Modern information technology presents multiple risks to the privacy of individuals and organizations that were not present just decades ago. One of the biggest areas of privacy concern is data aggregation which can be access through open source intelligence practices. Information such as phone numbers, emails, home addresses, work details, financial information and much more can be accessed for free if you know where to look. The worst thing is that there is nothing you can do to prevent this from happening. If you try to have the information deleted on one site it will simply pop up on another site. This type of information may seem benign but in the hands of a criminal it is deadly.
Another aspect of cyber technology that threatens our privacy is metadata. There are various types of metadata which are XMP, IPTC, EXIF, GeoTags, QuickTime and others. Metadata is descriptive and administrative data about a multimedia file such as a document, video, audio file or image. If you have the right tools you can extract the metadata out of files and learn sensitive details about the user who created it. This can provide you with private details such as geolocation data in an image, operating system data and user data.
The next aspect of modern technology that threatens our privacy are mobile devices. These days everyone has a mobile device such as a smart phone which was not the case just a short time ago. This new development has caused every aspect of one’s life to be associated with some sort of digital footprint. This could be the cellular service pinging the nearest cell tower, gps data used for geofencing or applications collecting system data on their users. Although it is not necessarily easy to hack into cellphones without the right tools it most certainly can be done. If someone were to steal someone’s smartphone they would have access to a large amount of personal data.
The last technological development that threatens our privacy is the financial industry. Decades ago if a criminal wanted to steal money they had to rob a bank or hold someone up at gunpoint. These days a hacker or unskilled scammer can steal money from someone from the other side of the world with a few clicks and a well crafted scheme. Banks are not even the main target of many of these crimes any more as cyber criminals can now target third parties, vendors and suppliers to make a profit. Anyone who uses online banking of any sort is vulnerable to some kind of hack that threatens their financial status. Locking your money up in a well protected safe is not longer an option to keep it protected. Everyone now needs to understand cybersecurity practices otherwise they will fall behind.