If you look around anywhere in a public space, you’re bound to find people covering their laptop webcam with stickers or band aids, which is funny and meme-worthy on the surface, joking about an imaginary FBI agent that spies on them on social media.
u think UR tired of me? imagine my assigned fbi agent
— ely ♡ (@elyherreraa) February 11, 2019
But I think these jokes are rooted in reality. People don’t really do enough to prepare for an invasion of privacy as they’re posting every aspect of their lives on the internet.
Laptops and phones have become essential to people because we use them for almost everything ranging from medical emergencies to staying connected with family and friends. It is important to know these devices also make people vulnerable if they’re not careful.
Being cautious with what you put on the internet should be important to everyone. Digital security is the reason people can safely use online banking and social media without the risks of identity theft and fraud.
If you want to be social media famous by sharing all sorts of information on your profile such as e-mail, birthday and phone number, you should realize that it is easier for some hacker to tap into your information and ruin your life financially or mentally.
I use Facebook and Instagram on a regular basis like almost everybody else, and I have filled in my phone number, e-mail address and birthday without giving it much thought.
One day, I got a FaceTime call from a number that I thought I recognized. I made the mistake of answering and it happened to be two men that I had never seen before speaking Spanish and smiling at me. Yeah, awkward. The first thought that went through my head after I hung up was “if they had my number, then what else did they have?”
FaceTime requires a person to search up a number and have your contact in their iPhone, unless you’ve messaged with the person before. I soon realized my number had been on social media. According to Instagram and Facebook, it is for security measures, but then again those men got my number somehow.
I immediately took my number off my social media and blocked their number. I felt dumb for answering in the first place and completely invaded because of how awkward the whole situation was.
Recently, FaceTime had a bug where any user could listen in on a conversation without somebody even answering the call. The bug worked by dialing someone on FaceTime, swiping up and conference calling yourself before the person even answered.
After that you could hear, and see in some cases, what the person was doing even if they didn’t answer. Regardless of the bug getting fixed, the breach of digital privacy should be concerning.
I have been more aware of digital privacy ever since learning about Edward Snowden, the infamous CIA agent who leaked classified information about how the government is watching people.
Snowden copied top-secret National Security Agency documents, building a claim on practices that he found invasive and disturbing. The documents contained information that showed that the NSA was surveilling American people.
He found that the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court ordered Verizon to release information to the NSA daily from its American customers’ phone activities.
Our phone companies practically tell the NSA what we do on our phones and what we are saying because of the U.S.A. Freedom Act of 2015. This law requires business records to be sent to the NSA through any means necessary “for foreign intelligence, counterterrorism, criminal purposes, and for other purposes,” according to the law.
The government looks for certain words posted on social media that may be threatening such as “bomb,” “toxic,” “attack,” and others. We can be using words to describe something non-threatening like, “Those mac-n-cheese bites at The Nugget are bomb,” and it could set them off.
It’s time for people to start caring and making the right choices about what they do on social media and the internet. Students should care because our information and privacy matters when it comes to scammers and hackers.
People never think that these threats apply to them until it is too late and someone has already stolen your identity.