It won’t be wrong to say that digital devices and mediums have connected us to the whole world. This also implies that when we use a digital medium, we even carry the responsibility of our near and dear ones as well.
One wrong step and we may jeopardize the digital privacy and security of our friends, family, colleagues, and everyone we care for.
The intent of this blog is not to scare you. After all, the various digital mediums are meant to be enjoyed, they are meant to be used to their fullest potential so that they can make our lives better. However, with a little caution and we’ll be able to steer clear from threats around us.
How Do We Jeopardize Our Privacy and Security In The Digital Age
And more importantly what is it that we can do to not put our and our loved one’s digital privacy in a soup.
– Overshare Information
You probably couldn’t resist sharing the awesome closeup of that pasta you recently had at the new hip cafe’ in your town. And, you didn’t just share the image but you even tagged everyone who accompanied you to the cafe, tagged the location of the cafe’.
Knowingly or unknowingly we often tend to overshare things and put out information that can easily be misused against us. In this day and age where your digital privacy and security can be easily compromised, please do not share content on the world wide web that can expose your identity to someone who doesn’t have the right intentions.
What To Do?
It is very important that you first, don’t share any information that for example, a stalker or some criminal could use. Even if you are sharing photos, make sure you strip off every ounce of EXIF information so that elements like location information, camera settings, date and time of the image, etc cannot be ascertained. Also, if you are tagging people, make them know beforehand and take their due permission.
– Casual Behaviour When Using Public Wi-Fi
The need to use the internet can arise even while you are on the go. This is why you may need the internet to finish some official tasks, perform a banking transaction or do something else. Now, if you are not careful and use the internet at a cafe’, airport, hotel room, or any public Wi-Fi without security measures, you may risk your family’s digital privacy in ways more than one. We have already discussed some of the common risks of using public Wi-Fi in this post.
Consider an example: Let’s assume you are using an unprotected laptop on which you regularly carry out banking transactions and online shopping, have images of everyone in your family, there are several other documents pertaining to your family members stealing which a criminal can conduct identity theft. If a hacker can invade your laptop, he or she may further inject malware and steal all of the data.
What Should You Do?
Much before using the internet on public Wi-Fi make sure you have a robust Antivirus and a VPN in place. While an Antivirus will track and remove any malicious threat in real-time, a VPN will help you conceal your IP address.
– Accepting Friend Requests Right, Left, and Centre
Having lots of friends or followers on social media platforms has become a norm of sorts. Often while scrolling our social media pages we hardly care about who has sent us a friend request and accept it. In the past, scammers have gravely exploited this behavior and haven’t just caused harm to one user but even to the other people who are connected with the user.
Let’s say you have accepted a friend request from a scammer seeing that he or she was already friends with a few other friends. Now, a few days later you receive a call from a few of your colleagues who ask if you are okay. Surprised, you ask why did they ask to which they say that someone was asking for money from them on your behalf. Such instances come under something called catfishing.
What Should You Do?
You must accept friend requests from people you know in real life. Secondly, never comply with odd requests from someone posing as your friend or friend of a friend. In one such event, you should always contact your friend or relative and ask them if they are in actual trouble.
– Giving Unwanted Apps Permissions
Apps have become an inseparable part of our lives and devices. For a variety of tasks ranging from entertainment to productivity, apps have made our lives simple, which is why day in and out we install apps on our devices. Here’s the thing – Immaterial of the device you use to install apps – Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, or any other, you should be wary of what permissions you are giving to an app.
You may wonder why?
That’s because some notorious developers create malicious apps and make them look like genuine apps. Furthermore, when you grant permissions to one such app, the hacker developer gets free access to your devices, and then we needn’t even mention what all bad things can happen to your device.
For example – a simple-looking gaming app or a calculator shouldn’t ask for camera permissions. But, why should you be worried? Because in the past apps have misused permissions and have caused harm to users. A dangerous app can steal your and your family member’s data, misuse the contact’s list and send inappropriate messages and spread a lot of malice.
What Should You Do?
Before you hit the install button, make it a point to read the reviews of the app and be aware of the app’s been in the news for the wrong reasons. Even if an app’s genuine, swiftly go through the permissions. You can refer to this post on how you can manage Android app permissions. Not just on Android, even if you are a Windows user here’s how you can find out which apps are using the webcam on Windows 11. On the same lines, here’s how you can limit third-party access to an iPhone app.
Be Careful and Not Scared!
As we said the blog’s ultimate intent is to arm you with the right digital behavior that’ll thwart any miscreants intent to invade your and your loved one’s digital privacy and security. And, while this is not an all-inclusive list but rather a path that’ll make your privacy in this digital age more concrete.