Why is in Internet Privacy important? It’s a fact that we live in the age of tweets, likes, hashtags, and whatnot. With everyone sharing pictures of their food to dropping a check-in for every place they visit, internet privacy seems non-existent.
However, no matter how much about your life you like to share online you wouldn’t want to share your banking details or worse your identity, would you?
Although you may believe you don’t share much online that could help cybercriminals steal your identity and obtain loans, credit cards, etc. in your name and destroy your credit rating, you’re wrong.
Everything about yourself that you post online from your dog’s name to your old school’s picture can be used against you in the hands of the right criminal. You wouldn’t even know what hit you when the bank knocks on your door requesting for payment.
Reasons for Internet Privacy
They say keep your friends close and your enemies closer, I would rather have you keep your personal information the closest and never share it online. You may be fine if you want to live on a remote island but if you want to live in the middle of the modern world, your identity is everything. If this is not enough then read on for the reasons I have put together to justify the importance of internet privacy.
1. Control Over Your Life
Freedom is all about having autonomous control over our lives. However, that is not possible if important decisions about our lives are being made without our consent or without our knowledge to be precise.
Personal data plays a crucial role in things like authorities deciding if we need to be questioned or banks agreeing to give us a loan. It can even determine if we can have a passport and be allowed to travel or not. Your data has the ability to make or break any deal.
With such drastic consequences, it is important to have complete control of how our personal data is shared and used and be able to object to practices harming us in any way.
2. Limited Power
Since personal data is used to make several important decisions in our lives, the more someone knows about us the more power they will have on us. Therefore, it is important to have as much privacy as possible. Governments and even the private sector can use our personal data as a tool to shape our behaviors and influence our decisions, and in the wrong hands can cause great harm to us and damage our reputation.
3. Individuals’ Respect
Privacy is all about respecting the other person’s wishes. Unless there is a legitimate reason behind it, it is disrespectful to invade someone’s privacy against his or her wish. If someone wants to keep some information from you it is your ethical duty to leave it at that, in order to offer that person’s interests the same respect you would give to your own interests.
4. Management of Reputation
Our well-being including our social life, personal life as well as work life is all affected by the reputation we have built over the years. Even though we would like to disagree, but the truth is that human beings are very judgmental creatures. We would not be around someone that we believe has a shady past or maybe into something tricky. Moreover, the worst part is that we do not even spend enough time to form these judgments.
A slight slip of the wrong information in the wrong hands and half the people who love you today would be against you tomorrow. Even though we cannot completely control our reputations but at least internet privacy lets us control some aspects from pesky judgments.
5. Trust in Relationships
Trust is key in any relationship. No relationship can survive without trust, be it personal, governmental, professional or commercial. For example, we trust our doctors to keep our medical history private or our lawyers to keep any legalities confidential.
Likewise, anyone we do business with or have a personal relationship is expected to maintain a certain level of trust in the relationship. Once broken, things can never go back to normal. A small leak of our personal data stored with our internet provider can quickly turn into a sour relationship leading us to cancel our services.
6. Social Boundaries
We may be social animals but all of us still require some boundaries from others to function properly in our lives. Every now and then I know I need some alone time to relax and be at ease.
These social boundaries are what keep societies functioning at their best. Breaches of such boundaries can create havoc in a society and ruin relationships. It is okay if someone does not want everyone to know everything about them and we shouldn’t want to know everything about everyone either. It prevents any social frictions and hence helps things run smoothly.
The same is true about online privacy. It is important to keep personal information private in order for you to avoid any unpleasant breaches and unnecessary stress.
It doesn’t matter which of the above points rings a bell for you but what’s important is that you understand how important it is for you to maintain online privacy. Stay safe through the use of encryption, passwords and anti-virus software.
If you’re in the US an you are moving you may want to consider Windstream internet. Their packages comes with a security suite. If you’re not, you may want to consider asking your internet provider if they provide a security suite.
If they do not, you may run an online search for some great free internet security software as well as paid ones that provide extensive features.
Watch this space for regular updates in the Opinion category on Running Wolf’s Rant.