5 Reasons Why Online Privacy Matters
Let’s start with a piece of digital culture critique. Along with the tremendous benefits of gadgets and WiFi, we get the huge surveillance machine to the bargain. What does it mean? You are constantly watched, monitored, analyzed, and profiled. Most of us are aware of that and don’t give a hoot relying on ‘I have nothing to hide.’ But it’s a radically wrong approach which will cost you much.
In this article, we are going to explain why your online privacy does matter and how to gain it not using the whole selection of tools and services.
What happens while you don’t care?
There are two parties, which are happy to get as much information about you as possible — corporations, governments, and cybercriminals.
Huge corporations like Google, Facebook, Apple, and full-rate Data Brokers like Oracle and Acxiom are well-known data collectors today. They sort, label, estimate, rank people not only pursuing marketing aims as many people were used to think. They do that in finance, health, insurance decision-making, for instance, to measure your creditworthiness.
All the data collected can be used against you!
Targeted advertising is just an insignificant part of the appliance possibilities of the data collected. You can be discriminated; your online behavior can be severely influenced; you can be persuaded to make purchases which you haven’t been intended to make or be offered a product at a ‘personalized’ price; you can be refused in loan or insurance and so on. And what if you are not just laymen but a businessman or a political activist? Live your imagination up and won’t be mistaken.
What data do the corporations collect, sold, and use?
- Telephone numbers;
- Email addresses;
- Age, gender;
- Social Media info;
- Purchase history;
- Credit card information;
- Chats content;
- The list goes on.
On top of all, there are a number of consequences which such surveillance has. First of all, info-driven persuasion triggers indecent manipulation and exploitation of people’s weaknesses. Second, testing and experimenting on people who didn’t figure it out yet is unacceptable and create inequality of powers. Third, open trade of information collected occurs among companies — your data becomes public domain.
Even such a politician star as Angela Merkel didn’t avoid government spying. And if you now think that they aren’t interested in you, you are deeply mistaken.
Not only China’s government takes a freaking control over the Internet, but your government also does it, too, not only in terms of information flow.
First, we learned about 5 Eyes Alliance, then we hear about 6, 9, and 14 Eyes, then we found out that this international intelligence-sharing network is much broader. What does it mean? Most developed and developing countries do monitor you and your online activity, putting your privacy at risk.
There are tons of agencies, which track their designated data; quite often, they use the info gathered by huge tech-companies described above. Thus, you get:
- Overall censorship — freedom of speech restriction;
- Social Media blocks;
- Anonymity restriction;
- Tech attacks against government critics;
- Control over human-rights organizations;
- Punishment of out-of-favor people;
- And so on.
That means that you are put in peril of you have your own opinion.
Now the situation seems not so attractive, right?
Cybercrime/Personal data theft
You don’t have to be a genius hacker to steal a user’s data through WiFi — personal information, photos, credit card numbers, passwords. Moreover, it takes just a couple of minutes to do. That’s what is called cybercrime and identity theft. Anyone can become the target.
People do it for fun, to get your money, to harm your reputation, to pretend to be your (identity theft), to read your chats, and so on. Their dark intentions can be very different. What’s worse, most people do not even realize the value of many information types they possess, and that can be so easily intercepted.
So why online privacy matters: 5 reasons
Why it’s so vital to try to preserve your online privacy and security?
1. To set some boundaries and secure yourself
You need privacy boundaries to secure yourself from identity thefts and other security violations that may occur online. All your communication, passwords, contacts, numbers, credit cards should be accurately protected from third-parties’ interception. By establishing privacy boundaries, you can stay safer while you are online.
2. To adjust the rights of all parties
The current state of things: our corporations and governments have more information about us. And as the information is a weapon, they have more power over us. We are an aidless innocent girl in a forest full of wolves. All we need is to equalize the powers. By preserving our privacy to us. Otherwise, you will be estimated, your opinion will be artificially shaped, you will be manipulated and persuaded.
3. To return the personal life respect
We are born free. People sometimes forget about it. If a person wants to get some privacy and stay anonymous, we need to respect that and to grant such possibility to him/her. Unfortunately, the government and corporations do not share this opinion and continue spying over the Internet users, depriving them of the birthrights.
4. To take control over your own image in society and to clear your name if needed
How many times good people were accused of some nonsense when their personal information was illegally seized and put on display by hackers just out of fun or envy! And taking into account people’s love to judge severely and badly, such info disclosure can ruin somebody’s career or even life. It’s not worth it! We should protect our reputation from being influenced by third parties via online privacy, at least. But if the reputation has been already harmed, people should have the chance to clear his/her name.
5. To return freedom of speech and freedom to be social and politically active
You have the right to express your thought freely and to be an active, not indifferent member of society. Some parliaments won’t agree with you and will restrict you as much as possible, frightening you and jumping down your throat. Online anonymity and privacy will bring you the possibility to speak yourself up, criticize, and tell whatever you want without being watched.
How to resist surveillance and hacks?
The first point is to be aware of all the risks — done!
The second and the last one — start taking protective measures. Here you have two options: either to use a whole scope of tools and services like VPN, encrypted messengers, and secure browsers or to use a one-stop solution that provides all-round security and online privacy — Utopia P2P ecosystem. It includes built-in email, messenger, browser, wallet, and other services you use daily.
First, it’s a decentralized peer-to-peer network that has no central server and no single point of failure and no central data storage — each peer (user) is a server himself. That means that all the user’s information is stored on his(her) own device. That’s the most advanced in terms of security network architecture, which lowers the possibility of outside interference to 0%.
Second, it uses state-of-the-art encryption — elliptic curve cryptography in combination with AES (key length — 256 bit.) Encrypting both the content of messages and emails by default before sending and the local storage makes the security level even higher.
Third, you can use the ecosystem staying absolutely anonymous — you do not provide your real name, phone number, or email address during the registration process. Thus, your online privacy is being gained.
Summarising the mentioned above information, you have 5 reasons to protect your online privacy harder and just 1 solution you need to do that!
You can’t stop governments and corporations from collecting data, and you can’t stop a plotter from hacking your PC or phone, but what you still can do is to establish boundaries and to protect yourself with Utopia.