Online privacy – A Mere Paranoia or Genuine Risk?

privacyPrivacy as an independent term means the state of being away from the observation of other people. It is freedom from unauthorized intrusion. It may not refer to physical seclusion always, and therefore, even while having company, it is part of the decorum to respect the personal space one another.

The question of Online Privacy rises with the fact that we are now living in a global village, of 24/7 connectivity, which is getting smaller by the day. There are just too many people willing to share their strengths and vulnerabilities online with the rest of the world. They love to flaunt about what they have and complain about what they don’t. As our lives become super dependent on the internet, most of us remain oblivious to the security concerns of this kind of living. The practice has its share of ramifications that cannot be exacted considering the overwhelming demand and usage. Life appears easier and faster in the digital utopia, but our bubble of joy pops as soon as the question of security arises.

Still, there are people who dismiss such concerns because they refer to the fact that internet wasn’t created for privacy. It was made for open communication, entertainment, shopping, and knowledge.  They tend to overlook that instead of users targeting sales, it’s happening the other way round. And, it’s not just the social networks and companies badgering people to make a purchase; the post-9/11 era of network computing is full of shady motives such as surveillance, espionage, and voyeurism.

The invasion of privacy happens in various forms now. From targeted ads to spamming to downright criminal activity, one may easily become a victim without realizing what has happened. By the time one gets aware, the situation becomes irrevocable. We come across such instances frequently. How so, you ask? Because, most of us confuse our online lives with reality! We get so candid that we start revealing things we wouldn’t declare in the real world; and that is where the actual problem lies. The non-serious attitude towards the safety of personal information compromises a thriving techno future for mankind.

Internet is used on a number of devices and by people of all age groups. From mobile phones to Google Glass, teenagers to their grandparents; all are ensnared by the World Wide Web. There is immense scope for doing both good and evil on the internet, and therefore, rejecting the security concerns of online privacy as sensationalism and paranoia is simply unjust and rather naïve. It wouldn’t be too wrong if we said that from cyber criminals to third-party advertisers, all are out there to get you!

While online privacy concerns are growing and there are literally hundreds of threats you need to worry about, Single sign-on and multifactor authentication can help assuage these difficulties by promoting secure access and role-based authentication. Single Sign-On (SSO) eliminates password fatigue and ensures integrated sign-on across a wide range of cloud and mobile apps. Depending on capabilities offered by the provider such as Identacor, users may enjoy different levels of security and user or data management features.

Have more to say about the internet privacy situation? If you are a privacy advocate, what do you find more harmful – social networks or the chat rooms? Share your thoughts!

Ayesha Ambreen is a digital marketing consultant. She specializes in integrated marketing services and has led successful marketing campaigns for various start-ups and tech businesses. Her tech-savvy approach and business acumen help businesses attract and retain their target customers with captivating content, intuitive media and spot on ideas. Image courtesy daisyiran

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  1. Most do not realize how aggressive targeted ads are or the behavioral tracking methods that are used. If they saw how many third party sites were collecting their information they would freak. A great visual is using LightBeam on Firefox, talk about scary. Online anonymity is gaining traction and will become more and more important as the reach of the gov, hackers and target ads increase.

  2. Ayesha,
    Wow, really good article. You made great points here especially when you commented “…most of us confuse our online lives with reality! We get so candid that we start revealing things we wouldn’t declare in the real world; and that is where the actual problem lies…” Excellent point! Many people (including myself at times) have become so comfortable with the internet via online chat, blog sites, etc. that sometime we forget everything we’re typing is available to the whole world to see! I culture has definitely changed dramatically over the past 5 – 10 years! Again, great post, I enjoyed reading it.

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