The risks in the digital age — our privacy is under attack

Bojan Stojkovski
Nov 4, 2019 · 3 min read
Photo by Viola Bascombe

We live in a time when digitalization is everywhere around us and it is happening so fast that it requires a lot to be able to adjust to the changes that the process brings to our societies. Among the many concerns and risks that have arisen from digitalization — the biggest are related to the one matter that is the most sacred to all of us, our privacy.

The invasion of our privacy, especially in the digital age, is becoming a bigger risk by the minute, even though there are plenty of security options and programs that have been created to protect us. Unfortunately, the rise of the popularity of social networks created a vacuum where a lot of personal information and data are shared, and therefore left to be exposed to various threats.

One of the vulnerabilities that are most common in this case is identity theft. The consequences of identity theft can often be catastrophic for the one who is experiencing them. A person can suffer financial loss, can have his reputation damaged, or he can suffer severe emotional distress.

From a password breach on our emails, to stolen credit cards numbers, banking accounts, social media profiles, misuse of passports and IDs… The vulnerabilities that we face are endless. Our biometric data is also in danger, especially with the fact that nowadays, our lives are becoming exclusively digital, one way or the other. Clicking on a innocent link that has been languishing on our email’s spam folders can lead to a chain of unfathomabale events that will do a lot of harm to our professional and personal lives.

When talking about how to prevent this occurrence, it seems that the biggest problem lies within ourselves, since we freely give up our information and our data, especially on various social media networks. We need to become more aware of the risks out there, to become more cautious and to be willing to learn about the various security options that we can use in order to protect ourselves.

Unfortunately, we tend not to focus on the consequences associated with over-sharing personal information on social networks. People who are not careful about what personal information and data they share through online social networking sites can often become targets for undesirable attention. Furthermore, this leads to much bigger risks than identity theft and sometimes, the consequences can be felt in our real lives, too.

Of course, nowadays everyone is prone to have his personal information breached, and what we need now more than ever is to become reliant on identity theft protection services and technologies. This comes with a price, and it means less exposure on social media networks, and more self-awareness about our personal information and how it is used, with or without our consent.

As digital citizens, besides obligations, we also have certain rights that guarantee our online presence and address the privacy concerns that we all have. We need to educate ourselves more and start acting in order to be able to guarantee these rights. Otherwise, soon we will live in a post-privacy reality, where we will be resigned to the idea that our online presence is fully transparent and for everybody to see and judge at their merit.

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Bojan Stojkovski

Written by

Freelance journalist based in Skopje, Macedonia. Contributor for @ZDNet and @ForeignPolicy

The Startup

Get smarter at building your thing. Follow to join The Startup’s +8 million monthly readers & +793K followers.

Bojan Stojkovski

Written by

Freelance journalist based in Skopje, Macedonia. Contributor for @ZDNet and @ForeignPolicy

The Startup

Get smarter at building your thing. Follow to join The Startup’s +8 million monthly readers & +793K followers.

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