Digital Security in Everyday Life

Throughout the time I have spent in this course, I have come to a better understanding of digital security. While I have been educated growing up on the likelihood of having personal information compromised, this class has provided relevant insights through the means of articles like, “Protecting yourself online isn’t as easy as it used to be, but it can be done” by Dan Gillmor.

In this piece, Gillmor provides advice for the average person in today’s world. First, he suggests updated software on devices. He states that outdated versions of Google Chrome or other browsers can leave holes in digital security.

Just two weeks ago, my debit card information was stollen. Thankfully, I was notified through an automated text sent by my credit union only moments after an attempted transaction over $2,000 for a hotel room in Singapore. Since I rarely use my debit card in everyday life, and have used it primarily for online shopping, I knew this was likely a matter of digital security.

I have known that I have outdated software for a while. Not long ago, I contacted Apple about an issue and they suggested I update my OS on my MacBook. I believe that updating my OS could likely help prevent such situations from happening in the future.

However, I do not think there are many other precautions which I need to take. It is rare that I would have such vital information through my computer. Thankfully, my credit union has my confidence in keeping my account safe from fraudulent purchases. If I had several credit cards or stored other important data on my MacBook, I would consider taking more precautions. At the moment, I think it is wisest to remain minimal in the information I choose to put on my computer.

In terms of social media, I try to limit what I post and put out there. For instance, when Facebook asked me to add my phone number, I was hesitant to do so. I don’t use Facebook nearly as often as I once did when I was younger, so the thought of adding my current phone number to my account wasn’t appealing. I had also been aware of the many scares surrounding Facebook’s lack of privacy. After I discovered that the Messenger mobile app was recording some users’ phone conversations, I deleted the app just as a safety precaution. I have even considered deleting my Facebook altogether, but have kept my account open for the sake of sentimentality.

As for other the social networks I am active on, they do not require personal information. Twitter and Instagram are only concerned with tweets and photos, and have never asked for my phone number – although I would be less hesitant to provide it for either service. I have never heard of privacy concerns surrounding either app, although I could imagine that location tracking could be a potential issue. I have allowed both apps to track my location, but I believe it only does so when I am posting a photo or tagging a location in a tweet.

For the moment, I can keep calm and know there is no urgent need to be concerned about my privacy. Since I do not have any credit cards or personal information uploaded online, there is little to no threat for my security.