In this era of the internet, security is just an illusion. It is like a blind man checking that the doors of his house are secure but forgetting to check whether there are walls around it or not. Today a mere search of someone shows hundreds of records on them. There are passport numbers, Facebook profiles, blogs, websites, phone numbers, addresses, interests, likes, dislikes, hobbies, friends information and more that results in their online biography. Today even a child in the 3rd standard is on Facebook.
Gone are the days when you had your personal information/files stored in a physical library and your only risk was that someone might steal them. Life nowadays is all about digital. Your “life” is on the web and at any moment your digital life can be stolen (identity theft). There are many risks that we the users need to be aware of and be prepared for. Today, digital information is very much a security risk for every individual, not just a big corporation.
Not only do you have your files stored in the cloud, but also your status. With services like Linked-In, Facebook, Twitter you are dependent on these websites to keep your data/information safe and free from unauthorized access. Most of us do not realize that it is not just the web owner’s job to keep you secure but you must take precautions too.
First is your personal security. Software updates and antivirus programs are the most common thing that users never apply and for that reason, we are often attacked and have our security breached because we failed to apply a patch that could have solved the problem or prevented a computer virus.
The second point of security is the access from outsiders or hackers. People who hack have proven that they are a security risk and that their attacks will increase over time.
The third point of security is our privacy with “official” sites. The social networking sites have proven that they have very clear issues regarding sharing our personal information with the government.
It does not stop there. There is much more which I have not covered and which is still to be uncovered. Every day a new “zero” day comes and many websites are compromised by leaking your personal information, your account and contacts. Google uses your information, searches your emails, your friends, your likes and dislikes for customizing your search results. Facebook is recording your chats and identifying you with your tagged photos. Every day you leak a lot of information about yourself or someone else when you upload a photo, comment and login to some site, ask something, post an answer or post your views.
Now the big question is what can you do to be secure, how can you protect yourself and your identity?
As I first mentioned, our life has become a digital life, and the security of it is the most important things nowadays. PC users need to be more responsible, listen to what IT managers have been saying all the time, “don’t open unknown emails with attachments”, “update your OS patches”, “be careful with who you share private information”. Remember knowledge is power and we need to know how to protect our data and information.