The 21st century is a fantastic time to be alive. Despite what naysayers claim, our lives are more exciting, diverse, easier, and just plain more interesting than that of our ancestors. However, all of this convenience comes with a price tag. Although we enjoy benefits of modern technology that would be unthinkable and unimaginable even a few decades before, we have to look out for threats that just didn’t exist in the past.
There are a lot of troubles caused by development of digital era. These may range from nuisances to situations that are catastrophic to life, career and financial security. Let’s talk about some of them.
1. Identity Theft
Identity theft is nothing really new, but it is the digital age that has turned it into a constant and global threat. Why is it so? One would think that with so many security systems and identification precautions, impersonating another person should be next to impossible. However, many people have a false sense of security – we rely too much on technology and don’t make the necessary precautions.
The most widespread types of identity theft involve stolen credit cards, social security numbers, passwords, banking information and the like. With enough identifying information about a person, criminals can use these to perform a variety of crimes. For you, it can means loss of money or property, or even damage to your reputation that can ruin your life for years.
2. Personal Information Leaks
With the pervasive use of social media, another big risk involves personal information leaking out to unintended audiences. In scope and severity, these may range from annoying (think Facebook apps giving advertisers access to your personal data) to extremely unpleasant (think something on the scale of ‘the Fappening’). Again, one of the culprits for this problem is overreliance on modern technology to protect your personal information, plus the over-eagerness to share information through social channels.
3. Bank Fraud
Banks cannot simply sit the digital evolution out – the financial sector needs to adopt new technologies, lest they lose edge over their competitors. Progress and convenience, however, all come at a price. Recent statistics show that online banking fraud increased by whopping 71% over the previous year. Swindlers and scammers are often the first to learn the ins and outs of emerging technologies and how to exploit these. In most cases, fraud is embarrassingly simple with social engineering: crooks simply call people while posing as a bank or other trustworthy institution and ask for personal information.
4. Websites Security Breaches
Most website visitors and even web publishers take web security for granted. However, securing a website – and the information stored at the backend – is anything but easy. Security breaches are one of the most common and least pleasant reasons for downtime. Only recently have publishers become very concerned about security and network optimization and implemented measures like load balancing, DDoS protection and other technologies on their infrastructure.
5. Internet Trolls
As threats and dangers go, Internet trolls are more annoying than truly dangerous, especially if you know how to deal with them. However, it would be wrong to underestimate their ability to disrupt valuable communication among individuals. Trolls derive pleasure from sowing chaos and causing distress. Thus, if you are the impressionable sort, you’d better steer clear of them.
Threats in the digital world come in all types and sizes. They range from mildly annoying to those that can literally destroy your life. They have, however, one thing in common – they are far less dangerous when you know what you are dealing with, and when you have the right tools and strategies at your disposal.
Featured photo credit: ”Digital Communication”2/Mami＿H via flickr.com