Security vs. Privacy: Where’s the Balance?

One of the most difficult issues to navigate in the digital age is striking the right balance between security and privacy. The online revolution has transformed how people communicate with one another, exchange information, and conduct business. From hacking personal information to sharing your personal data to potential surveillance by governments or identity thieves, the internet and the applications that use it are fraught with risks. Here are some security and privacy concerns associated with modern technology.

Security Concerns With Modern Tech

Selling personal information of users is big business for giants like Facebook and Google. Marketers pay top dollar for information about what users are interested in, where they travel online, and who is in their social network. These firms then use your personal data to leverage their marketing campaigns. If you are concerned about keeping your personal interests and social connections private, then consider changing your privacy settings on social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram. That’s no guarantee that these companies or third parties won’t sell your data, but it makes you a little more secure.

In Browser and App Settings

Most browsers have options to keep your browsing history private. An example would be the “incognito” setting on Google Chrome. When you turn this feature on, the browser does not record your history. You can also help protect your data by regularly clearing your browser history. Unfortunately, though, there is no way to guarantee your data remains private without encryption. Most common blocker settings and software for certain sites have their limits. One way to protect yourself against snooping is to use a virtual private network (VPN). VPNs protect all your traffic information so that what you look at on the internet remains private.

Financial Data

The internet is a breeding ground for identity theft and financial crimes because of its relative anonymity and global reach. A hacker in Ukraine, for example, can easily hack a user’s data in Wisconsin with the right set of tools. The ease of using credit cards to make quick purchases on Amazon along with the comforting lull of the “lock” icon on the websites that are supposedly secure can trick customers into being reckless with their credit card numbers and other vital personal information. Phishing, in which criminals lure unsuspecting targets into giving up personal data by pretending to be from a reputable company, is another common trick.

While the internet has been effective for lubricating the wheels of commerce and making life easier in general, it has also come with a dark side. Limit your exposure on the web to protect your privacy and assets.