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Technology’s Incompatibility with Privacy Increases Safety Concerns

Technology’s Incompatibility with Privacy Increases Safety Concerns

Technology has become our means to simplify life and to save time. Mobile apps and the internet have become convenient ways to complete tasks like shopping or banking. It is also the modern way to find entertainment and meet new people.  However, convenience not always goes along with safety or privacy. International private investigators have been warning the public about the risks of using technology carelessly and without informing themselves about what is really behind third party’s access to our personal information.  Even large companies like Facebook, Amazon and Google have a horrible track record when it comes to privacy, as their business models focus on profiting from collecting and monitoring and selling your private information, with or without your consent.

With the booming U.S. economy and increase in market capitalization of big tech companies, the more powerful they become and the more influence and control these companies have over the U.S. government.  Therefore, because violation of your privacy means big money for big tech, don’t expect any new laws to protect individual consumers any time soon.  With democrats control of Congress and with their sole objective to damage President Trump, nothing else is getting done.

As the use of technology for daily tasks increases, so does the concern for privacy and safety. People use technology to keep track of exercise, finances, diet, and other important daily life activities. This means their entire life is stored in a device: their health, their financial status, their interests: all data that can be easily put together, analyzed and sold to the highest bidder.  Users of mobile apps and smart devices rarely read the privacy agreements to understand what they are sharing with companies and third parties, or how the information obtained might be used in the future. Frequently, people are deceived to consent privacy invasions masked as opportunities to obtain a benefit.

Big tech companies gather photos, location, contact information, text messages, email content, personal conversations, navigation history and consumption habits of billions of individuals. They get to know every user better than the user knows themselves, and can then anticipate to their actions. Having such detail helps powerful companies manipulate the way people feel about a product, a service, a brand, even a political candidate. It is in this context when the phrase “information is power” becomes so important.  Big Brother is real, and Orwell’s 1984 is no longer science fiction.

Digital privacy is one of the greatest concerns of the modern age, and for good reason.  There are two widely spread misconceptions surrounding privacy. The first one is that the loss of privacy is an inevitable consequence of “evolution”. Having privacy violated and being surveilled all the time is just “the natural course” of modern life, and people need to surrender to this situation. The second misconception is that security measures to stay private are extremely sophisticated and expensive.  There is a lot people can do that won’t necessarily require high computer skills or a lot of money, and it is important to fight privacy violations back before it is too late.

Policy makers in certain places are making big efforts to establish limits to what companies can access, but the truth is there is no way to control what powerful companies do or how transparent they are about their intentions. Therefore, users must resort to what they can control: their decisions regarding what devices to use, when, and how.  The more privacy you and your family are able to achieve, the safer you are, and the less you risk you are for fraud, scams, identity theft and more.

If you are concerned about your privacy and safety, there are still ways to protect yourself.

  • Never install surveillance equipment inside your own home or bedroom!
  • Always turn off location tracking on your phone and other electronic devices.
  • Opt out of everything possible and check your privacy settings on all accounts.
  • If possible, avoid social media and focus more on more meaningful, real relationships.
  • Avoid search engines like Google who track and record ALL of your search history.
  • Use private and secure search engines like DuckDuckGo so your searches are private.
  • Get a PO Box and use this address when ordering online or sharing your address.
  • Use a VPN or virtual private network to conceal your IP address and location online.
  • Use a junk email address when purchasing online and creating online accounts.
  • Consider a prepaid cell phone, such as SmartTalk for cheaper rates and more privacy.
  • Decrease the number of “smart” devices in your home that are connected to the internet.
  • Put tape over your cell phone or laptop camera so that hackers can’t see and record you.
  • Pay in cash whenever possible to decrease your digital purchasing history.

Privacy advocates will continue to make people aware of the risks of privacy loss. Sharing ways to counteract is essential to fight back, so share this message and help other remain safe too!

Not sure if a company or person is who they claim to be, and you are considering making a payment or sharing your information?  Speak to a reputable investigator about a professional background check investigation to verify if the person or company is legitimate, and stay safe.

C. Wright
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