In April 2021, it became known that video calls through the service Zoom were leaking into the network. The FBI had previously warned about this danger. Video lessons, personal calls, and conferences, where financial statements were discussed, were in the public domain. Our whole life now flows in messengers, online services, and video conferencing.
The second news is that employers in the U.S. are already mastering new services to monitor the activity of their work-at-home employees. Your data can be tracked anywhere, whether it’s a casino games site or your favorite blog. Maybe we trust modern technology too much?
WI-FI security tips
These tips will significantly increase your online security:
- Disable the file sharing option;
- Disable detection of your smartphone by other network users;
- Turn off the opportunity to automatically connect to an open network;
- Use a VPN when connecting to a public Wi-Fi network;
- do not sign up for new resources when using an unknown network;
- if the connection is interrupted and reconnected, do not use that network.
Internet of Things – The Age of Total Surveillance?
We have already talked about who and how collects data on the Internet. But right now, we are seeing a new wave: following social networks, we are surrounded by intelligent gadgets that can collect and transmit data, from smart outlets to kettles, to refrigerators, to lighting and air conditioning systems.
Recognizing what you say on the phone or just next to it is more of a myth: such technology exists, but it is too expensive to attract customers and will not pay off. But voice assistants and smart speakers can tag you for keywords in queries and leak that data to advertisers.
Children’s toys are not far behind. For example, the Hello Barbie talking doll, which records a child’s voice, sends it to the cloud, and then recognizes it, is popular in the United States. All this is to learn with artificial intelligence right in the process of playing.
Which data can be used and which can’t?
Let’s clarify that big data and personal data are not the same things. Personal data is data that can be used to identify a specific person. For example, a simple picture on a social network is not personal data, but a photo with a phone number is.
Now let us clarify that big data includes personal data. But more often, it is understood as anonymous data, i.e., the data about large groups of people, and cannot be used to identify a specific person.
Various companies, websites, and services collect our data, but, according to the law, they cannot sell it to third parties. But big data is impersonal about large groups of people – yes.
With personal data, it is possible to track a person and learn everything about them: the place of work, age, family composition, and even credit history. With the help of big data, corporations can find out what restaurants you usually go to or what sites you visit, and then they can flood you with suitable ads.
What is the state of data protection in the world?
As a rule, big data can be freely collected, stored, and even sold – all you have to do is write it into a user agreement. Third parties may collect this data themselves from public sources – with the help of unique algorithms – or buy it from various sites and services. But different countries may have their restrictions.
The EU is the furthest along in data protection: since 2018, the GDPR, the General Data Protection Regulation, has been in effect here. It severely restricts the collection and use of data online, including its storage on cloud servers. Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook, was tried for this.
Each state can set its laws and rules regarding data collection. However, California is most concerned about this problem. Here, every resident has the right to know what data is being collected about him, why it is being collected, and how it is used. You can look at here to see a list of reliable gambling resources that are available using anonymizers.
How do you protect your data from companies?
Here are the main rules:
- When signing up for online services and mobile apps, always read the customer agreement. Please don’t use those where the owner has access to all of your data and share it with third parties.
- Don’t post pictures of your documents on social media. Even if you’ve blacked out some of your passport or ID card data, the remaining data may be enough to identify you.
- Don’t use public Wi-Fi networks, especially those without a password.
- Set strong passwords on all apps and devices – including smart gadgets and toys.
- Change passwords for mobile apps with the same regularity as you do for email and other services.
- Don’t put your mobile number where it’s not required, even if they tell you it’s for your protection.
- Try to check more often in different places, even if it’s required for Wi-Fi access. It also applies to geotagging on Facebook or Instagram.
- Turn off geotagging in your smartphone’s camera settings. If you need them for some reason, clean the metadata out of the photo before posting or uploading it.
- Use browser extensions like Privacy Badger or Ghostery. These allow you to identify tracking elements on web pages (trackers) and prevent them from recognizing you by changing your IP address, browser settings, or page appearance. But you shouldn’t use free VPN services like TOR: they often leak your data, too.
- Make your social media accounts private. Of course, it’s easy to bypass, but companies are not interested in such profiles: their activity and contacts are difficult to track.
- Use glitch filters on social networks: they prevent algorithms from recognizing you in a photO.
You can create a “clean” social media profile altogether – there’s even a business of renting out accounts. And every time you want to hide your search history or correspondence from outsiders, go online in a cafe, with open Wi-Fi without authorization by passport and phone, through a particular browser with a clean history. But if you still like, click, and post on social networks about the same things you did before, it won’t help much.
But the modern world is such that big data is also the engine of progress. They are used to analyze and improve traffic flows, develop products and services, and create comfortable environments. For example, delivery services and so-called dark kitchens use big data to open outlets exactly where they are most needed. The same way is going network retailers and banks. So don’t be paranoid: basic safety precautions should be enough.