By Julian Wilson
Assistant Opinions Editor
In today’s age of ever-growing technology, not having the newest Android or Apple product may cause insecurity. However, no matter what type of phone, computer, or tablet you have, when breaching or hacking occurs, everyone is affected. If you have a social media page like Facebook or Twitter, or simply like to browse the web, then there is a chance your personal information has been tracked, or even stolen.
Fast Company (FastCompany.com), an editorial ventures site whose purpose is to inspire readers to lead conversation and create the future of business, asked the question: “Which narrative is correct?” When regarding the results from three separate studies, Jeffery Cole, director of University of Southern California’s Annenberg Center for the Digital Future, concluded, “Online privacy is dead.”
An experiment conducted by Harris Interactive concluded, “The 78% of millennials expressed a wish for privacy compared to 59% of older Internet users.” Meanwhile, Pew Internet’s study concluded that “users aged 18 to 29 are more likely to have cleared their browsing histories, disabled cookies or declined to use their real name on a website.”
What do LIU Post students think about privacy on the Internet, and how safe do they view the Web as a whole? Junior Broadcasting major Mike Giordano fears that personal information online is too vulnerable. “I think it’s too easy for a person to access your personal information that you enter online, and people take advantage of the freedom they have,” he said.
Sophomore Journalism major Alec Matuszak agrees with Giordano, and thinks more can be done to protect personal information online. “It’s up to the user to protect him or her self. Companies like Google, who make the majority of their money on ads, will do anything to get information on someone,” Matuszak said.
Junior Broadcasting major Courtney Cox believes that not enough is being done to restrict hackers and prevent personal information from being stolen.
“There should be more laws for privacy because some people, especially of the younger generation, don’t think before they act,” Cox said. “Some may post inappropriate pictures on, say, Facebook and then later on regret it when they are older. I think if people want to post those things, they should be entitled to it, but have the privacy they deserve.”
So, what do Post students think should be done in order to protect personal information and identities online?
“More security would definitely help,” Cox said. “Maybe some way for the website that the user is about to post on, could check that it is appropriate enough to be put up, and viewed by an audience.”
Matuszak believes not posting personal information in the first place is the safest and most secure option. “[just] don’t post personal information. Any time you post something, you’re putting yourself at risk.”
Giordano says to use discretion when browsing the Web and stay alert. “I think the easiest way to protect personal information is not to enter any information you fear may be stolen, but ultimately, there should be stricter laws,” he said. “Anybody who steals information online should face punishments that they would face if they stole personal information in any other form,” Giordano added.
The studies and opinions of Post students all share a common theme: to keep yourself safe and your information secure. It’s important to remember that the Web is an extension of our physical world, and just like anyone can steal your purse or wallet, those same people can also steal your identity. Always remember to stay cautious, don’t post what you don’t want others to see; take control of who you are, and take the necessary steps to protect yourself.
Do you want to share your thoughts or experiences on privacy and the Internet? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.