The Internet of Things and Understanding Personal Privacy in a Hyper-Connected World
Every company has a product. For home improvement stores, it’s building materials and tools. Book stores sell books. Coffee shops sell coffee. PenTeleData’s product is the Internet. Our partners’ products are phone, cable, Internet, and security systems. All of these are pretty straight-forward. What about Google, Facebook and other social media and content providers? Their product is YOU!
Each of these companies collect and use your information, including browsing habits and any other details, to target your content. Social media providers may offer networking opportunities, but in turn, you are sharing your viewing habits, contact lists, and more. (As a general rule if the service is free then you are most likely the product being sold). These services can be filtered to determine what you should or should not see, including political opinion or articles promoted by advertisers who want access to you. They can even use your information to sell your habits, views, shopping detail, etc. to others who can also use this information for profit. In fact, all of this is even more possible with “Internet of Things” (IoT).
The IoT describes the relationships between the giant network of connected “things” and people. The IoT is basically the connecting any device with an on and off switch to the Internet and/or to each other. This includes everything from cellphones, coffee makers, washing machines, headphones, lamps, wearable devices and almost anything else imaginable, like machine components such as a jet engine of an airplane or the drill of an oil rig. The IoT is here to stay. Perhaps cars will have access to our calendars and already know the best route to take. If traffic is heavy, it could switch your route and send a text message to the other parties involved with the meeting. On a broader scale, IoT could be applied to transportation networks and smart cities with reduced energy consumption. The ideas are endless. We are, no doubt, living in an age of a digital lifestyle. For individuals, that means we may want to be more cautious about how to protect our personal information. Here are a few ideas to help:
- Routinely Update all software (PC, phone, tablets, etc.)
- Establish and maintain strong passwords
- Secure privacy settings on all social networks
- Lock down your home network
- Think carefully about what you are posting/sharing online (Don’t overshare family details such as names, travel, location, address, friends)
- Don’t use apps for tracking if you don’t want to share the information it requires (For example, a fitness tracker might store and track your health goals.)
- Check your privacy settings for all devices
Thank you for reviewing our Contest security tips page. Through education, we hope to lessen the number of our customers who fall victim to Internet criminals.
Check back monthly for new tips and to win some great prizes! Here’s your chance to win a Dell Inspirion 15-500 2-in-1 (Retail value $599).
Contest Rules: No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited. One entry per person. Must be 18 years of age or older to enter. Employees and family members of PenTeleData and their affiliates are ineligible. This contest is open to legal residents in PenTeleData territories only. One winner will be selected at random and will be announced after the selection on May 31, 2018. Odds of winning will depend on number of entries. Winners must grant permission for PenTeleData to use his/her name, statements and image in future promotions, without compensation. All PenTeleData decisions and prize awards are final. Prizes may not be substituted and are not refundable, transferable or redeemable for cash.