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NEWSLETTER

Guest Writer of the Month for August, 2019

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How social media and digital data threaten privacy

by: Chris Jones @TurnOnVPN

Communication has changed a lot over the past two decades with social media’s emergence. The way we communicate changed from snail mail and landlines to SMS (Short Messaging Services) to cell phones. Technology took us further and introduced Facebook, Twitter, Whatsapp, and myriad other communication applications.

Digitalization has taken the world to another level. The ability to connect with friends and business colleagues in an instant via Skype and other applications is convenient, and we wonder how we survived in a world without technology and social media. As with anything man-made, the pros may well outweigh the cons, but how exactly do social media and digital data threaten your privacy?

Identity Theft

Identity theft on social media is not new. Identity thieves get your personal information from various social media sites. No matter how high your security settings are, an identity thief with a purpose will still find ways to get your information. Identity thieves will gain access to an email account by using social data. A commonly used technique to gather personal data is to click on the “forgot password” tab and trying to get the information sent to them by email. 

If the thieves hack successfully into your email, they have full reign on all private information on all the social networking sites you are in. 

Hacking

Hackers spread malicious codes by going into social networking sites. These codes inject malware, steal your identity, and even block you from your own bank account. Hackers love using shortened URLs and they can trick you into clicking on the harmful site links. The full URL is not visible and your personal data is at stake.

Stalking

Sometimes we get overexcited about events happening in our lives and post them on social media. When you post personal information online, you have to realize it is not private anymore and stalkers can intercept it.

Whether your security is set to high, your social network habits tell a lot about you. Your apps download, your game, or even your subscriptions have all received personal details from you. Every time you browse, the sites you visit put cookies, which are unseen markers on your browser. Every time you log online, the cookies follow your every activity.

Try Installing a VPN

A Virtual Private Network allows users the freedom to connect to another network securely and share information securely over public networks and hides your actual IP address. While a VPN does NOT mask your identity as you are, after all, posting from your social media account, it does prevent sites and stalkers from learning your true IP address and then extrapolating your physical location from it. 

It is only prudent to do due diligence and find out how a Windows VPN changes your IP and masks your traffic with encryption. Keeping your data safe should be your highest priority since social media is here to stay and digital transactions are the order of the day.

Summary

Digitalization has taken the world by storm, and it is not about to let up. Almost everything is done online now, with the old school way of doing things almost becoming obsolete. Very few people write letters or buy birthday cards because e-mails and e-cards have taken over.

With this phenomenal technological growth, hackers are also inventing techniques of mining data. It behooves you to be careful and protect yourself by keeping yourself and your machines updated

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