It's impossible to tear ourselves away from technology nowadays considering that both our personal and professional lives intersect with it in more ways than one. Just look at the recent outage of platforms such as Facebook and Instagram. Between the 24 to 48 hours of these online spaces malfunctioning, it has caused global panic and frustration. Sure, it might seem petty and ridiculous to some for humanity to rely on such advancements, but with entire industries and even country systems relying on its functions, can we really be blamed?
This isn't saying that technology is perfect and must be patronised entirely. We are all very much aware of the flaws and perils that come with it. Just the other day, news outlets reported that in South Korea, hundreds of motel guests were secretly filmed and live-streamed online for the pleasure of paying customers. There's also the incident of the Christchurch mosque shooting where the shooter was live-streaming the whole thing; Facebook needed to take down almost 1.1 million reuploads of the video hours after the attack. This and many more definitely make us question not just our safety but where our morality as mediated by technology is taking us in the long run. This, of course, is considering that we're not willing to give up on these advancements as it is, inevitably, the future.
So this leaves us with the question: How do we protect ourselves online at a time when the need to use technology is second only to breathing? We've got just the guide for you.
Take caution when using the internet outside your home
It's quite cliché to warn people about using public Wi-Fi, but for some reason, many still fall victim to getting their information stolen because of this. So what do you do when you really need to access the internet but using your data is impossible? There are a couple of tactics to go around this. First, use a Virtual Private Network, also known as a VPN, that allows you to browse the net under encrypted traffic and an untraceable server. There are many paid VPNs out there that offer reasonable plans, but if you're on a budget, iOS and Android phones also offer free VPN apps you can use that will get the job done (with some ads popping from time to time, but you get the idea).
To complement this, make sure you also avoid typing in passwords and other important information in close proximity to a CCTV. Always cover your keyboard or keypad when possible and decrease the brightness of your monitor or screen to avoid giving someone an opportunity to have access to your accounts just by replaying footage. This might seem like cautiousness with a tinge of paranoia, but hey, better safe than sorry, right?