Did you ever imagine how much we are unprotected in this so-called protected world of technology?
Do we know the effects of mobile apps, smartphones, and computers in our daily life? How these gadgets and apps are interfering in our privacy?
What would be your response if someone tells you that he will keep an eye on you all the time?
He will monitor you and watch you what you do? Where you go, to whom you meet and what conversation you will have with your wife, friend or to someone else. He will keep you under observation by 24/7 and a whole 365 days of the year.
I am sure no one will like to be monitored or observed all the time.
But what if you personally authorized apps and gadget to monitor and somehow to control you. Yes, that is you who has put yourself prone to surveillance. It is happening right now. Yes, it is true. We are in high observation by our misinterpretation of new technology and relying on social media presence. Intentionally or unintentionally, we are providing over self to be accessed by services providers. We are using their apps and gadgets, and they are using our data.
Mobile and Computer User Are Unprotected and Under Surveillance
Smartphones, computer programs, mobile applications, tools, browsers and other gadgets that are now an integral part of our daily lives putting us more prone to security breaches. Technology is changing our lives and will change the whole social system of the world very soon.
Let’s see where and how these application and gadgets are providing our information to companies and corporations. How service providers are storing our data (text, audio, video, movements, location, addresses, interest, etc.) and how the personal life of every individual is on stake. The social system of the community is changing without knowing the dangers of the technology and social media presence.
Although rules and regulations are in place up to some extent. But like technology itself, these policies and regulations are yet in the evolution phase and need much consideration by governments and regulators.
Online data of users compromised daily, in too many places at once to keep count.
First, let’s see how our privacy is compromised from some real-life events and news.
“Virus turns the lights out in South Africa”
14:50 25 Jul 19 – BBC
“How a ransomware attack cost one firm £45m”
4:03 25 Jun 19 – BBC
“Android users warned as notorious spyware app hits Google Play store”
Aug 23, 2019 – Cyware Hacker News
“In September 2016, Yahoo attack compromised the real names, email addresses, dates of birth and telephone numbers of 3 Billion users.”
September 2016 – Yahoo.com
September 2016 – James Comey – FBI Director
US Senators asked him why you covered your laptop’s webcam with tape?
His reply was “Heck yeah, heck yeah. Also, I get mocked for a lot of things, and I am much mocked for that, but I hope people lock their cars … lock your doors at night. I have an alarm system, if you have an alarm system you should use it, I use mine.”
“Microsoft warns Windows 10 Users to update immediately because of two critical vulnerabilities“. “potentially hundreds of millions of vulnerable computers,”
CNN August 14, 2019
Your laptop, smartphone camera and microphone spying on you
Smartphone and computer systems are everywhere from deserts to mountains and from bigger cities to smaller villages of the planet.
These digital devices may be revealing more about you than you thought. Social media sites, applications, malware, and government agencies can all get access to and get information from your smartphone or laptop.
Smartphones are with us all the time anywhere we go and anything we do. We have installed apps provided by the third parties, like Google, Facebook, WhatsApp, etc. and along with this installation we have provided them access to our device camera, microphone, contacts, photo gallery and sensors installed in the device.
We trust our mobile phones to do everything for us: making transactions of money, hold credit card information, recognize our voices & transcribe our speech, capture photos of us, and communicate with friends and work colleagues, et cetera. It’s natural to worry about all of this information being stolen.
Smartphone applications like – WhatsApp, Facebook, Google Plus, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and IMO
A report of famous the Guardian general reveals that ‘when a user installs these apps, the user authorizes them to do the following on smartphone. we accept whatever comes on the screen while installing these apps. If you read the terms and conditions of the app you will come to know that what they can do’:
- they can access both front and the back camera.
- they can record you at any time without any further approval.
- They can use your camera for taking pictures and videos without telling you.
- they can upload the pictures, videos, and docs.
- they can detect your motion in real-time and do face recognition to detect facial features or expressions.
- even they Livestream the camera on to the internet.
- they know your location, your address, your friends, your family and any other information that you have provided intentionally or unintentionally.
Mobile Sensors and GPS
GPS OR Global Positioning System
If you are carrying your mobile phone with you, which you are, then you can be detected by apps, government agencies, hackers and cellular companies.
One type of delicate information that our telephone approaches are our locating. Indeed, even with the GPS off, as we connect with cell towers and Wi-Fi point with geolocation data related them, our smartphone is sending data about our location and presence. However, even without access applications installed on our phones, a hacker could still access our location by using other sensors preinstalled on devices.
Light Sensors of Your Smartphone
The surrounding light sensor estimates the light in your environment and adjust for ideal review. This sensor, which is typically not thought about a potential risk, can be utilized for hacking purposes.
Proximity Sensor – User & Nearby Objects identification
Most of today’s cell phones are installed with vicinity sensor. These sensors are utilized to turn off your touch screen when you’re in a call – otherwise, your face would unintentionally contact with the screen to disrupt or hang up the call. These sensors are also the gateway to multiple threat to the user of the phone.
Hacking and Virus Attacks
Internet is a network of networks. Devices or Nodes on the internet are connected with the help of communications lines and protocols. These communication lines and protocols are the essences of communication. Malicious software or physical devices can interfere in between two connected parties and could take advantage of unsecured links.
Hacking is a multibillion industry. Did you ever think that whatever you are using to make communication through the internet or cellular devices is DATA (text, photos, voice, videos, location, etc.)? That is the only mean to make a connection between two parties on the internet. Whatever you said to your friends, family, banks or lawyers while being online can be hacked by any middleman knowing codes and methods.
Recommendations to Stay Safe Online
Recommendations for Mobile and Computer Users
- Keep your mobile, computer and all other gadgets up to date.
- Always use an antivirus program on gadgets and keep updated.
- If you are not using a device, turn it off.
- Never cleck/install any irrelevant software or apps while surfing the internet.
- Never reply to unsolicited emails. Share your email ID online only if it necessary and you are sure about website authenticity.
- Think twice before installing any new app from Play Store.
- Free wifi could be dangerous – There is no free lunch in the world.
- If you are more conscious about your data like me, then never sold out your hard drives, memory cards, external drives along with your mobile or computer. Formating your drives or memory card is not an answer and data can easily be recovered with software.
- Keep updated your internet browser.
Recommendations for Social Media User
- Remember social media is not your private place. This is the community of billion of people having different background and different priorities. Be in your circle.
- Never ever share your personal details on social media sites. The details once you shared will never be deleted from the online portal.
- Everybody on social media is not your friend, so don’t accept a friend request from an unknown profile.
- Use the security features of Facebook, Twitter, etc. and turn off all unwanted options.
- While surfing social media sites if you like a link or page, confirm the authenticity of the link, before sharing it further to your friends or friends of friends.
- Always remember social media is social media, not your personal diary.
Your comments are precious for us. Stay Safe and Healthy.