We are prisoners of technology these days. We cannot live without internet and smartphones. All our work is digitalized these days, there isn’t an office in the world that does serious work and doesn’t have a computer.
This scenario has made us unsafe. A digital information can be remotely stolen and remotely used as well. Therefore internet privacy is important. Many people don’t know what it actually means. In this article we will learn what internet privacy actually means.
Internet privacy is a very broad term and your information can be used without your consent in ways you cannot imagine.
Let’s say you signed a petition online. Nothing wrong with that. Your name was published your shared in on your social media accounts. All good.
But there is someone monitoring who is signed which petition. They are creating lists of your likes and dislikes. For example if you have signed 20 petitions against animal cruelty, more likely than not you own a pet. Now companies that make dog food or cat items would love to get your email and contact won’t they? – To advertise their products.
However innocent and harmless this information selling is unethical and it is plain wrong.
Now let’s come towards the more sinister end of the privacy business. What about government and corporate companies’ spying on us? Yes that is true. The only way to protectyourself is by using VPN service such as Hidemyass. It can hide your real IP so that government and anyone else can’t spy on your internet activities.
PEW carried out a research and asked 2500 IT security experts about various issue. Below are the findings;
An opinion of 2500 experts
Pew Research Center interviewed and surveyed more than 2500 experts. Here is what they find out;
- 45% of experts say online privacy would be gone by 2025.
- 55% of them say it will not be “completely gone”.
- 77% of experts say that our information would be much more public in next 5 years to come.
- 61% say that cyber-attacks and digital crimes would be more impactful by the year 2020.
- 66% of these experts are convinced that US government is spying on them (20% say they cannot be entirely sure). While 43% of UK internet experts believe in government spying.
What internet users say?
According to a survey taken by Pew Research Center’s Internet Project in collaboration with Carnegie Mellon University, following are some numbers you should see.
- 86% of internet users like to take steps that hide their digital footprints. They either use VPN, clear cookies or use many other ways.
- 55% of citizens avoid detection from specific organizations such as their governments.
- 59% of users do not believe complete online anonymity is possible while 37% believe it is.
Here are some other facts unearthed by the PEW survey, (presented as they were published):
- 21% of internet users have had an email or social networking account compromised or taken over by someone else without permission.
- 13% of internet users have experienced trouble in a relationship between them and a family member or a friend because of something the user posted online.
- 12% of internet users have been stalked or harassed online.
- 11% of internet users have had important personal information stolen such as their Social Security Number, credit card, or bank account information.
- 6% of internet users have been the victim of an online scam and lost money.
- 6% of internet users have had their reputation damaged because of something that happened online.
- 4% of internet users have been led into physical danger because of something that happened online.
- 1% of internet users have lost a job opportunity or educational opportunity because of something they posted online or someone posted about them.
Source: PEW website
About the author:
Nuur Hasan is a software developer and a political activist, he intends to dedicate his life to the becoming the voice of the voiceless.