A Digital Demon – Internet: Your online identity & personal data is on stake

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It is said that every coin has two sides – a positive & negative. The same has been proven for technology. Internet has been a double edged sword – on one hand it has shrunk the world virtually, brought the revolution in life of human being. Business, banking, defence, transportation, meteorology, aviation, astronomy, communication, education, entertainment, artificial intelligence, etc and many more segments are there which cannot be imagined without internet. Internet has been the oxygen for the virtual life of human being.  

There is an idiom in Gujarati, “જે તારતુ, તે મારતુ” means the one which acts as panacea to all situation may sometimes become fatal. The same is the case with Internet. Post internet revolution, the telecom companies have entered the market with lucrative data plans and they have made the internet a commodity. This has affected common people a lot and a large multitude was attracted to the social media platforms. Internet was easily available but where was the discretion to use it rationally?

As a result, internet soon converted into a digital demon; I am using this word Digital Demon deliberately because of following reasons –

  • An individual, nowadays, spends approximately 4-5 hours a day on internet and it has pushed his priority towards work, health and relations to the 2nd stage.
  • Because of continuous & constant usage of internet has made him less sensitive, absent minded, gadget slave and self centred.
  • The habit of constant internet usage has been replicated by children and young generation too; I was surprised during my visit to a primary school as a guest of honour in a function where students of 1st & 2nd standards asked me whether I have a social media account so that they would add me as a friend. (and this is not an exaggeration)
  • When people don’t get too much likes & comments on the posts they have published on the social media, lead them to frustration and hostility. In severe cases it may lead to attempt of suicides too.
  • Online gaming has been eating a lot of productive time of people and students which is, in long run, a deficiency in GDP & nation’s growth.
  • Students chat on chatting apps till late night, midnights and therefore they are not getting proper sleep; as a result a university introduced a scheme that a student who completes 8 hours or more sleep would be entitled to have extra grades.
  • Online pornographic sites & apps have completely misguided & misled the youth; because of that crimes against women have increased tremendously.
  • Not only this, the malwares, Trojan horses, etc are in abundance on gaming sites and pornographic sites which may steal your personal data from your computer & mobile and that can be used in various types of cyber crimes & bank frauds.
  • Excessive usage of internet has resulted into the breakups and broken relationships because the TRUST quotient has gone down tremendously.

I can go on & on about the ill effects of excessive usage of internet. According a famous English idiom, “Make your Over over”; so we have to find a way to minimize the ill effects of internet usage and secure our data from online snoopers. Below mentioned are few tips to be followed:

1. Rationalize your Email usage:

First thing that free email setup are the big suspects; so always be prepared to pay for such services. Moreover nowadays Email has become the most common public key, so stay away from distributing your email address to everyone and everywhere. Make sure you give your email id only when it is very necessary and inevitable to share.

2. Safe browsing:

Our human mind is so greedy and we want to explore everything and anything available on internet; they could be promotional offers, some lucrative schemes, some lottery announcements, some pornographic material, etc anything. Always beware of browsing on insecure and unknown portals. Their cookies and other mechanisms can steal your data and your system can be affected by malwares, Trojan horses, viruses, etc.

3. Cloud services:

Today many mobile manufacture companies and laptop manufactures offering unlimited cloud storage schemed. We should refrain from using cloud services as much as possible as these servers i.e. Dropbox, iCloud, Evernote, etc are based in UK, USA, France and other such jurisdiction; moreover it is a threat that anything stored over such clouds can be accessible by others (more specifically by hackers & crackers)

4. Social media posts:

Why do you need to inform other people where you are travelling? What you are eating? Where you are checking in? And who you are in relation with? Despite of whatever privacy settings you might have applied, you don’t have control over the information you have posted. Social media are the biggest threat to an individual’s privacy. The photos and videos uploaded on the social media can be used in pornography or in any other cyber crimes by morphing them.

5. Unnecessary apps on device:

Today each tom, dick & harry has their mobile apps to offer and an end user also keeps installing apps without even thinking for a while. The primary effect of installing an app – it occupies space on your device and hampers its performance. The 2nd hidden issue is – most of the apps keep sending information to the servers at interval of several minutes. These details may include the time line where the user have travelled, where did he visit, which other apps he has used, current location, how does he do banking, what does he search on internet, etc and don’t you think this is a danger?  

So I request all patrons to use your discretion power and use the internet rationally; learn to live in the real world more than the virtual world. Enjoy a non technology day once a week where there will be no gadgets used i.e. phones, laptops, etc anything. Rejuvenate on your relations and health. Stay connected with #IAmBuddha page – https://iambuddha.net/ where you can read so many such latest articles, newsfeed & blogs. 

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