Privacy in the time of technology : Should you care ?


You are comfortably seated on your chair in your room. You have everything you need in place and are quite happy with the way things are. You work in peace, and the work flow is smooth. As you are “in the zone”, your Mom pops in without knocking. You lose all the calm in a second and next thing you know, you are clenching your jaws because your perfect little niche and the solitude was trespassed by your Mom. Next time, you remember to bolt the door.

This is just a tiny example from a whole plethora of incidents thrown at us daily of how humans feel about others meddling with their privacy. From the unbothered parent to that sneaky coworker, we face privacy breach in every form every day. The aforementioned examples aren’t inherently dangerous and are just considered part of life (and can be treated effectively by using some basic methods like bolting that door).

This sheds some light on how we approach our right to privacy. And to answer the titular question here, yes, you should care about online privacy. It is as important as your privacy in the physical world.

So, why aren’t you treating cyber privacy the same way?

  1. You don’t feel it.

As humans, we are territorial and defensive against things that pose as threat. As opposed to threats in real life which are physical in nature, threats on cyberspace doesn’t “feel real” because you don’t “see” it. You are mainly in a dissociated world where threats just feel like a far-flung nightmare. It just doesn’t happen to you until it does. This dissociative feeling while using cyberspace is the major reason why it is hard to instill that feeling of “being secure” online. Knowing what to share, how to protect your data, what helps in leading a good cyber life are all important in today’s world. Let’s face it, Internet is going nowhere and it is only wise to accept and adapt.

  1. Privacy breach is a FANCY

Oh lord, could you be more wrong? A friend of mine had a guy from the Middle East tailing him since his college days in the UK. At least three years later, the hacker gets in touch and threatens to reveal some intimate photos if my friend doesn’t send him money. Luckily, we knew somebody who could help out with the issue and my friend was off the hook. Bottom line, privacy breach isn’t just for MNCs or Governments or celebs, it can very well happen to the likes of us.

  1. Cyberspace is overwhelming.

I see you. We are already at one of the weirdest crossroads in history. For the first time, we have two lives that need immense care (as if one wasn’t enough). But whining and giving away power doesn’t do any good. With a little bit of practice and perseverance, you can bring clarity and sort things out. Use your googling skills to learn and understand how to take care of your cyber life. It is not an overnight process but once on track you will thank the effort.

To sum it up, you must look out for online loopholes. Think things through before opening up online and make conscious choices as you tread this path. And teach it forward to your circle of people.

Theertha Dhanesh
A novice in cybersecurity aiming to promote discussions in privacy and security related areas, and helping users to understand the intricacies of this world a little better.

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