The Privacy Fallacy - Has The Internet Made Privacy An Illusion?

With the expansion of internet and the virtual world, privacy has become an illusion. The internet has given people freedom of speech providing voice to the voiceless. With great freedom comes great responsibility. This seizes to exist in the internet world. Privacy is a rising murky issue. Companies continue to permeate and gather data about consumers. Data proliferation has increased and moved across boundaries. The internet has turned into a vast surveillance platform tracking everything in its path. Most of the people using the internet are unaware about the misuse of data and privacy breaches.

Advertising firms gather personal data in bulk to understand consumer needs. It is a lucrative marketplace involving several businesses. The internet fails to offer privacy and at the same time offers anonymity to masked criminals. Any information posted online is available to someone else. People think about privacy but do not take any measures till something ominous happens to them. The privacy policies offered have several loopholes. Most of the people agree to share information while signing up for apps and services without understanding its intended usage.

Internet is used across various industries such as government, health care, retail, education and finance. These industries rely on the availability to access personal information. A small flaw can make this information available to a hacker who might use it for personal gain. Once you post information online, there is no turning back. Asking for help is like screaming into an empty void. Futility of privacy is increasing with the expansion of internet of things.

Getting information like health records, browsing habits, purchases, financial data, or employment information about anybody is a piece of cake! People are opting to give up on privacy by providing personal information on social platforms. It is more like a compulsion than a choice. Consider downloading any application or joining any social networking platform. You cannot use these platforms without providing a minimal amount of personal information. The foundation of most of the applications and social networking platforms is connecting people and information gathering. A perennial dilemma exists. We want to live in an open world but parallelly ask for privacy protection.

Measures you can take to avoid or minimize the effect of privacy intrusions are:

  • Install two step verification on mails

  • Clear history and delete cookies from your browser

  • Encrypt information that you don't want to share publicly.

  • Avoid providing location information.

  • Control what you sync with cloud. Use the remote wipe option if required.

  • Keep track of access permissions and revoke it if you think your information is being compromised or misused.

We must make privacy simple and understood by all. We should sabotage the systems and try and provoke more questions and seek a definitive long term solution. Create a firestorm of bad publicity when there is unwarranted or illegal access and publication of personal information. We at Appknox engage with consumers and enlighten them about rising security challenges and how to solve them. We constantly research about the latest innovations in cyber security and implement the best measures.

Published on Aug 4, 2015
Written by Kavitha Ramamurthy


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