In today’s digital age, safe-guarding your personal and private data is paramount to ensure your digital footprint is secure. Everyday we hear of new threats to our safety and security while perusing online websites, and breaches in data secrecy involving our credit cards, identity and other personal information.
Threats that can rear their ugly head include attacks on your social media accounts, intrusion of private text conversations, personal data stored online including passwords, financial information, and much more. This affects not only adults but children’s privacy is being invaded as well. So this now a multi-generational issue, affecting nearly all households that are “on-line” today.
The most important threats and things you need to be aware of are:
- Data Encryption – The Electronic Frontier Foundation released an excellent resource entitled: SECURITY EDUCATION COMPANION. The webpage is a “free resource for digital security educators”. It explains the different types of encryption that exists and how it’s applicable to you and your family. The webpage resource discusses scenarios such as: “If you send unencrypted messages (not encrypting your data in transit) from an encrypted cell phone (encrypting your data at rest), those messages will still be vulnerable to network eavesdropping and interception (SEC).”
- Biometric Data – From Bloomberg Law, “Biometrics are measurements related to a person’s unique physical characteristics, including but not limited to fingerprints, palmprints, voiceprints, facial, retinal, or iris measurements, and more. A person’s biometric data – their specific measurements – can be used as unique identifiers.” Biometric data safety is another area that is front and center today when discussing privacy in the digital age. Laws are being proposed and enacted throughout the country that aim to shore-up and protect consumer’s bio-data from being mined without disclosure and consent. Make sure you read the fine print in anything that will ask you to divulge this very personal information.
- Third-Party Tracking – Software designed to build a “data-profile” of you for companies so they can monitor all of your digital “going-ons” and curate specific and targeted items directed to you in the form of ads, digital suggestions, push notifications, etc. According to The Electronic Frontier Foundation, the way many data-tracking collectors work is “Most trackers don’t collect every piece of information by themselves. Instead, companies work together, collecting data for themselves and sharing it with each other. Sometimes, companies with information about the same individual will combine it only briefly to determine which advertiser will serve which ad to that person (EFF).” So be very cautious with your data and privacy as it WILL be mined and sold if it’s not protected.
There’s a plethora of ways your data can be compromised today, and it would behoove you to make sure you choose strong passwords and get a password manager to add even more protection when online.
PC Mag also did a great piece entitled: “12 Simple Things You Can Do to Be More Secure Online” the article provides, “tips to protect the security of your devices, your data, your internet traffic, and your identity (PCMAG),” and is well worth a read.
It can be a scary digital jungle out there, but being forewarned is being forearmed.