Almost every week, it seems that there is some kind of major security breach. Whether celebrity nudes, the social security numbers of the majority of Americans, or a Bitcoin heist, it seems that our private data is under constant attack.
The Internet and your co-workers are full of advice: put a sticker over your webcam, disable Flash/Java in your browser, encrypt your drives, delete your Facebook account, cover your hand while using the ATM, get a burner phone, pay for everything with cash, start wearing a tinfoil hat to protect against the NSA’s spy rays, etc.
The reality is that as more and more of our lives become digital, information security becomes increasingly important. Many bad things can happen when your privacy is breached: from finding out that you have a boat loan that you didn’t know about to having your naked photos all over the web to being thrown in jail because the government doesn’t approve what you have to say. It’s important to take appropriate measures to protect yourself, but what is appropriate for you really depends on the kind of secrets you have to keep and the kinds of threats you need to protect against.
Let’s consider three people who care about their privacy, and steps they should take to keep their stuff private:
Lisa Monroe lives in Madison, Wisconsin. She is a college student with a part-time job. She just got her first credit card, and just started going steady with a boyfriend.
To keep her private photos private, Lisa only sends them using Snapchat.
Lisa doesn’t have many secrets to keep, but she is worried about fraud to her credit and debit cards and the naughty pics she trades with her boyfriend Brad.
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