Internet Privacy

Cyber-attacks come from several sources, each aiming to benefit or misuse personal information (PI). As intrusions are becoming more complex, there is a need for more internal and regulatory protections in response. 

Internet privacy is a part of the broader data privacy environment that typically includes PI collection, usage, and secure storage. Internet privacy is mainly concerned with how web-based PI is accessed through surveillance, data gathering, data sharing, and risks to cybersecurity.

What is Internet Privacy ? 

Internet privacy is the right to retain private, sensitive data and information created as a result of using the web. Collecting and showing this data, selling it or supplying it to third parties are all common activities that jeopardise the privacy of the internet. 

Understanding the meaning is significant since the term is widely misused in discourse or news. It’s discussed quite frequently when discussing either a specific subset of internet privacy or even an entirely unrelated problem concerning social media. This adds to a lot of misconceptions and a distorted view of the situation by the public. The first step to being able to guard your rights online is by having a good understanding of what internet privacy is.

Internet and Data Security

What are Some of the Laws Regarding Internet and Data Security ?

Numerous laws protect the Internet, data protection and security in the U.S., with the Privacy Act of 1974 being perhaps the foundation behind it all. The Privacy Act was passed to provide oversight over the acquisition, preservation, use, and dissemination of sensitive information by entities in the U.S. government’s executive branch.

The Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) 

The Electronic Communications Privacy Act was enacted in 1986 and while technology has improved dramatically since then, the act has remained the same. The legislation requires the US government to use a warrant to view digital records such as email, social media posts, public cloud service information and more. If the products in question are 180 days old or older, no warrant is needed. Companies send information to the government; for example, in the second half of 2012, Google announced that 18,000 requests for information had been received from the government. 

The ECPA also determines when government access to GPS monitoring through mobile phones is allowed. 

The Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA)

The Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act was revised in 2012, with amendments formally enforced in 2013. This ensures websites comply with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) when obtaining information about minors under the age of 13. The act was first enacted in 2000 and was the “first US privacy legislation written for the internet.” By examining the vocabulary, content, ads, graphics and functionality and target audience, the FTC decides whether a website is targeted towards children.

Children Online Privacy Protection Act-COPPA

Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA)

Computer Fraud and Abuse Act make it an offence to manipulate confidential information and to share it with others. The act was passed in the late 1980s and amended about ten years later. Reformers argue the act is overly conservative.

How are you Exposed ?

Private information of clients, consumers, and staff in your hands can be exposed to a data breach in a variety of ways. Inadvertently, email addresses, accounts, passwords, physical addresses, phone numbers, and more can make their way to scammers, hackers, unwelcome advertisers and more. Many enforcement and regulatory sector staff have no understanding of how data security from internet attacks can be applied.

Why do you Need to Take Care of Internet Privacy?

It’s obvious that when it comes to internet privacy, there’s an issue and it affects us all. Yet why should you care? What are the downsides that might directly affect you? It can result in: 

  • Spam 
  • Compromised accounts 
  • Stolen credit card details 
  • Unapproved transactions 
  • Identity fraud 

These are things that you want to avoid.

protect-yourself-online

What Can You Do to Protect Yourself Online?

Do you take your privacy online seriously? 

Not enough people do. They have a perfect picture of how secret their online interactions are meant to be but never do enough to really accomplish it. 

The concern is that bad people know and depend on this reality, and that is why from 2013 to 2017 there was a steady increase in cases of identity theft. Often the victims of these cases suffer reputational loss or financial woes. Here’s how you can secure yourself:

Using Antivirus Technology

 Antivirus protection is important for any device or phone – whether or not it’s linked to the internet. They’re an ideal way to help deter theft or harm to your computer or phone online.

Protecting Against Identity Theft

Protection from identity theft is a way to save this from ever happening. This involves people being careful about what information about themselves they are sending out online. Core data are things such as zip codes, the first line of their address, maiden names of mothers or bank account records. These are just a few bits of data that we happily, without much thought share electronically while making transactions or communicating in various other ways.

Using Powerful and Varied Passwords (and Recall Them!) 

You’ve read this a million times but can you remember 30 different complex passwords? Needless to say, nobody can. However, you do have to do that because major data leaks occur all the time. When your password is compromised and you use the same one for other apps, all other accounts are vulnerable.

Using a VPN to Make Surfing Private 

VPNs can be one of the safest ways to secure yourself online and have browsing sessions that are truly anonymous. They work by linking users to another server to the internet. The link is more than encrypted by the VPN provider that set up the Virtual Private Network for their user. The secured link is known as a tunnel, and it is incredibly hard for spammers and hackers to infiltrate to get a person’s data when they are online. Plus, because the data is encrypted, they can’t decipher what’s being transmitted across the internet even if they infiltrate the tunnel.

Using a Private Search Engine 

Similar common threats are present via search engines. Many software firms also create their own search engine which also records web searches like the browser. Such searches can then be tracked back to your personal identity by connecting them to your IP address, email or device. Private search engines that are more common include DuckDuckGo, Fireball, and Search Encrypt.

Switch off Your GPS 

The key to protecting your anonymity online is to shut off the GPS on your phone in the Settings tab. In shutting it off it means that your applications (of which there will be many) will be unable to read your location. Many of those applications can post this position online, particularly if they are social media apps. 

