One thing is clear, absolute privacy is an illusion, no one can guarantee cyber safety and privacy in the Trump’s era. Be it our web browsing, internet-connected devices, or the online cameras that are placed in our cities; we are somehow being tracked and logged. Although these free services and daily innovations making our life more comfortable and convenient, but don’t ignore the fact that the data they generate is archived, crunched and repurposed for surveillance and marketing; the latest Facebook controversy is the right example to quote. YOU ARE BEING USED.
Do YOU know?
- Back in 2016, an online platform, Yahoo discovered that they have been hacked twice back in 2013 and 2014, which comprised the data of almost 5 billion users, it could include you and me as well, who knows?
- In 2011, Sony PlayStation Network and Qriocity music service were hacked, that forced PSN to go offline for more than 34 days compromised 77 million data records.
- Between 2005 to 2015, the data breaches in the US reached from 157 million to 781 million, identity theft shared more than 50% contribution.
- In 2013, BBC reported more than 2 million Google, Facebook, and Linkedin credentials were stolen.
These are few of the records that were reported, the actual figures is beyond our imaginations.
You must be questioning, are all digital innovations eveil for your online presence?
Let’s figure it out.
Privacy is the Priority
I am not a federal employee, an investigative journalist, or activist, but being a citizen, I do have right to rule my privacy. Just because I am not a criminal and have anything to hide, doesn’t mean that some government agency or third party invade into my private digital life; my privacy is my property, no matter what I do with that.
I believe every human should have a right to privacy. So let’s start the ‘privacy’ movement. The goal is just to take some control over your privacy by using privacy-minded digital innovations to make it hard (not impossible) for the government and other third-parties to target them.
Here are a few of the digital innovations that don’t compromise your online privacy. None of these are meant for absolute confidentiality and anonymity and are for the general populace.
Blockchain – Securing Transactions
Last year, 143 million American consumers compromised their sensitive personal information in a data breach at Equifax; one of the well-known credit reporting agencies.
Thanks to the blockchain, a distributed ledger with a built-in mechanism to perform secure transactions, eagerly disrupting areas of tech, finance, and society. Don’t confuse blockchain with Bitcoin; blockchain is the foundation of Bitcoins while blockchain is something that verifies almost anything that has a value. Being an open ledger to record transactions between two parties verifiably and permanently, Blockchain is going to rock across numerous sectors in coming years.
Be it credit reports, accounting, workforce management, evidence handling, recruitment checks, charitable transactions, retail, wills, public records, loyalty programs, energy generation schemes, sports management, entertainment, voting, education, and what not, Blockchain will bring accountability, trust, ease and transparency in these areas.
Apple – Privacy is Human Right
The iPhone is impossible to break into, the case of Apple’s rejection to FBI’s request is still fresh in our memories, this means that not a single authority has the right to get the users’ data from the corporation. Congratulations! Be it your heart rate after running on a treadmill, your favorite coffee, last porn you clicked, your last call, text or email or anything that lives in your Apple devices and you don’t want to share with, is all yours. All the Apple products are designed in a way to protect all such information; you have the empowerment and control on what and with whom you share.
Security is Apple’s priority; nobody can crack your six-digit passcode; hacker needs more than his life to type-in millions of possible combinations. To kick the pirates out of your life, personalize your Apple devices with their advanced security technologies; enroll in touch ID or face ID to keep your device away personal. Privacy-minded Apple also features Differential Privacy, that scrambles your data and merges with the data of other millions, in this way the company sees the data in general patterns, rather than specific, that could be traced back. Be your iMessages, or Facetime calls, your data is highly encrypted even your Touch or Face ID also converted into mathematical representations that never let any app or even iOS to access.
Tor – Your Online Privacy is Our Asset
Personal privacy gets elusive as statutory bodies, hackers and even beloved Google have been practicing smart ways to hack and track our activities, Tor browser is excellent to get your online presence anonymous.
Tor, The Onion Router, imagine you’re living in a world where you’re protected with multiple layers around you Just like an onion, would that would be secure? Yes, surrounded by so many layers would protect your presence. This is how Tor safeguard your online privacy, the essential purpose of Tor is to turn your online presence invisible by hiding your internet freedom and allows you to enjoy internet freedom, even in the absence of net neutrality.
Initially developed by the US Navy to protect US Government communications in intelligence operations, Tor is simple to download and install in your respective screens, replacing Firefox, Chrome or any other browser. It merely bundles your data into highly encrypted packets before entering in the network, removing size, destination, timing, and source; as these are then used to learn about you.
Tor network hides your identity behind different Tor servers, allowing you complete anonymity and security to browse anything, even the ‘Deep or Dark Web, which ruled the internet most.
VPN – All-in-one Solution
You must be using or have heard the term VPN in recent years as the internet has grown to even more significant levels. It stands ‘virtual private network,’ a well-known internet security method, that the 25% of the global users are using to connect with the world while keeping their virtual presence private and secured. It has developed with an aim for global networking, allowing users (individuals or part of the organization) to exchange the data enjoying the secrecy of a private network.
Later the technology turned into a virtual visa to travel the whole world; now it’s easy to be anywhere and get the IP address of any other location, just to stream the regional content. With the best VPN, you can easily hide your IP and get the IP address of any different geographical location and access their exclusive content; this makes it easier to enjoy US Netflix and other US-only entertainment from anywhere.
A big thanks to the VPN to evade censorships and allowed us to enjoy our freedom of speech as all the traffic passes through is secure and cannot be intercepted (not with every VPN) by anyone, so you can speak anything to the public without revealing your real identity. A VPN also secures your online presence even on the public wifi and also improve the internet connection to be throttled, not even while playing high-end games. VPN has become one of the best options to secure the digital identity of Torrenters from copyright trolls, helping them to understand how to download torrent safely and get better seeds.
WhatsApp – Privacy in the DNA
913,242,000 texts are sent every minute worldwide, excluding app-to-app messaging and a US citizen sent 32 texts per day, isn’t huge? Imagine a hacker break into your messages, and post your important yet secret conversation on your public profiles, what first thing you do? Ofcourse you find the ways to remove that and try to keep your existing ones secure.
Using messaging apps cannot be avoided, but your messages can be protected with the end-to-encrypted messaging app. Whatsapp, the most popular messaging app that takes users’ privacy very seriously and keep the chats secure with end-to-end encryption. The encryption keeps your messages, photos, videos, documents, voice clips, and calls between you and the recipient, not even the Whatsapp developer can see it. All the content we exchange on whatsapp locked with a unique key that can only be accessible to you and the receiver, this all happens automatically.
You cannot enjoy 100% privacy but…..
From our phones to the biometric databases, our stake in the digital world is tremendously growing. We can’t hide anything but still don’t want to be targeted by aggressive snoopers and advertisers. Above are few of the technological advancements in the cyber world offering near to absolute anonymity, keeping your online presence private and hidden from the real world. Compromising privacies cannot be stopped, it’s you to hold and slow the rolling stone.