Social media is fun to use. You can share a lot of things with people around the world with just a few clicks. You can share more things with friends closer to you. Your name, date of birth, where you live, who your friends are etc. A lot of information. So much information, that you can tell where a person is at that moment, just based on the information on your social profile.
New Social media Application: NSA
And that’s something one organization knows what to do with it: the NSA. So what can the NSA do? Well, a lot of things:
– Read your emails? Sure.
– Listen while you Skype with someone? I’m on it.
– Need an extra like on your photo on Facebook? NSA can give his opinion.
– Do you feel alone when you browse the Internet? Not anymore thanks to NSA!
– Worried about losing data on your smartphone? NSA makes a backup for you!
It’s actually worrisome how much possibilities the NSA has. Your personal life is all stored in the datacenter of the NSA. We all assume that this is securely stored in the servers of the NSA. With all these smart people there, you would think that they would have the best security in there. Except for one. And that’s this guy.
Edward Snowden. Without him, we wouldn’t even know the existence of PRISM, the program to track shady people on the world. He still have information with him, that is not released yet.
Not only the NSA
But enough about the NSA. Because without the NSA, your privacy still isn’t save. Cookies are small pieces of data stored on your computer when you are browsing the Internet. They can collect your browsing behavior, in order to ‘enhance the experience on the Internet‘. I mean, there is no other way they can remember your searches and clicks on their website.
All those fun apps you install on your smartphone. Have you ever actually looked what these apps can do? When you download an app on the Google Play Store, it shows what permissions it need to function. But certain apps, like some games, need to read your call log for example. Why does a game need to know who called me or who I’ve called?
Privacy and security
When you store data on the internet and social media applications, you assume they’re safe, unless someone knows your password. So the first thing you need to do is create a strong password. This story gives a good example how to create a strong password that is also easy to remember.
But a strong password is not enough. The other side (the website) needs to store it securely. Unfortunately, that’s often a problem.
To enhance the security further, you can opt for ‘Two-step authentication‘. It works like this: you have a password for a website that supports ‘Two-step authentication’. You also need a smartphone that supports the ‘Two-step authentication‘ app (in this example Android phone users). When you log in to that website, it asks you to enter the 6-digit code that’s generated by the app on your smartphone. That way, even though your password has been compromised, the thieves still need the 6 digit-code generated on your smartphone. Websites that supports ‘Two-step authentication’ are for example Gmail, Hotmail, Facebook, Dropbox and Twitter. I highly recommend to use ‘Two-step authentication’.
Do you value your privacy?
Friends of mine always ask why I protect my smartphone, have such a strong password and double the security on my devices. The answer is very simple: I just don’t like people that mess with my data without my permission. It also gives them too much power when they have access to my information. Yes, they can use it just for fun, but there are some cases where it is done for revenge.
When I ask them why they don’t protect their smartphones etc, one friend replied with:
I don’t care, they can know everything about me. I have no secrets to hide.
So in return, I asked him to give his PIN-code of his bank account. He didn’t give it to me, because it’s private. Funny, right?
So what about you? Do you value your privacy? Do you mind what the NSA is doing? Do you also change your behavior, due to the abilities of the NSA? And do you protect your privacy (as in a secure smartphone, laptop, login)?
All sources are hidden in the text as URL’s. The same goes for images. When you click on an image, it will redirect you to the original source. Meanwhile, the NSA has collected valuable information about you.