Technology has clearly taken over our lives. From the moment we wake up until we go to bed, and even while we are asleep, technology is continuously interacting with us to provide convenience, ease, and comfort. Now you can consume news instantly as and when things happen, purchase products from a vendor living halfway across the planet and find out the ins and outs of the lives of your favorite celebrities at a click of a button. And this is all possible thanks to technology.
As you enjoy its countless benefits, your daily activities could, in fact, be threatening your privacy and safety unbeknown to you. And understanding these points of vulnerability is important to protect yourself from those with hidden motives. So, here are the 7 most common daily activities that could be compromising your safety without your knowledge.
1. Social media
With nearly 3 billion people on the planet using social media, it has become an essential medium to network, socialize, seek entertainment, and even to consume news. Then it doesn’t come as a surprise that it has also become a breeding ground for malicious and unethical activities, from scams and stalking to even defaming people.
And there are many ways you could expose yourself to these unwanted dangers. For instance, many people are in the habit of oversharing personal information on social media networks, making them an easy target for fraudulent activities. Allowing strangers into your personal network is another common mistake that can leave you vulnerable. Third-party data sharing is also common among many social media platforms and can leave your personal data exposed to numerous dangers. And many social media users are hardly in the habit of reading privacy and data protection policies of these sites and do not make use of privacy and security features provided.
2. Online dating
Online matchmaking has grown in popularity over the recent past, with many people putting their faith in artificial intelligence to find their perfect match.
However, dating sites have also drawn media attention for account hackings, data breaches, and even deliberate data leaks by the dating sites. That’s not all, stalking incidents, bots, catfishing scams, and extortions have become common threats encountered by users.
In response to these risks, there are various options and features provided by dating sites to help protect you. For instance, Tinder allows you to report users and deactivate your account. You can even find information on how to delete Tinder account for extra safety in the event you face a serious risk such as stalking or a suspected account hacking.
3. Online shopping
Online retailing is threatening high street shops with their unmatchable conveniences. They allow shoppers to purchase whatever they fancy at the comfort of their homes and offer greater product choices. They also enable you to buy products from vendors located anywhere in the world.
And online retailers will almost always prompt you to create an account on their platforms before you could make a purchase. This means they are getting access to massive amounts of your personal data that are collated and organized to build customer databases. Retailers like Amazon, for instance, will not only have your personal information such as your name, home address, and gender, but will also gather your purchasing data to assess what products you use, how much you spend, your preferences, and tastes. And this information could be compromised in many ways, from account hackings to data breaches.
4. Online banking
Many people are now enjoying the ease and comfort of online banking, which has eliminated the need for multiple visits to the bank for the most trivial of banking activities.
But, it’s also important to understand the various security threats you could be exposed to as you allow technology to protect your wealth. Hacking attacks on banks and financial institutes, malware attacks on your devices, compromised passwords, and even security breaches of online banking platforms are all common security risks posed by financial crime.
Email frauds are on the rise, and there are many ways you could be exposed to a cyberattack through your emails.
For instance, cybercriminals commonly use them to launch phishing attacks. These often come in the form of account verification requests from your bank or a social media platform. They can also take the form of a financial request from a close friend or a family member. They can lure you with a clickbait and prompt you to click on a malicious link to launch a malware attack. Malicious attachments are another common threat that could install spyware in your devices to get access to confidential information. A ransomware attack could even lead to a hostile takeover and demand for ransom. Email account hackings are also common and can lead hackers to a large amount of your personal data.
6. Mobile apps
Over 200 billion mobile apps were downloaded in 2019, and it’s expected to rise as people continue to seek modern-day conveniences through their smartphones.
But this also increases the threat to mobile data and personal safety. Today, many apps are silently collecting your data unknown to you. They could be accessing your real-time location, contact lists, images and videos, messages, and even real-time on-screen activities. Mobile apps can also easily download malicious viruses to your mobile device, which can gather and share your data without your knowledge.
7. Web browsing
Then, there are malicious sites that could download spyware or ransomware onto your device. And if your device faces a hacking attack, all data stored, including those saved by your web browser, could severely put you at risk.
Needless to say, there are numerous ways you could become a target of cyberattacks or other malicious activities. However, taking necessary safety measures to protect yourself with these 7 daily activities could help you avoid many of the common dangers.