Like each and every one of you, I tool love innovative technologies and advanced tools, and have used them periodically to ease my daily tasks and get things done in timely and perfect manner. I do admit that advancements in web and mobile technologies have helped us live life in better, easier, and faster ways, when compared to our pre-technology days with time-consuming and cumbersome tasks. However, with the growing number of hacking and leaking of private messages, personal information, and other sensitive details, I do believe that we are more than addicted to currently used technological aids, and often overlook the downside of each one of them, thus leading to several complexities, including cyber bullying, online harassment, and other spine chilling dangers that we might hardly imagine in our daily lives.
Here is an example from my own live! Facebook had been my ‘wonderful friend’ for quite a long time, until we ‘parted ways’ last year. The only reason why I dragged myself out of the much fascinating world of Facebook is the increasing number of privacy breaches that left me worrying each day. Scare of being unsecure and vulnerable left me in deep dilemma every day, as I felt the unknown claws of an unseen and monstrously faced existence lurking behind my laptop screen, spreading its tentacle-like hands, to find out as many as my private information it can amass. After giving me several nightmares of being deeply violated online, I felt it’s the right time to ‘call it quits’. I logged in and deleted my account forever, irrespective of the fact that most of my classmates from school and college were the part of my Friends List. As you read this, a few of you might think that I am tad bit over conscious about my online security, but considering the increasing number of harassments and shaming that have left most of the women in the world insecure and deeply worried about their online presences, I felt it inevitable to have the least online presence as possible, simply because I AM TOO SCARED TO THE CORE.
While websites and social media platforms go awry with their updates each day, mobile apps are no different. As we all know, not many of us are keen to read the message that pop-up before downloading our favorite mobile applications. While we blindly grand permissions by clicking the accept button on the message, we unknowingly open the easiest pathway for the mobile app companies to sneak into our private world and get the deepest insight about our personal information through our phones. This is one among the many examples of how several of those gross privacy violations are being overlooked or unnoticed. Yet, we leave no stones unturned to amass as many mobile apps as possible and save them all on the phone, simply because we are addicted to having electronic hands to do most of our daily activities. Simply put, we are slaves of the technologies that we have discovered over the years, and are irrefutably addicted to them. The mirage of online world and the enigma of digital quick fixes have surpassed the safer real world, thus making us vulnerable to more and more dangers, harassments, and abuses each day, and still, we are shamelessly glued to changing technologies.
As today’s digital age continues to remain bustling with an array of information sharing on various platforms, there has been a huge rise in the phenomenon of data mining which is now posing a serious threats to our online privacy. The rate of accessibility of information and their subsequent manipulation thereof are posing serious threats in the current digital world; especially in the wake of the fact that no websites or mobile apps guarantee 100 percent transparency in their privacy policies. This results in a clear disruption of the balance in privacy and security on such turnkey mobile and web platforms that have become part and parcel of our daily lives.
Data privacy has become more than relevant these days, particularly when private chats and pictures are leaked online within the blink of an eye. But, many countries around the world are yet to seriously look into this visible invasion of privacy. Have a close look at most of the mobile apps that are being used these days, and we would soon understand that more than 90 percent of them arrive with advanced tracking technologies that raise serious privacy concerns. An alarming fact that we often ignore!
Yet we overuse these potentially unsafe technological aids and foolishly keep welcoming the dangers that lurk around. Let me quote a simple example here. Selfies have become the buzzword these days, and clicking selfies is no more a sign of narcissism. However, posting them on privacy-compromised-sites or mobile platforms, and later regretting for having them hacked by some crook sitting on a remote part of the world is nothing but sheer negligence. Online shopping and cab booking apps have been plentifully made and used these days, thus leaving away a lion’s share of our privacy at stake.
While most of the currently used browsers claim to have the Do Not Track option that is supposedly the safest way of preventing our browsing activities from tracked, analyzing a stream of our own browsing activities each day would help us know that several websites as well as big daddies of Organic Search can track us easily, irrespective of the much-talked-about ‘Do Not Track’ option. While most of these tech-giants keep assuring that us the whole activity of watching is primarily for advertising purposes, most of us know that this statement is nothing but sheer eyewash.
As we continue to strive ferociously and save our own privacy from being disrupted by wacky crooks who can easily sneak into our browsers, mobile apps, and social media accounts, why don’t we lessen our technology addiction a little, and save ourselves from being victimized? I am not advocating on a complete ban on technological aids, but suggest lessened and more careful daily use to keep our privacy safer.
Rather than finding a picture of yours being morphed, sighting a private chat of yours getting displayed on a public platform, or a back account of yours getting hacked, isn’t it better to choose optimal level of technology usage, while getting fair share of understanding about the diverse privacy attributes of the sites and applications that we use each day?