Our lives has been really made easy after “The Internet” was born. Our lives are transformed for ever. Apart from our normal everyday life, for example me “Boonei” I also have another life online, where I don’t check my mail bag, I check my Inbox, I don’t call my friends in phone, I scrap or wall messages to them, I don’t meet go to my friends place to to check their holiday pictures out, I check they online album out and also leave my comments there, I don’t go to to meet a new friend in person anymore, I socialize using Social Networking sites. My Life has changed BIG TIME.Well this tell us I live a second life online, so I am known as a person there on the internet and all the information is stored there, Is it good? Unfortunately not. Reason being….
….not just one but many. You may think what is the big deal if few things are left open on the internet? I am not the president of a country for people to come and hunt me down. But the fact is we are as important as anyone on the planet earth. We have started to disregard our personal information as something very valuable. Do you know something? you are worth so much online than in personal life. Ok, I see the question in your mind “Reallyyyyyyyyyyyyy ?”. Please read the article and you will know about it.
First of all, I should now know anything about you unless you are required to, correct? But if I want to I can, its not so hard you know? I can know everything about you in less than an hour. All I need is a name. So what will I do? First I will go to the top social networking sites search for your name and I will be able to find you. Then in your personal section I will read everything about you, you would have mentioned there about your favorite food, what do you like to do when you are free, what color you like, whom do you like the most, do you like pets, what turns you on and off. Then I will go to your official information section and find out where you studied and what you are doing now. Later I will go to your gallery section to have a good hard look at you. I will see how your friend are and learn a little about them. I can even know what your friends feel about you. Worst part, I will see the conversion you have had with your friends. I can go to the school/collage website find more about you. I will know a lot about your life in an instant. I know will know everything, I will have your history no a single mouse click.
So what can I do with this information? I can do anything. You see as everyone says information is wealth and personal information is a gold mine. If I am just a teen freaky guy I could just get acquaintance with you and talk about things that you really like and make friends with you instantly. You took all these years to make friends that you have now, it took so much time to know about them later understand about then then accept them to your life. Well myself on the other hand have a big short cut.
If I am person looking to know about you for personal profit (meaning there is something/some favor I need from you) then to get to know you and make conversion would be very easy, I can track your friend also find out if I can somehow find a common link and get to say hello to you. If I am looking for some professional favor I can also find out whom you are linked in professionally and get to know them.I also get to know who to ask a favor form you because I would have seen people asking you for favors. I can find links you know ?
Do you know selling of personal information is big business? Online and offline. How do you think you get so many unwanted product marketing phone calls? Many annoying postal mails? Annoying e-mail spans? Text messages in your mobile phone. Someone some how got your house address/email address/phone number. Next time when you get one of the above mentioned ones, don’t just dismiss it. Have a close look a it. You will find all the things that are sent to you are not just random stuff, they are something you might want or things like you like or something that’s was running on your mind. Check it our next time.
Everyone of us are not what we are that others see in the outside world. We are something different inside. For many reasons we are not able to exhibit this or in simple terms “be ourselves”. The internet has given us a second chance to re-live over lives everyday. When I identify myself on the internet there is a very good chance I am not what I claim to be. So its very very easy to get duped on the internet. I find many profiles to be fake and people whom I did chat with really are not what they claim to be. Living a second life is done much on chat rooms and one social networking sites. You may talk to some one for days or years together and one find day find out they are not as enchanting as they claim to be. By that time that other person would have come to know everything about you. Is it work that risk?
If I am a hacker, since I have got some basic background information about you. I really know how much you are worth, I can decide to hack in to your computer and see if I have stored more information about my bank account, credit card number, debts, investments etc etc and try to see can make some money out of it. Else just sell information to someone who is interested in the same.
If this sounds scary enough, there is more to come. Software’s are not only powerful but also very intelligent. I am sure you would have come across very intelligent software’s that can read a persons personality also predict our mind. Don’t start to think about in any science fiction way i.e. some wires or wired looking gadget fixed on our head. So how is it done? Everyday we logon to the internet and do our routine activity like checking mails, reading some news and also going through some pictures and reading some interesting blogs. If I could somehow summarize all this information then I would be able to map your personality. Just picture this; if I could somehow get a list of search text that you have typed all your life in your favorite search engine like Google, yahoo, aol etc I would know what type of information you are looking at and are interested. I would know what you like and what you want. When you go do a search, it means that information means something to you and you are willing to spend time on it. If you repeatedly search for the same things I know you are very interested in it. After searching if you visit the page that is displayed by the search engine, it gives me more insight as to what exactly you are looking for and find satisfactory. I could somehow get to have you list of sites visited from your browser (History) then I know what you do on the web. If I can have access to your bookmark, I would know what are your favorites. Do you know many big free email providers like Gmail read you mails? There is no human being who sits and reads your mail but a computer does it so. Next time when you open a mail box and read a particular mail see the ad’s displayed on the page. It would pertain to very specific words in your mail. For example if there was a conversation on the mail about cars. Then you would find ad’s like buy sell cars and would also give you shops names in the place you live in! If I could have access to all this then just imagine how much I know about you. This is exactly something that happens when you surf the web everyday (Including me)
If I do the above I will have a information vault about you. Now as usual when you open the computer and do a search, If you search for things I know what to show you, I will show you websites or any information where I will get paid most. I can also not show you information. I know what you do on Mondays and I know what you do on Friday evenings. I know what do do when you surf the web. Imagine web that is no longer under you control.
Modern gadgets like the mobile phone are now a days very powerful pocket pc’s. The applications that are available are very powerful. These application run our everyday life. Now a days these application re tied to the web. We have sophisticated systems like the GPS in our phone. The system has a provision to know where you are and what’s your activity. Imagine if I could write a piece of software that could hack into your mobile phone turn on your GPS device and it tells me where you are at this instant one planet earth and that software can turn on your camera and microphone can actually see and hear what you do? Lets hope that does not happen.
I guess I have scared you all enough. The intension of this post is not just to create tension or to create reader eagerness. It is to give you an insight of the reality and also tell you how you should be safe on the internet. Please be as careful with the internet as you would be on the outside world, Its our duty to stay safe and only have information on the web as little as needed. I free its our utmost duty to take care of this insted of blaming the bad people. Online security is a major issue now a days, so please Stay safe, smile and be happy.