What’s Privacy Worth and Who Should Pay for It?

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A quick news scan shows how often personal data is compromised. Whether it’s hackers invading the TJX network, Facebook, Equifax or even Google, companies paid an estimated $2 billion in ransomware in 2017 according to Bitdefender I want to know when everyday CONSUMERS will start to care about and protect their personal data.

We unabashedly trust that our smartphones, computers and tablets will securely store our personal data. We keep our usernames and passwords on these devices to save an extra second (they really are seconds of our lives) to enter it in. However, have consumers ever thought about being compromised and that not only are those credentials for that site compromised but every other site they have logged into as well? Hackers know most of us are naive and a bit lazy.

Who’s to Blame?

I would argue that it’s the cost of doing business in the digital age. That said, we should exert more control over who we share our information with and we should be more secure with our data. Is it smart to store all of my cards on multiple devices? Probably not. With one device, I’ve limited the risk so if my data is compromised all is not lost. What websites have a high standard of protection — and not just based on their marketing collateral—that I can visit to get all of my news? Do I need to start retraining my brain to remember more than one password? Remember when we used to do that at one point?

The most important words I ever learned working in IT and the security world was TRUST but VERIFY. I won’t blindly turn data over to anyone just for the ease of access despite how many times I may have to reset my password because I forgot the latest version. It makes  life difficult at times, however, in return for this limited access I get a sense of ownership over my identity and over who has access to me in the long-run.

Protecting your online information is something to prioritize as we enter the next phase of the digital world with artificial intelligence and automation forcing consumers to determine how much of ourselves we are willing to share for the sake of convenience and access.