An Introduction To Internet Privacy and Security

The internet has definitely invaded all aspects of our lives because we depend on the internet to shop, find jobs, plan vacations and socialize. Most of the world’s data is available online as access to the internet is easier than access to clean water due to the widespread use of mobile devices. However, as the internet develops there is a greater need for internet privacy and security.

We face a continuous challenge to keep our data and personal information secure. The two terms internet privacy and security are often cause of confusions as some consider them as synonymous to each other while others believe they are two different words with different meanings but are interrelated. This means that internet privacy is the term concerned with keeping our data accessible to just those whom we want whereas internet security is the technology developed to do so for example if you want to keep your facebook posts private that is internet privacy but the software that secures them is concerned with internet security.

The question that arises here is that whether in today’s era internet security and internet privacy levels are satisfactory or not. We fear security issues like viruses, identity thefts, email and social media hacking and wifi hacking so steps should be taken to ensure that our data available online is safe and secure.


List of potential infections:

  • The virus is a program that is designed to copy itself and spread throughout applications with which it attaches itself. It can be spread by downloaded files, USBs, and copying from other servers etc.
  • Spyware is often installed into your device without your consent when you are downloading or copying a file. It deletes, accesses and reads your files and continuously sends data to the creator of the spyware.
  • Trojan looks harmless first but it leaves your computer unprotected making it more accessible for hackers etc.
  • Adware is a malware which includes ads popping up in the form of advertisements based on your internet behavior and sends information like spyware.
  • Phishing is the fraudulent acquisition of sensitive private information like passwords and credit card details. This is often achieved by sending official looking emails impersonating a trustworthy sender. Users of banking and auction sites are usually an easy target of phishing.
  • Pharming is a more sophisticated form of phishing as it includes exploitation of the DNS system to create a real looking website to extract information from users who believe the website is authentic.


Privacy Threats

All these security issues lead to some of the biggest privacy threats which include cookie proliferation, seized cloud data and location data betrayal etc. Cookie proliferation means the invisible cookie agents that track your online behavior which seems a threat to your privacy because you don’t always want to disclose what you search whereas seized cloud data means that everything you do online is stored to the server who is the owner of the internet service you use. Location data makes it uneasy for you to wander off to your favorite places without anyone knowing.



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