdrop on anyone within their borders for the sake of safety. This is also in light of cyber terrorism, which has resulted in the loss of millions of dollars. Company websites are at risk of infiltration by cyber criminals and need special cyber crime fighting organizations to protect them. You need only remember the recent attack on Sony that had criminals attacking their Sony network and stealing records of millions of people around the world. There was a rumour spreading on the internet that credit card information fell into the criminal’s hands but Sony moved to allay the fears of their users. Suffice it to say, the Sony network shut down for a couple of weeks before resuming normal service. The lesson though, was clear to see.
Think again to the Wikileaks fiasco and you realize that no one is safe; no one is untouchable. A very embarrassing revelation of all the activities of the US government plagued the State Department and America were left smarting from the wounds inflicted by one Julian Assange. If the secrets of the government end up on the internet with such minimum fuss, how more at threat are you? How safe are you really? Is there someone watching you? This is not to make you paranoid or leave you looking over your shoulder with every mouse click and keyboard strokes. It is clear to see that search engines and internet browsers save your internet history. People who do not respect your privacy can unearth your passwords and credit card information.
Jump again to this recent group, Anonymous, that has been taunting governments with their internet activities. They accessed the highly protected information unauthorizedly. What chance do you have against people such as these, who go against all the mores of the society? In an episode of the highly acclaimed television series, Criminal Minds, a computer technician spent his spare time breaking into the wireless networks of his clients and spying on their activities through their laptop cameras.
With social sites such as Facebook storing so much personal information, there will always be a risk that life as we know it is moving toward ‘extrovertness’. For those squeamish about what they consider information they would rather not revealed to complete strangers, it is probably time to rethink internet privacy. The world is moving toward a new era where information is streaming immediately it happens through sites such as Twitter. You also only need to do something silly and you will find a video of yourself on Youtube. It is true that someone is indeed watching you, but it is time to take the necessary steps to protect any important information in your possession. You are going to have to accept that there will always be people who do not follow the accepted social norms.