The topic of personal privacy and the possibility of censorship tends to be one of the “red buttons” of conversations. There have been movies, such as The Truman Show and Eagle Eye, that have presented extreme versions of government and large industry conspiracies, which have caused many to laugh off any idea of such occurrences in real life, and claim that those kinds of things only happen in movies. But many would be surprised to discover that many of the events in the fictional movies are actually occurring today. The government has no right to any information about a citizen unless that citizen specifically chooses to give the information, and it must only be used for the purpose specified by the individual because such a leak infringes upon personal safety and privacy and opens the door to long-term consequences.
Firstly, unsecured smartphones and personal computers are potential threats to the safety of both the citizen and his or her digital device. An individual’s personal safety can be easily at risk. As “Cybercriminals” reports:
Many active Facebook users take risks that can lead to burglaries, identity theft, and stalking. Fifteen percent had posted their current location or travel plans, 34 percent their full birth date, and 21 percent of those with children at home had posted those children's names and photos. Moreover, roughly one in five hadn't used Facebook's privacy controls, making them more vulnerable to threats (Cybercriminals).
Most people are not even aware of how much personal information they are sharing online, and with whom they are sharing it with. It is all too easy to forget who one has befriended on Facebook, and who he or she has not, as well as which friends can and cannot be truly trusted. This is just one of the many security concerns that threaten the everyday lives of children and adults.
Not only is the citizen’s safety a concern, but computers and smartphones are also at risk. “Cybercriminals” has testified that “Overall, online threats continue at high levels. One-third of households…surveyed had experienced a malicious software infection in the previous year. [Greenhaven estimates] that malware cost consumers $2.3 billion last year and caused them to replace 1.3 million PCs [personal computers]” (Cybercriminals). Computer viruses are contracted through emails, pop-up website ads, online gaming sites, and others that remain undetected. A couple of ways to stop such infections is to think before opening suspicious emails or links, install well-known security software, check for the padlock symbol on the left of the web address, and limit, if not eliminate, online gaming activity on one’s computer. Although these precautions may help significantly in preventing cybercrime, even then, one is not entirely safe. There are still other security concerns at hand.
Additionally, leaked information through smartphones and social media devices can also violate an individual’s personal privacy. There is no valid reason...