The danger with this is that it advertises when you are not at home. This is unsafe for so very many reasons. Also, knowing you can be watched and followed wherever you go isn’t exactly the nicest feeling

Stay Mindful of What You and Your Family put on Social Media 

Social media is a perfect place to connect with friends and relatives and share cherished moments. Yet social media may be an outlet for cyber attackers to exploit your personal privacy and that of your family without the appropriate protections. A few steps that you should take to secure your privacy are: 

  • Restrict the amount of personal information that you share on social media. 
  • Have a chat with your children about the possible risks of posting personal information on social media sites, for example, never share your username and mobile phone number. Few important topics to consider are: 
    • Just sharing information with people you know, i.e. friends and family 
    • Pictures can be stored and posted elsewhere, please be vigilant when sharing photographs of yourself, particularly sensitive and explicit content.
  • Adjust privacy settings on your social media so you can monitor what people can see on your profile. Most social media sites have simple privacy controls and easy-to-configure tools.

What Does the Future Hold for Internet Privacy?

The era of personal data being gathered by companies such as Facebook and Google, as well as many others, have already contributed to large and organised consumer preferences databases being developed. This ‘big data’ is now being used to control how companies approach consumers and how new goods are developed. The world’s data output is growing at an unprecedented pace – 90% of the world’s data has been generated over the last two years. Currently, there are 2.5 exabytes (2.5 billion GB) of data produced every day. Much of this material is about us, and about what we do online. Imagine how much there will be in 10 years with the data increasing at this pace!

Internet Bring your Life Online

The Internet of Things Might Bring your Whole Life Online

 The solution depends on how the internet evolves in the future. One development that is projected to shift the environment is the rise in non-computer devices that link to cloud providers via the internet. It’s predicted the internet of things (IoT) would put everything from washing machines to medical devices online. One upside of these smart devices is we’ll be able to remotely control them. Soon, we’ll be able to use an interface to monitor anything in our homes. Yet smart devices like these are dependent on giving service providers information about our activities. If more computers are online, so will our entire lives be too.

Wrapping up 

The future will only lead to more privacy losses. Big data analytics and deep learning are beginning to grow and take hold as IoT; privacy is starting to decline. To protect yourself, you need to start taking care of your internet privacy now so that it will look after you in the future. 

The secret to doing so is to be in the know about the fundamentals of privacy security and consider how you can use privacy-oriented software to keep your privacy intact. The resources include search engines that are anonymous. Those are search engines that don’t track the searches. Popular examples include Qwant and Duckduckgo. Personal tabs are just another resource worth considering. Private browsers allow a person to search without saving caches or historical data which can be accessed later by others. All you browse in that regard is completely private. Furthermore, you can use blockchain-using tokens and in effect secure consumer data from governments and companies.

Online Privacy – Statistics & Facts

As of January 2019, 57% of the world’s population has internet access. But being linked to the world’s biggest archive of information does come at a price. Although others see privacy loss as a necessary evil, it is seen by many internet users as an injustice that they are seeking to prevent, or at least mitigate through various strategies. Similar to a year earlier, 53% of internet users around the world are already more worried about their personal privacy. Because of the internet’s fast-paced existence and ever-evolving state of cybercrime, politicians and technology creators, as well as individual consumers, find it difficult to keep up with the increasingly inventive means of online hazards. 

  • There were 16.7 million identity theft victims in 2017.
  • Companies are expected to spend $124 billion in 2019 on cybersecurity. 
  • Every 39 seconds, there is a hacking attack. 
  • In 2018, cybercrime had produced at least $1.5 trillion.
  • Damage due to cybercrime is estimated to cost companies and organisations $6 trillion per annum by 2021.
  • 51.9%  of identity fraud is known as Miscellaneous Identity Theft 
  • 80% of social media consumers are worried about advertisers and companies having data that they post on social media sites.

FAQ'S

Yeah, it sure seems to be the way. Each day you access the Internet, there is a relentless challenge to your privacy from cybercriminals, governments, and companies that try to get their hands on your personal data. This is why it is up to each of us to safeguard our privacy and personal space on the Web.

Once you allow Private Browsing mode – also known in Google Chrome as Incognito Mode and Internet Explorer as InPrivate Browsing – the web browser does not store this information at all. However, by using private browsing mode your surfing is not altogether private and anonymous

Your internet service company monitors which IP addresses you are calling, ensuring they know the websites you are accessing. They can even read anything you send that isn’t encrypted over the Internet.

For most nations, including the UK, it is entirely legal to use a VPN. However, that comes with a few significant caveats: it must be used within legal guidelines; if you use a VPN to circumvent geo-restrictions it is illegal; should you a VPN to commit an illegal act (such as downloading torrents of copyrighted material) it remains illegal; using a VPN can be in breach of some terms of service (eg. Netflix.)

The right to privacy relates to the idea of shielding one’s confidential knowledge from public attention. US Justice Louis Brandeis called it “the right to be left alone,”. Though not mentioned specifically in the US, there are constitutional amendments that provide some protection.

Privacy infringement is an attack on something private or disclosure of it. Everyone who intrudes deliberately, overtly or otherwise, into the solitude or alienation of another or his/her private relations or interests shall be liable to the other for a breach of privacy.

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