Digital Security

While using the web, it’s important that users can safely search for whatever they want without worrying about privacy concerns. For example, users should not have to worry about who’s tracking their private internet search. The whole point of having your own internet at home is so you can have privacy. Additionally, using social media platforms such as Facebook, users communicate sensitive information all the time. Thus, digital privacy is important in making sure their conversations aren’t leaked. Leakage of their conversations will impact users to feel scared due to nature of information discussed.

Moving on, big social media platforms have started discussing on using algorithms to show ads or actions that are of interest to users. The article “Code-Dependent:Pros and Cons of the Algorithm Age” mentioned that Microsoft’s twitter bot “Tay” spouted racist remarks when answering user’s prompts. Its goal was to answer users’ questions, not use racist remarks. There’s been some debates over if this feature will improve society or harm society more. In my opinion, I feel it will do more harm than good for everyone. Having a machine to generate information can put bias out to the world. Hackers can also hack the system and input in negative messages to the users. An example would be telling users to only pay through a link separate from the actual company’s link. This can cause users to lose tons of money because a bot generated by hackers told users to do so.

As I reflect more on this week’s material, I found the article/podcast “Do You Read Terms of Service Contracts? Not Many Do, Research Shows” by Shankar Vedantam on Hidden brain interesting. When Vedantam said “You know, as soon as one of those lengthy legal policy things come up, I immediately start hunting for the button that says agree.” I also do the exact same thing whenever a big term of agreement is present to me. Reading the whole thing would probably take the whole day, and I don’t want nor have the time for it. Thus, I simply click agree because I’ll have to agree anyways if I wanted to continue moving forward. I feel that company can simplify those length contract instead of be wordy about it.

In thinking more about internet security, a case study called, “Is My Phone Listening in? On the Feasibility and Detectability of Mobile Eavesdropping” (https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-030-22479-0_6 ), it talked about how our smartphones and other smart devices might actually be listening in on our daily conversations. As mentioned in the article, some of the smart devices doesn’t ask users for permission before opening up the mic feature. Thus, this allows room for outsiders to spy in on conversations being discussed. Thus, since we use our smartphones heavily with the web, we risk having our private conversations leaked while using the internet. If hackers have access to turn on user’s mic on cue, they can choose when to turn it on while listening to what users are searching up or talking about. Therefore, this can impact users by not feeling safe.

Although the internet does have many risks, there are ways in which we can protect ourselves from being victims of internet security hacks. In the article “How to Protect Your Digital privacy in the Era of Public Shaming” by Julia Angwin, it gave us some tips to protect ourselves. Having a longer password to sites will deter and strengthen the chances hackers will get through. Another strategy is to update devices so that the latest software can prevent hackers from access your information.

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