According to Matt Davies Stockton, your personal information isn’t secure. That would be news if you lived under a rock. Last year, around 280 million people across the globe experienced some sort of data breach leaving them vulnerable to all sorts of crimes, from hacked email accounts to fraudulent credit card charges. Let’s check out why messaging information should be private.
- Prevent identity theft – When people gain access to your personal information through messages, they can steal your identity by pretending to be you online. With our personal information, malicious actors can retrieve your login information from various websites. In the worst-case scenario, they can easily commit serious crimes like tax fraud while pretending to be you.
Identity theft has long-lasting consequences for both your online and offline reputation. In 2020, around half of all Americans experienced identity theft and the number is set to rise if you don’t secure your personal information. Make sure you:
- Don’t carry your social security card with you.
- Factory reset or wipe your device before discarding it.
- Only fill out the necessary fields.
- Opt out of data broker websites and delete cookies.
- Protect yourself from robbery – Most residential burglaries occur during daylight when you’re at work or school. That’s because it’s easier to steal from your home when you’re not there. Criminals can access this information if their private messages are leaked or hacked.
For instance, if a company sends you a delivery message with your address or if you send your location to a friend who has never visited your home, that information can be used by criminals. They can either wait for a package to be delivered to your door and steal it or figure out when you’re not going to be home and steal it.
- Avoid advertisements – You may have been spooked numerous times when you were just talking about visiting a place or product the other night with your friend and suddenly get advertisements about those things everywhere. Most of the “free” messaging apps make their revenue by selling such data to advertisers. So, if you don’t want to get bombarded with unnecessary advertisements, make sure to use only messaging services with end-to-end encryption.
- For protecting your right to privacy – The primary reason for keeping your messaging information private is that you have the right to do so. You don’t need any justification to keep your online communication private. It’s a right you are entitled to.
Whether you’re dealing with strangers or talking to your employees. coworkers, friends, or loved ones, it’s perfectly okay to keep that communication private from governments and corporations. Make sure that the messaging services you use, or online communications are over third-party audited open-source applications with end-to-end encryption and
Matt Davies Stockton suggests that you take your personal information more seriously and take all the steps to secure it, especially while messaging people. Privacy isn’t just your right. Keeping messages private protects you from identity theft, robbery, bankruptcy, and more.