The Web3 Rabbit hole
January 23, 2023

Why Does Online Privacy Matter?

While the internet has so many good things, the downside to this is that thieves could do with your personal information and can do things like sell it on the dark web

Why Does Online Privacy Matter?

Darkweb v2.0 public release is here

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What has changed in our latest release?

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All new features available for all public channel users

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Coding collaboration with over 200 users at once

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Real-time code save every 0.1 seconds

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In September 2018, news broke out that Facebook was breached and information relating to over 50 million users was exposed to the internet. The privacy of social media users was left unprotected in what was known to be the largest breach in the company’s 14-year history at the time.

That incident is just one out of the many that have happened over the last ten years. The usual aftermath: people express their anger on social media when news gets reported. The irony of their outrage is that it’s being shared on a platform that has probably had its share of privacy issues in recent times.

Then there’s a category of people who claim they’ve got nothing to hide. The truth is, online privacy is a little more complicated than that; it’s not about having nothing to hide, but what could be done with the bits of information you’ve put out there.

If you’ve never felt concerned about taking your privacy online seriously, keep reading to see why it matters.

There’s No Telling What Might Become an Issue

Through the internet, the world has become a global village connecting people from every corner of the world. You can reach billions of people with a single post as long as you’ve got an internet device.

While this can be a good thing, the downside to this is that you might connect with troubled people who find your posts offensive. This set of people can go to extreme lengths just to harm you. Pictures or posts you consider innocent trigger them and there’s no telling why.

Streamers and individuals with a large following on social media have been on the far end of the barrel, with many of them getting swatted on live streams. The major reason? Their online privacy was compromised.

Do you still need to be concerned if you don’t stream online or have a thousand followers? Absolutely! You can still get cyberbullied for doing nothing such as the stories we read on Cyberbully.

Your Identity is at Risk

Social media sites allow users to include information about themselves, post photos, talk about their activities, and their hobbies. They encourage sharing almost everything, which is a great way to build a community online.

This culture, however, makes it difficult to distinguish between what should be private or public and who should be considered friend or acquaintance. Who’d blame them when befriending over 1,000 people means you’re cool or ‘on the way to success’ in certain spheres.

What many people fail to realise is that with the right data, thieves/impersonators can create credit accounts in their names and run up large bills.

There are several ways for them to access your details so you have to be careful about:

  • The information you put out there
  • Links, you click
  • WI-FI used
  • Using the same password

Here are examples of what identity thieves could do with your personal information, according to Norton.

  • New credit cards are opened using your personal data.
  • Use your credit or debit cards to buy stuff.
  • Get medical care using your health insurance.
  • Claim your tax refund after using your social security number to file a tax return.
  • Sell it on the dark web.

Marketers Keep Taking Advantage

Ever had to skip or cancel a relevant but annoying ad when watching YouTube, surfing the internet, or using an app before? You spend little time on a website and the next thing you see are similar ads everywhere you go. Let’s not even talk about those food ads when you’re starving.

Seeing relevant ads so you don’t have to spend time searching is kind of a good thing. A 2016 survey by ADLUCENT even reported that 71% of consumers said they would prefer ads that met their personalised interests and shopping habits.

The challenge users now face is being tracked by big companies who collect details of what they do online. There should be a difference between profiling a user and invading their privacy because even though relevant ads can be beneficial, they can get intrusive real quick.

Maybe that’s why ad-blocking rates have been on the rise in recent times.

To Preserve Your Mental Health

Humans are great at judging and comparing themselves to others - we’ve all done it at one point. With the rise of digital platforms and social media, we assess our belongings, status, worth, and relationships by comparing them against the ever-evolving standards of people in geographical regions far away from us. And with comparison comes stress, anxiety, and risk of low self- esteem, not realising that the information we’re comparing against is false.

There’s no doubt that the internet is great but with all the negativities floating around, you need a digital safe space where you can learn, create, and explore without external influence or fear of missing out.

Helps To Keep Sensitive Information Private

It was reported on August 28, 2020, that Black Panther star CHADWICK BOSEMAN HAS DIED from cancer. He had learned about the sickness four years before he passed, but this information was kept private.

Not every information is to be shared with the public, such as your health status or financial information. It’s another reason why online privacy matters. You get to choose your thoughts, feelings, and who you share them with. No one can use your personal information against you; it’s freedom, essentially.

Promote Freedom of Speech

Freedom of speech is a fundamental human right that applies to the digital space, too.​​ There’s no way one can report something when their freedom can’t be guaranteed. Perhaps you want to voice your thoughts on injustice done by the mayor or the police officers; online privacy becomes important in this case. You need to be certain you’d be safe to do that.

Conclusion

In today’s world, online privacy has become directly proportional to physical security. Poor online privacy practices can leave you at the mercy of people who are out to harm you. There’s no better time to take it more seriously than now. Get involved by reaching out to CYBERSECURITY EXPERTS and supporting better privacy laws.