By Bojil Velinov, Head of DevOps and Automation at LunaPBC
2020 may be coming to an end, but it marks the beginning of the decade in which we had the largest amount of baby-boomers entering retirement age. It is also the decade for coming of age for the last millennia generation. In the previous decade, the telephone, radio, and TV had a big influence on their lives. Now, internet connectivity, social networks, and instant information is changing everything we knew about communication. Both generations benefit from the exposure and existence of technology, or what we now have evolved to call, “high-tech.”
While earlier technologies were rendered as one-directional communication, new technologies have evolved to ingest vast amounts of input, processes, all while delivering information to us more quickly, efficiently, and accurately. Both past and current technologies depend on personal data to validate themselves and improve their services.
In today’s über-connected world, data privacy is more important than ever before. Everywhere we go, we leave behind a trail of data breadcrumbs that share valuable information about who we are and what we do. Whether knowingly or unknowingly, we often victimize ourselves to fulfill our desire for high-tech convenience. But even the simplest activities, like checking the weather or connecting to a free WiFi network, can put our data at risk. With modern internet-connected devices literally in the palm of our hands, we are constantly under indirect surveillance. Sites we visit regularly, products we engage with on social media, articles we read on search engines all contribute to our digital profiles.
This raises the questions, how much exposure of our private lives is beneficial to ourselves and society? How much of our private data is monetized with no direct benefit to us as the creators? These questions contain many perceptions and tangents and raise many conversations between team leaders at LunaPBC. We strive to understand all arguments related to data collection, but always resort to the unanimous agreement that people belong at the center. Until every company aligns with our values and beliefs, it’s at least assuring to know that data privacy is headed in the right direction, with the implementation of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA). I’m anticipating other federal and state legislative initiatives aimed at protecting individual data on the horizon.
Privacy is directly connected to our liberties, but liberties don’t exist in a vacuum. We all have to, more-or-less, agree on what’s right even as complex social organisms. For society to not only exist but thrive, liberties should require justice, and achieving this may require individuals to partially share some privacy. In other words, individuals, as integral members of the society, should always be in control of their privacy. Our actions, demands, and understanding of privacy can help us shape a “new” internet, and with that our continuous stream of data.
Obtaining data privacy, reducing your digital vulnerability, and maintaining control starts with protecting your passwords.
Don’t make your password easy to guess.
- 123456 and password are the most commonly used passwords. Don’t use them.
- Switching a letter for a symbol (p@ssw0rd!) is an obvious trick hackers know well.
- Avoid favorite sports teams or pop culture references. Use something more obscure.
- Don’t use a single word like sunshine, monkey, or football. Using a phrase or sentence as your password is stronger.
- Don’t use common number patterns like 111111, abc123, or 654321.
- Adding a number or piece of punctuation at the end doesn’t make your password stronger
Create more than just a strong password, create various strong passwords.
- The strength of your passwords directly impacts your online security.
- Use a password manager to remember all your passwords.
Kicking off the decade with data privacy top of mind can ensure you have yourself safe and secure years ahead.