What do people know about you and your business?
9th May 2017
Every time you use a computer, phone or tablet, you leave a trail. Information about yourself that people can find. Your digital trail can be a scary thing when you realise just how much information can be found out about you.
Some of it is used in ways which you can find useful, for example, to ensure that any adverts that pop up are relevant to you, that you might find interesting, that you want to buy.
However, this is just the start. You’re probably aware that by using social media platforms like Facebook, it can track what you are searching for, what pages you like, groups you belong to, for example. They probably know if you are trying to lose weight, that you like going fishing or have a family.
Google too, will track your internet history, what you are searching for, what websites you are visiting, and will be collating that information without you even knowing about it.
But what else does the big wide world know about you? It goes far beyond just giving you relevant adverts or recommending websites or groups for you to visit.
Your phone, for example will be being tracked. If you go on holiday, someone somewhere will know you are abroad (and not just because you’ve posted the obligatory beach selfie on Facebook). The police can track your phone if they need to know where you are. It’s all very Big Brother.
From your tracking information, people will be able to know where you live and work, and begin to build up a picture about your habits. When you go to the gym, what car you drive, where you bank, it opens up a whole can of worms. And using this behaviour, people can predict your patterns, when you are out of the house, when you log on to online banking, when you are sleeping/shopping, you name it.
Of course, financial institutions track what you buy; think of the times that a credit card company or bank has got in contact because they have detected an unusual pattern in your spending. This is to help prevent fraud, but think what can be done if that information got into the wrong hands. And of course it does. Frequently.
Other companies can find out a whole myriad of things about you, if you buy a pregnancy test, Boots can send you all sorts of new baby emails etc. Did you know that companies can even track if you are searching on job websites, and so know if you are thinking of leaving your job?
Even if you play Candy Crush on your phone, the app will have access to your contacts, phone location, phone number, even bank details. Health apps will know all about your personal health, maybe even more than your doctor. Think of the possibilities – it could alert you that you might have a disease or condition without you even knowing about it.
And of course, the possibilities are endless for it being open up for abuse. Identity cloning, creating a new passport, taking out contracts in your name, spending your hard-earned money.
But what on earth can you do to stop people having this level of detail about you? Not much I’m afraid, there will always be a digital trail that you leave behind. What you can do, however, is to protect yourself and your business as much as possible, so that this information doesn’t get into the wrong hands.
If you are worried about how secure your systems are, what you can do as an organisation to protect yourself, and to leave only a trail which your customers can find, and not cyber criminals, then get in touch with us. We can help you to be more secure than Fort Knox. Guaranteed!