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It goes without saying that the internet has made the world a global village. With just few clicks one is able to send messages and resources from one party to another. Despite all the advantages associated with the internet the issue of internet privacy is proving to be a menace threatening to cause havoc to both users and businesses. Internet privacy basically refers to the level of security of personal and business data published through the internet. In a larger context it refers to a variety of factors which include; the technologies and techniques employed to protect private data, personal preferences and communication. It basically involves safeguarding an individual’s or a business’s data from access by unauthorized individuals (Conn, 2002).
Web 2.0 is the current or latest state of online technology. It is characterized by the following elements; greater user interactivity, enhanced communication channels and more pervasive network connectivity. As a result of the emergence of Web 2.0 our expectations on matters privacy have definitely been influenced. This is basically because since Web 2.0 is an improved version of the traditional World Wide Web, it therefore means that it comes with more advanced security features. Users therefore automatically expect that their data will be more secure than before (Merkow & Breithaupt, 2002).
Nowadays during online interactions one tends to leave behind his or her digital foot prints. This can be in the form of personal information, interest or habits. It is therefore necessary for one to be very cautious and employ the use of various diverse privacy techniques for their own good. Internet privacy especially important to business owners and IT service providers. This is basically because E-commerce is the current technological trend. Social media platforms e.g. Facebook, Twitter and Instagram have made it possible for people to easily buy and sell their products. Cases of various user accounts, business and company networks being hacked have become common especially in the 21st
Century (Smith & Library of Congress, 2001).
In my opinion I do not think that privacy is dead. As long as users, companies and business enterprises continue to adhere to the required regulatory codes concerning data protection then their data will remain safe from unwanted parties. Privacy is very important because of the following reasons. First, it limits the power of the government and Companies over people. Secondly, it aids in the improvement of one’s personal respect. If people do not know much about you they tend to respect you. It also helps in the maintenance of social boundaries (Bernal, 2015).
In order to protect a Company’s data from fraudulent individuals, there are some issues that the company must consider to. They include; phishing. Phishing refers to a technique that is used in order to steal a user’s secure data, bank account number, username or credit card number. Secondly, there is pharming. This is a technique that involves a user being redirected to another different IP address. There is also spyware which is a technique used to obtain a user’s data without his or her consent as long as one computer is online. Lastly, there is malware which refers to malicious programs that damage the computer whether online or offline (Smith & Library of Congress, 2005).
Users on the other hand can employ the following techniques in order to protect their personal data. First, users should always use preventive software applications such as firewall and anti-viruses. Secondly, users should avoid shopping from unreliable suspicious websites with very low security levels. Websites that use “Https” are preferred to those that use “Http” basically because it denotes that the website is secure. Users are also encouraged to clear their browsing history as soon as they are done with a session. They should always log out of the various social media platforms after they are done with them. It is also necessary for users to use very strong passwords that also incorporate alphanumeric characters. By doing all these one will be able to reduce the chances of his or her information being accessed by malicious individuals.
Bernal, P. (2015). Internet Privacy Rights: Rights to Protect Autonomy. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Conn, K. (2002). The Internet and the law: What educators need to know. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.
Merkow, M. S., & Breithaupt, J. (2002). The E-Privacy imperative: Protect your customers' Internet privacy and ensure your company's survival in the electronic age. New York: AMACOM.
Smith, M. S., & Library of Congress. (2001). Internet privacy -- protecting personal information: Overview and pending legislation. Washington, D.C.: Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress.
Smith, M. S., & Library of Congress. (2005). Internet privacy: Overview and pending legislation. Washington, D.C.: Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress.
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