Our footprints online grow in numbers as technologies develop which makes the vulnerability of online privacy increases, such as identity fraud and data breaches. This can lead to an array of issues from cyberbullying to financial loss. Our online privacy has become a crucial subcategory of data privacy nowadays.
People often place their personal convenience above online privacy. Another issue is that we think we’re too small as individuals. Lastly, only a few seem to realize the critical difference between privacy and security. We hope this piece will help you figure out the greatest online privacy threats!
The difference between online privacy and online security
To understand the difference between the privacy and online security, let’s remove the word “online”. Privacy is all about keeping information out of public. What’s personal is kept personal, including certain aspects of your life. Security is about protection from all sorts of threats. From this, it’s easy to define the differences between privacy and security. If you don’t want strangers peeking through your windows, you use curtains and blinds to protecting your privacy. If you don’t want thieves breaking in, you lock your doors and close the front gate to protect your security.
These terms work pretty much the same with the internet. Online privacy is keeping your information to personal. Online security, in turn, is about safeguarding your data from cyber threats.
Social media-related online privacy threats
Let’s take a look what are the privacy risks an individual can face on social media.
Data leakage and identity theft
There are millions of people suffer from data leakage and identity theft every year, which further leads to even more dangerous fraudulent situations. Financial organizations and other companies that handle customers’ confidential information are trying to protect it, but to moderate effect. In spite of these preventive measures, hackers still manage to attain plenty of customers’ information.
Risks of social sharing
Social media websites like Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat provides users to share their current locations when posting. This is may seem quite convenient, but it helps social media criminals collect information about the person who posts and build whole profiles on them.
Idle or unattended accounts
Some people create accounts on various social media platforms only because their friends or colleagues are there, and then leave them unattended for a long time. Idle social media accounts are an easy target for hackers to keep posting whatever false posts or messages under your name. Some will even try to contact your colleagues and friends to collect their personal info.
Unsecured devices leaves you highly exposed to the risk of a privacy breach. Hackers can easily get into devices that don’t have protection like anti-virus, or encryption, and collect private information in this way.
Terms of service-related online privacy threats
Have you ever read terms of service,privacy policies, license agreements, and other agreements online? I guess no. All we do isobediently clicking on the respective buttons and checking the respective boxes.
The thing is, many netizens would pause before clicking “I Agree” if they knew what can be found in those contracts. For instance, giving web-based services, along with any third parties the services contract with, the right to gather, analyze and sell their personal data. Another issue is people clicking away their right to go to court if something goes wrong, basically negating consumer protection law.
What causes Terms of Service-related online privacy threats?
It’s not like the users’ negligence is to blame. The very design of click-to-agree contracts often nudges the reader to follow a habit that years of clicking on “accept” have instilled. EULA’s ubiquity is also a problem – for an average US netizen, reading through digital contracts would take about 250 hours a year. That’s quite an exhausting burden.
Not only that, but it’s also hardly reasonable. It’s not like an average Joe is in a position to negotiate his own separate agreement with Google, Twitter, or Facebook, so why even bother? You can neither change nor refuse this contract.
How to protect your online privacy
There’s a number of measures to ensure you stay private and anonymous on the internet.
Make a strong passwords
A strong password is important if you want to protect your social media account from getting hacked. To make the password strong and difficult to crack, apply an alphanumeric pattern in combination with some symbols. It can reduce the chances of your account being hacked.
Avoid suspicious messages and links
To stay away from frauds and scams, avoid accepting friend requests and clicking any links in messages from unknown people on social media. It is a sure and simple way to avoid many social media privacy-related risks and dangers.
Use some privacy and security protection softwares
I recommend you to use some privacy and security protection softwares Such software such as firewall, anti-virus, especially a VPN. A best VPN software such as RitaVPN will add a layer of encryption on your data and hide your true IP address so that you can browse the internet anonymously and keep your information being hacked.