Privacy and Security Endangered by Online Oversharing

Privacy and Security Endangered by Online Oversharing

For many people, personal security is a daily and long-term concerns. As the world becomes a more plugged-in environment, the biggest threats to personal safety and security are no longer physical; these threats live online, where information is forever.
 
“It can be scary,” Matthew DeMaria, associate professor and program coordinator for information systems and cybersecurity at Pierpont Community and Technical College, said. “All the different types of apparatus we have now and how connected we are, the more we let our lives go on the internet, the more we have at risk.”
 
DeMaria has been working in IT for more than 10 years and has seen a surge in both the amount of information and data being displayed online. This has led to an increase in the need for people and methods to help protect this information.
 
“People are becoming more aware,” DeMaria said. “As the internet grows and we integrate with the internet, [cybersecurity] jobs are going to grow.”
 
According to DeMaria, personal information faces the biggest risk of being unintentionally disseminated, especially with the number of different programs that require that very information, including email, social media and online shopping sites.
 
“Some of the more basic problems are just the amount of websites, the number of profiles,” DeMaria said. “The amount of information you have to put out to be part of these communities and the fact that there are no real laws governing how they use that information, it’s kind of scary.”
 
Once that personal information gets leaked, the possibilities can include anything from loss of privacy to identity theft.
 
“The number one crime in America right now is identity theft,” DeMaria said. “The severity of identity theft is interesting... not all identity theft is identity loss, sometimes it’s just manipulation, trying to get some kind of goal, it doesn’t necessarily have to be monetary.”
 
In order to prevent this kind of damage, DeMaria advises individuals to be cautious when it comes to sharing information online; a lack of awareness and caution is the reason online safety has become such a concern in the first place.
 
“One of the biggest issues our current students are facing is oversharing,” DeMaria said. “You can learn a lot from a picture. You can do association with friends, see locations, addresses. They’re vulnerable.”
 
Passwords should be secure and kept secret. One password leak can lead to a collapse of online security. With so many online threats, DeMaria just warns that browsers stay smart on the internet and stay away from putting themselves in danger.
 
“I think everybody should be monitoring their accounts, their credit,” DeMaria said. “Really the name of the game in cybersecurity is not stopping someone, but making it so hard to get the information that it’s not worth the effort.”
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