The Internet explosion took the world by a storm and tears of joy were shed. It enabled us to connect with those far and near through a single medium by the advent of technology. Long gone are the days when we had to wait for weeks looking forward to a letter; now letters and cards get delivered in an instant, via email.
Dependence on the web is entrenched in our daily lives; it is a common affair to ask someone to whatsapp you a picture they have, or to sit in one city and demand progress reports from your junior in another town. No trip is successful without updating a Facebook status about it. From giving you directions (Google Maps being our saviour), and keeping you company while you are bored (games, ebooks, and going through Facebook newsfeed), to being your guide in a new city (Justdial and Zomato), to even providing you internships (LetsIntern.com, Twenty19 etc), the internet is your guide, mentor and friend, all at just a click.
However, by opening up our lives so intensely to the virtual world, we tend to ignore the potential threats we face. While some people see endless opportunities, some see bottomless exploitation. “We share our secrets with technology,” said XVALA in a statement. “And when we do, our privacy becomes accessible to others.” With cases of stalking, photo morphing and leakage, shocking the world, it is time we take notice of our “virtual enemy”.
Perhaps the most recent example of this wreckage is the massive photo leakage featuring nude photos of various Hollywood starlets including the Academy Award winner, Jennifer Lawrence. This leak has created a major uproar on social media, with venomous posts against the hacker circulating throughout the web. However, the damage has already been done.
While on one hand, the FBI has started with its investigation into this breach of privacy, an exhibition called “Fear Google” is being put up to raise awareness on the risks that involve the web.
In an article titled “The biggest online privacy risks for 2013”, Dave Johnson highlights the increasing number of risks we are now facing due to the onslaught of the internet. From being tracked by a myriad of companies to risks of being invaded by the government, the common man has virtually no place to hide. The only solution we seem to be adapting is to express outrage over the latest scandal and to pray that you aren’t the next target.
Even though there is no foolproof plan to keep your secrets safe, experts have started suggesting some simple steps to enhance your security over the web. With increase in the number of crimes like stalking, photo morphing, etc we need all the help we can get. Installing an antivirus is the very first step. Similarly using multi-step authentication and keeping your privacy settings limited to your trusted network are some of the other measures that are a must for every program that you use.
We need to be suspicious of every free service over the internet. With every link you click, the site is leaving dozens of cookies in your computer enabling them to access information.
Wise use of the web is the need of the hour!
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