Privacy is over. For good. Don’t want people finding out details about your life? Too bad. Even amongst practiced security professionals, getting access to a whole slew of information is shockingly easy in the internet age.
So what can we do? Must we resign ourselves to being electronically violated at a whim? Why not flee from an online presence altogether? The answer to that last question is: it’s impossible. Even in the event that we’re okay with living in the metaphorical stone age, even the most off-the-grid person has some degree of information online. As to the other two questions, there are a few things we can do.
First, we can maintain good security practices. While this can’t make us completely impervious to digital assault, it does at least keep us from being easy targets. Second, it really helps to not seriously piss anyone off, thus giving a wannabe hacktivist a reason to come hacking. Finally, we just have to get used to the idea of living an open and honest life. Don’t say nasty things behind others’ backs. Don’t do things you don’t want your family to find out about. And whatever you don’t want people to find out about, don’t say at all. Deep dark secrets are meant for the back of your brain or the journal hidden beneath the floorboards, not a titanic information-sharing network.
The reality is that the future is metaphorically here. The Information Age is in full-swing, and we are part of it. Not even moving up to a yurt in the mountains will save you from a drone pinpointing your location and your primitive abode showing up on Google Maps. The only way to have any control over the situation is to embrace it. Take charge of your online presence. Own it. If you don’t, someone else will.
Photo credit: Frédéric Bisson