We carry phones around with us all day, with many of us oblivious to how much data is extracted from these device on the daily basis. The very device that holds some of our most private information and moments sells us out, enabling authorities and corporations to track us to an appalling degree.
It isn’t safe at home either. The problem with your phone still exists, but homes have the possibility of having many more privacy vulnerabilities that invites invasion. Smart devices such as Alexa or Google Home are bad news with respect to privacy and security, as security measures across various manufacturing companies aren’t exactly standardized. A Windows computer has the potential for viruses and worms, and Microsoft isn’t exactly subtle about using your data.
What do companies do with the billion upon billion of data points collected? Manipulate us. Cambridge Analytica is a great example of how corporations use our data to not only target ads for us, but influence elections and manipulate the population.
So what can we do? In the grand scheme of things, not much. Data is to corporations as gold was to merchants. But instead of having to sell luxuries, corporations only need to sell essentials. In this day and age, we need phones. We need computers, and we definitely need networks. Now it is the common people that sell a luxury, with the return of being able to function in today’s society.
But just because our data collection is inevitable doesn’t mean you can’t try to protect as much as you can. There are multiple ways to keep your data safe online and in your home.
Methods range from limiting the number of devices you have, what software you use, making sure your modem/router is secured and updated, etc.
Another great method in keeping your data secure from any prying eyes, be it government or the creepy neighbor down the street, is using a VPN. Many countries have servers that allow support for VPN’s, and these are extremely useful tools to make sure your data is invisible to any viewers.
In this world, we’ve sacrificed our privacy for convenience. Was it worth it? Life has never been easier throughout history, so that’s a good thing. Instant access to all knowledge of the universe is at our fingertips, that’s another pro. But what happens when we can’t move without being penalized? When a camera can put a name to a face? Will we beg for a luxury known as privacy, or keep the commodity of convenience?