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While the internet has made life easier for us, at the same time, it has developed complex security vulnerabilities as well.

A meme once read, “The world’s shortest horror story: The Internet has left”. Indeed, that would be a horror story because our lives practically run on the internet. No internet would turn our world into a ghost town.

The internet is so strongly entwined with our lives, it has a hold on everything from personal photographs, banking information, private conversations, confidential data, etc. Individuals, families, corporations, government bodies, private entities, etc. all have various data stored on the internet. While the internet has made life easier for us, at the same time, it has developed complex security vulnerabilities as well. 

In 2019, the World Economic Forum revealed that cybercrime is among the top 5 risks to global stability (107 Must-Know Data Breach Statistics for 2020). This is an extremely serious finding and therefore a cause for great concern. In the wake of recent data leaks from defence ministries, emails, Whatsapp data, – it is becoming critical day by day to protect internet privacy. Although there are several tools and apps to achieve this, there is still a dire need for people to take their internet privacy seriously. Many people still do not fully understand or downplay the need to ensure foolproof data protection.

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The Following Are The Top Reasons To Protect Internet Privacy At All Costs:

Danger To Life

As we share more and more data on various social media sites and websites, our data protection is becoming more and more vulnerable. Women and children are particularly in danger in this context as sexual crimes against women and children are on the rise. Sharing pictures, personal location can make you an easy target for predators. 

Identity Theft

Cybercriminals like hackers and attackers are always on the prowl to steal your personal information to misuse your money and finances. Identity theft such as stealing of credit card numbers, ATM pins, have cost people their hard-earned money. In most cases, it is an exorbitant amount that might have been saved for a health or financial emergency.

Global Instability

Unfortunately, although we are in a time of great technological and intellectual advancement, social prejudices resulting in racism and communal disharmony are on the rise. Terrorist groups are known to hack into fortified national and international defense servers and gain access to deeply confidential defense information which is then used to create global instability and threaten world peace. 

Cyber Bullying

Bullying is a vicious crime that has claimed countless victims. Recently, bullying has taken on a new form – cyberbullying or bullying online. Sharing one’s thoughts, emotions, expressing oneself is recommended but when this happens on social media, we are exposing ourselves to conjecture, judgment, and bullying. Victims are often harassed by vitriolic comments, private messages in their inboxes, on Whatsapp, e-mails, etc. Cyberbullying becomes easy because we allow so much room by sharing so much of ourselves online. Cyberbullying has also led to many people committing suicide.

Steps To Ensure Internet Privacy

Strong Passwords

Having a strong password is by far the most basic method of ensuring. In addition, changing your passwords on a monthly or fortnightly basis also ensures privacy protection. However, not everyone remembers passwords very well and many times this is the very reason people prefer passwords that are easy to remember. Also, noting passwords down in mobile phones or on paper risky. However, this makes your data an easy target for hackers and other cybercriminals. So make that extra effort to remember passwords; choose a password with a familiar term and add in some permutations and combinations of numbers and special alphabets. 

Limited Sharing Of Data

It is understandable that we want to share good news like celebrations, festivals, a baby’s birth, etc. with our friends and colleagues. Social media is the perfect platform to let all our networks — friends, batchmates, neighbors, colleagues, extended family, etc. — know about the good things happening in our lives. However, sharing too much and too often also means that your personal data is accessible and viewable to people who you 

Remember, your data is also visible to the networks of your networks and in most cases, these are people you have no clue about. 

Avoid Sharing Personal Photos

With selfies and stories becoming the social media norm, it’s hard to convince people especially children and young people to not share personal photos and information on their social media profiles. However, young people are extremely impressionable and vulnerable to online predators who can violate their privacy and cause them serious harm for life. It is therefore essential for parents, teachers and guardians to have a dialogue with each other and children and young people about this critical issue.

Use VPN (Virtual Private Networks)

Not only your personal informations, but also your device information can be leaked when you visit a website or use a program. Therefore, it is always good to use VPN when using public wifis to prevent any information leak.

Not only your personal informations, but also your device information can be leaked when you visit a website or use a program. Therefore, it is always good to use VPN when using public wifis to prevent any information leak. Click To Tweet

The good news is that we have already explained the importance of using VPN on our previous blog post. Feel free to read the benefits of using a VPN.

Create Private Groups

Social media applications like Facebook and Google have features like private groups and link sharing which means you can show personal photos to a selected group of people you trust to not violate your privacy. This keeps your personal life out of the unnecessary limelight leaving little to no space for theft or misuse.

Counsel Children And Young People

It is extremely important for adults like parents, teachers, employers to take the initiative to ensure that children and young people are made aware of the threats posed by the lack of internet privacy. The need to be socially validated stems from a lack of security and self-esteem in most young people. If these root causes are addressed, then oversharing information for social validation from peers and friends will automatically subside.

Conclusion

Rising crimes are a very strong reason why internet privacy must be protected at all costs. Your life and the lives of your loved ones depend on it. Sharing your home address, locations, photos on social media is not advisable; there are ways to share your data in a limited manner and still stay connected with your social networks.

The threats posed by a breach of internet privacy and real and tangible. It is therefore extremely important to take internet privacy seriously, exercise self-restraint while sharing personal information on social media and taking the right precautions to ensure your safety and the safety of those you are responsible for.

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