The world wide web was preliminary designed to connect people electronically from different parts of the world. However, over the last decade or so, serious concerns have been raised about the safety of the internet. No doubt, the internet is one of the best resources available to us today, whether we are talking about performing our day-to-day duties or simply bonding with our families and/or friends. However, the internet has now become extremely dangerous and many industries have been created through the misuse of the platform.
For example, let’s take the case of applications we use for our mobile phones and Tablets. There are thousands of these apps available on the internet. Everyone is entitled to download any application they wish for whatever reason. However, one would expect that their right of privacy is not lost whenever they decide to download and use an app on their mobile devices. But the sad reality is that many people have poor knowledge and little understanding of the terms-and conditions that are linked to the use of an app and often this ignorance comes back to bite them. We are all victims of this.
Sooner or later our online privacy is going to be a thing of a past as the authorities may not be able to effectively police the privacy of consumers when it comes to using apps, because of the highly complex nature of and confusion surrounding the terms and conditions, which are deliberately created by the developers of these applications. Sure, none of us want the government to act as a “Big Brother”, but it is fair to expect the developers to disclose all relevant information in simple and succinct ways and clarify where customers’ information is stored when using applications. Many developers and service providers often seek to hide their malign intentions through the presentation of several dozens of pages of terms and conditions. They count on consumer’s ignorance and unwillingness to read the terms and conditions. These providers need to be reminded that we cannot hire a lawyer every time we intend to purchase an app to ensure they explain the liabilities and entitlements related to such products.
Additionally, the use of the third-Party entities in the provision of services to consumers should be demolished by the big corporations and service providers. If these companies use third party companies to provide services or products, they should take full responsibility when it to comes to any liability suffered by consumers.
The same thing also applies for the use of Credit Cards. These days’ rewards points are being used quite frequently. These companies also use so called surveys as instruments to collect our personal information. Companies like Google even goes further as they know our private affairs in detail and they are using it against us for marketing purposes.
Most of us have no idea where our personal details are stored and what is done with it. Therefore, do not be surprised when you receive a phone call from Switzerland or Bangladesh. Personally I’m afraid that one day a stranger will knock on my door and call me by my name, even if I did not invite them.
It is obvious that these things should be of concern to us all. As an IT guy, I urge everyone to take privacy seriously when using the internet on any device. To protect yourself and minimise any liability or inconvenience, consider taking the following steps:
Pay attention to warranties and Disclaimers,
Be very careful with online surveys;
Never use one email address only, create multiple email addresses (the free ones) and use them for different types of communication
Never use your real date of Birth (unless you have to)
Never use your real full name (unless you have to)
Never give your physical address (unless you have to)
Change your password regularly
Majdi Riak AMA contributor: IT & Cyber security.
AMA will publish more articles on this topic in the weeks ahead. Submit your concerns to Madji Riak in the commentary section of this post and share your knowledge and insights with the community. You can also email us at firstname.lastname@example.org