September 6, 2021, Posted By John M

What Is Internet Privacy & Why It Matters

women introducing personal data online

You may be, right now, innocently scouring the web, with no recollection of the data trail you are leaving behind. Well then, we have a question for you: do you know what internet privacy is, and how the lack of it can impact your life?

Think of it. In a hyper-connected world moving at a speed we can barely comprehend, internet users are now facing more challenges than ever. On one hand, we have the world at our feet.

On the other, internet users are more exposed to security threats and internet privacy issues than ever before.

We are all witnessing an ongoing conflict of interests between the good that the internet has brought to our lives and the risks we are all exposed to because of this rapid digitalization. 

Is There Any Internet Privacy?

Online safety and internet privacy are words swung around quite carelessly these days, with very few people actually knowing what privacy online is all about. 

So Then, What Is Internet Privacy?

In just a few words, internet privacy refers to how much of your personal information stays private when you’re online. And by private information, we mean anything directly related to your personal life. This includes your home or work address, telephone number, medical history, or list of contacts. 

Ultimately, it’s not only personal information that users share online. It’s also financial data such as credit card or bank records. All these can easily end up in the wrong hands and lead to unfortunate scenarios where your money or your identity gets stolen.

To answer the question “what is internet privacy, we need to take a closer look at the exchange that happens when we go online. Did you think that using the internet is free? Unfortunately, you are wrong. Everything you do when surfing the web comes at a cost. 

Whether you’re simply visiting a website and accepting its cookies, or sharing photos with your followers on social media, remember that a part of your personal information will no longer be only yours to know. It doesn’t even matter if the service you’re using is free or not. Everyone pays the same price — exposure. 

Social networking and simply going online is nowadays an activity riddled with risks and threats posed to our personal integrity. 

What Is Internet Privacy Required For?

People that care less about their online privacy and security may think that living in a digital world without strict boundaries and limitations is not a big deal. However, internet privacy needs to be regulated very carefully for everyone to feel just as safe as they would in real life.

If you think about it well, in your day-to-day life you don’t share your bank data or personal information with just about anyone. You expect people to respect your own privacy, and you respect theirs, and you don’t open the door of your house for any stranger to enter.

All things considered, the online medium should look the same. We need better privacy laws to shield us from unsolicited third parties. We also need the right type of software that can protect us from identity theft and data breaches.

What Is The Biggest Internet Privacy Issue?

It would be impossible to pinpoint only one issue! Still, we can narrow it down as much as possible. Most privacy issues can fit into the following categories;

Location Tracking 

As we all know, most apps request to know our location to give you further access to their perks and features. It’s not mandatory, for sure, but if you will allow just any app to track you without thinking twice, you risk sharing your location with third parties you have no idea about, and these include hackers too.

Awareness is advised as well as personal involvement in the way all your app’s settings are adjusted. 

Social networks are also a growing concern when it comes to sharing your location’s information. In fact, most of the time, being on social media, including the likes of TikTok, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or LinkedIn, means voluntarily posting photos, videos, or tweets of yourself and filling in your current location.

Social media is all fun and games until it’s not anymore, and the information you’ve willingly shared becomes a hazard.

Data Storage

When looking at what internet privacy is, we need to discuss the way search engines such as Google or Yahoo store our data. 

Unfortunately, the search engines we all use retain lots of information about ourselves, what we like to read, what we like to buy, where we go on holiday, and so on, and there’s really very little we can do to steer clear of this modern conundrum. 

Mishandling Of Information

As you’ve probably already noticed, there are plenty of websites and companies out there that require your personal information to grant you access to their services. This information is typically not encrypted and, thus, not secure, which means that anyone can read it. 

This, as you may already expect by now, spells big trouble. 

Cybercriminals are more enticed than ever to break accounts and steal personal and financial information since security vulnerability is now a feature of the online environment.

Ongoing Spying

That’s right. When you are online, your activity and browsing history is tracked and recorded by various apps for several different reasons. The biggest one being that the more private data they gather about you, the easier it will be for them to know what you like and, ultimately, what they should sell to you. 

And although most of the time the data they collect is used for advertising purposes, sometimes it can end up in the hands of cybercriminals. In other words, another online privacy issue we’re facing nowadays is the refined and ongoing surveillance we’re all silently subjected to.

What Can We Do to Keep Our Internet Privacy? Is It Achievable?

man learning what is internet privacy

The most important thing we hope you gain from reading this article is the understanding that Internet privacy is worth protecting at all costs. Internet privacy represents our sense of freedom, safety, and personal identity online and outside the internet. 

Sometimes playing with an app’s privacy settings is simply not enough and extended steps need to be taken to guard our well-deserved internet privacy. It can be difficult to protect your privacy at times, but it’s an essential task. It can help you avoid identity theft, doxing, and other issues that are prevalent online.

Working with a reputable team will offer you answers to your questions and provide feedback on privacy best practices. At Internet Privacy, we develop customized online privacy plans that fulfill your online needs and keep you updated on your privacy security status. 

Only by staying vigilant about what you share and who you share with can you protect yourself from potential fraud, financial loss, and identity theft.

The Takeaway

Internet privacy is the retention of the personal data we shared online in a way that guards our privacy, much like in real life. We need it, after all, to maintain a sense of personal identity, even online, where every little detail is shared. 

Having said this, we must take all necessary steps to protect our internet privacy now, both at a societal level and an individual one, before it’s too late.

If you found our article on “what is internet privacy” helpful and want to keep learning how to protect your personal information, keep reading;