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Lack of Privacy in the Digital Age

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In between the years of 2007 and 2008, smartphones, iPhones and Androids, were released and hit the world by storm. According to statista.com, now, nearly 2.1 billion people own a smartphone and nearly 50 percent of the owners are teenagers. Teenagers now use their phones for social media apps like Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. When using these apps, teenagers and people in general need to use caution.

“Social media apps ask about your personal information right when you make an account. Sure, you don’t have to put more information in but most people do,” said junior Geoffrey Kretzschmar.

These social media apps don’t protect these teenagers from hackers and how they take private information. Snapchat for example, put up a map where people can see all of the people a person follows are. Because of this young adults are getting abducted from their homes. For Instagram, people can pretend to be somebody they are not and follow a teenager’s account. The “predator” can trick the teenager into meeting up with them and can abduct them.

“Because so much is done online, the programs track your information making it easier to obtain,” said parent Paulette Kretzschmar.

The Kretzschmar family tries hard to protect themselves from the dangers of the internet. They do this by not using some social media apps, by using secure websites, and not making any purchases on the internet over open Wifi. Hackers have many ways to find out our personal information, and some people think that they are safe.

“With smartphones, we rely on open Wifi for connection that is not secure,” Paulette said.

Some people on the internet put down some personal information, even last names are personal information. When people look up a person, their last name, picture, and maybe their address will show up since those people put down personal information.

“Because nobody is concerned on who finds their information, people assume everything on the internet is safe and secure,” said senior Bradley Kretschmar.

When people do put down their information on a websites they don’t know, they probably don’t know who will see the information and what they will do with it.

“Because most people willingly put it out there and don’t take the proper precautions when putting it out there,” Geoffrey said.

Hackers are everywhere on the internet. There are different ways hackers can take our information. For example, they can send people an email with a virus, and when the person opens it, the hacker hacks the computer and takes all of the information on the computer. That is called the Trojan horse because the hackers were pretending it’s something that it’s not, and right when the person takes the bait the hacker attacks them.

“For all we know, while on the internet, we are just a few bad clicks away from being hacked and other bad stuff,” Bradley said.

There are many ways for hackers to hack people’s computers. One way is when people use weak passwords, for example important dates like people’s birthdays, and also using the same password for everything.

“If people aren’t careful, they could end up getting hacked. It happens all the time,” Bradley said.

Teenagers are the most vulnerable to the internet since they are the age group that spends the most time on the internet and social media. Teenagers either have one or two social media apps. Some will post when their birthdays are, their usernames will have their last names, and they can post what town they live in. They allow strangers to follow them since one or two of their friends are following that person.

“There are many ways a hacker can get to you when you have more exposure to electronic devices and the internet. If you take precautions to be safe you should not have a problem with hackers,” Geoffrey said.

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Lack of Privacy in the Digital Age