#9: Privacy

Just last week, congress overturned a regulation that would have required Internet service providers such as Comcast, Verizon, and Charter to get consumer’s permission before selling their data.

I became increasingly concerned about my own privacy once I was a senior in high school. As I kept getting e-mails from services I didn’t remember signing up for, I realized that my younger self had quite recklessly put my information out there.

I came across an info-graphic that detailed how to find your information and delete it from various sites. I tried to follow the instructions and delete some old accounts but the more I tried the more sites I encountered. One of the things I remember the most is the graphic saying that it was nearly impossible to delete all your information from LinkedIn. I resisted signing up for it until I came to college and was told multiple times that it was necessary to have an account to be successful.

In the wake of congress’ decision, I’ve thought about using a VPN service. I worry most for my financial information now that I am more independent of my parents. Identity theft is scary.

When I use social media, I try to be cognizant of the information I put out. I am a private person naturally so it translates over to social media. I especially try not to share any familial information for their safety.

I don’t think about privacy implications all the time but it makes sense to not put my entire routine on display. It’s also really annoying when people post every detail of their lives.

People don’t realize the danger there is in posting every bit of information about yourself. We have no idea where the information goes. We should be very concerned about the implications of telling the world everything about ourselves and family.

People regularly get their information stolen. Sometimes people use others’ pictures to┬ápose as them (catfishing). Beyond invasion of privacy, there is a more insidious consequence of having our information sold to the highest bidder. It could impact our ability to get healthcare because companies could see if you have a preexisting condition. Servers are always vulnerable to attacks and the possibility of our personal information falling into the wrong hands is alarming.

With the government encroaching more and more on our personal lives, it’s more crucial than ever that there be protections for citizens/consumers. We also have to be aware of the consequences of making our lives available to the public. “Big Brother” is around us more than ever before and now we have to protect our information the best that we can while we still can.