With the discovery of the computer and the internet, the world has become a global community where individuals can get whatever they want and work from any geographical position, conduct any form of business across the internet, and communicate without having to travel long distances.
Although most individuals use these innovations to enhance the quality of life, some groups of “misguided” individuals have misused these developments to harm the society. Therefore, because of the increased internet swindles, child predating, and identity theft cases by individuals with malicious intentions, protecting of personal privacy is becoming a primary need.
These like cases raise two primary questions; whose responsibility is it to maintain internet privacy? What are the primary causes behind this problem? Generally, there exist three main causes of this problem namely; failure of internet providers to safeguard their customers’ interests, failure by the ruling class to put in place appropriate measures to curb intrusion into personal privacy, and consumers’ ignorance on the significance and methods of safeguarding their privacy.
Although the government and internet providers may provide the required protections, it is the internet users’ role to ensure they safeguard their privacy.
One of the primary goals of any internet providing organization or an organization that transacts its deals via the internet should be to safeguard the confidentiality of their customers’ information. Although this should be the case, some internet providing organizations have failed to do this, for example, Google (the most common global search engine) and Facebook.
Apart from being a search engine, Google offers its customers an opportunity of sending messages through Gmail hence, the great numbers of individuals who depend on it, in their communications.
Although many assume that they are secure to use it, because it sends messages in an encrypted form, cross scripting of data through wrong links greatly puts personal privacy at risk, as hackers can use stored cookies to steal passwords and passed information (Tung 1). Hence, because most individuals and companies store and pass some highly secretive and essential data through the internet that remain as stored cookies in computers, lack of required protections greatly compromises the security of their information (Gosden 1).
Logically, because internet service providers have failed to provide the appropriate protections to its consumers, it remains a government’s duty to protect its citizenry’s privacy.
Although this is the case, there is very little governmental control over the use of the internet and protection of private information. This is evident in the provisions of the forth amendment whereby, although it spells out that every American citizen has the right to be protected from any security threat, the scope of the Fourth Amendments provisions are limited to the internet.
The situation has worsened with the increasing governmental secret intrusion into peoples’ private information, in the name of ensuring security for all Americans. This a clear evidence of the federal government’s failure to protect the privacy of citizens it claims to be concerned about their well-being (Sniffen 1).
Although every individual has the right to accuse the government and internet service providing companies over their failure to protect their customers’ privacy, individuals should recognize, they have a crucial duty to play as far as protection of their personal privacy is concerned. However, because of most individuals do not know how to protect their privacy most of them end up being victims of internet frauds.
Most people do not know that most of their browsers, for example, Internet Explorer have options of disabling java scripts from operating anytime they are using the internet hence, minimize chances of others accessing their private data (Tung 1). In addition, most individuals rarely request their companies to give them security settings before starting to use a certain company’s internet services, as a measure of safeguarding their privacy.
On the other hand, some individuals display their private information in their web pages, with little knowledge of the impacts of such displays, making it easy for ill intentioned individuals to access such information (Hochberg 1). Considering this, it is every individual’s duty to adopt security measures necessary to safeguard their privacy.
In conclusion, to minimize chances of being an internet fraud victim, individuals should collaborate with internet service providers, and the government in formulating and implementing policies and measures necessary to safeguard their personal privacy.
Gosden, Emily. “Students’ trial by Facebook”. MediaGuardian.co.UK, 17 July. 2007. Web. 22 July. 2010.
< http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2007/jul/17/digitalmedia.highereducation >
Hochburg, Adam. “Back to School: Reading in the internet age.” 17 Sept. 2007. Web. 22 July. 2010.
Sniffen, Michael. “Congress Let privacy programs be cut.” The Boston Globe, 16 March. 2004. Web. 22 July. 2010
Tung, Liam. “Gmail cookie Vulnerability exposes users’ privacy.” Cnet.com, 27 Sept. 2007. Web. 22 July. 2010.
< http://news.cnet.com/Gmail-cookie-vulnerability-exposes-users-privacy/2100-1002_3-6210353.html >