Do you ever feel like Big Brother is always watching? George Orwell’s apocalyptic novel, 1984, gave us the creeps: No matter what a person did or said, nothing was private. There was always someone monitoring every movement; including people’s thoughts.
While the book was published in 1949, it has never been more relevant than what it is today. You could purchase Pepto Bismol in the morning, and by lunchtime, you’ll likely see a Pepto Bismol ad on your social media newsfeed. Do you think that’s a coincidence?
Guess what, my fellow Internet users! As recent as last week (November 2017), approximately seven hundred apps were exposed to eavesdropping. And we’re not talking about nilly willy applications to get dog ears and a panting snout on your picture. One of the affected programs is regularly used by a federal law enforcement agency. While having mobile phones and tech devices everywhere we go makes our lives easier, we’re also giving up a portion of our privacy. But where do we draw the line?
What can you do to protect yourself?
It’s extremely difficult to stay completely off the grid, but you can take certain measures to at the very least, decrease your chances of exposing your personal information.
Do not use shared internet. This cannot be repeated enough. Go to your phone settings right now and disable the feature that automatically connects you to free Wi-Fi. As soon as you’re on it, a third party can see everything you share, and everything that’s stored in it. The risk is not worth the few minutes of free internet.
Put your phone in airplane mode when not in use. We get it. When you’re working, you might need it for last minute emails or to check your office schedule. But during your downtime (or if you’re at a meeting that you know will take a while), turn on airplane mode. This way, no data is shared, and no eavesdropping is possible.
Encrypt your information. If you already have Windows Vista, Windows 8.1 Pro, Windows 8.1 Enterprise, or Windows 10 Pro, you can upgrade for $99.00 and use BitLocker to encrypt your computer (because your phone is not the only tech device with a microphone). You can also encrypt information on your iPhone and Android. Once you’ve done so, check your settings to make sure that it’s actually working.
Protecting your data is crucial for both your business and personal life. To stay on guard, you have to stay updated about new cybersecurity developments. If you’re concerned about protecting your data, contact us. At Soaring Eagle Database Consulting, we’ll work hard to give you peace of mind.