Personal security

As we all know, the Internet is currently vital for society. Almost everyone uses it in millions of different ways on everyday basis and we all rely on diverse web services, honestly believing that everything is trustworthy and secure. But it’s not, multiple threats for our safety exist ‘in the wild’. According to this situation people should keep in mind that providing personal security online is almost as important as retaining physical security of people offline.

In this text we’ll focus on 3 personal security fields of study to demonstrate possible problems which should be solved by security experts nowadays, but please note that “personal security” is a big topic, not limited by these subtopics listed below!

IDENTITY THEFT

Online identity theft is not a novelty in the world, managed via the Internet. However, the speed of Internet penetration into everyday life and the lack of information hygiene of many users provides new opportunities for this type of fraud. Every minute thousands of people and even companies become victims of sophisticated cybercriminals. Attackers use methods of social engineering, phishing and other refined methods of searching for innocent victims. They find vulnerabilities and use e-mail, instant messaging (IM), and the web to trick potential victims by luring their credentials and personal information. With the help of this information and credentials, one can perform various malicious actions on the network, including extracting monetary benefits. Online identity theft is different from other types of identity theft, because it does not include the physical abduction of information, and the victim can voluntarily transmit this information to the other side.

The result in most cases is the same - identity theft and its misuse by a criminal can lead to loss of creditworthiness, the emergence of debts, and in some cases even to criminal records. This can be achieved through various fraudulent actions on behalf of the victim, such as applying for loans or issuing new credit cards and not billing them, or impersonating a victim and extorting money on the pretext of a loan on social networks. These cybercriminals can also use the stolen digital personality for unauthorized use of checks or debit cards or during unauthorized electronic transfers from the victim's bank account. In the worst case, the fraudsters commit crimes under the name of the victim, after which the victim has to answer to the law enforcement authorities and sometimes be prosecuted.

Here are three most popular types of online identity theft

·         Pharming;

·         Social Networking Profiles;

·         Spyware.

PERSONAL DATA PROTECTION

The protection of privacy and personal data in recent years often appears in the media, especially in the context of a deep study of the user behavior in social networks by different advertising agencies. These issues are often raised in recognition of states claims to transfer the messengers’ encryption keys or the requirement of intelligence agencies to provide master keys for accessing data on user devices.

By personal data, we mean any information that allows you to uniquely identify a person or single him out as an individual, while not necessarily knowing his name, it is enough just to be able to uniquely identify him by a number of parameters. Such data includes a name, address, passport number, date of birth, picture, vehicle registration plate number, fingerprints, medical data or even an IP address. Advertising companies only need to know that a certain user X often visits certain sites - in that case, the browsing history and "likes" collected under a certain referring number X are also considered personal information.

The amount of data grows exponentially, its processing will change the world in an unpredictable way. Unfortunately, it is difficult to stop the use of big data by states and individuals to monitor people, in violation of their rights. In the connected world, separate fragments of data can no longer be considered in isolation. Protection of personal data is very important in order to maintain the trust between users, businesses and the governments. People need guarantees of their security and privacy.

CYBERBULLYING

Kids have been bullying each other for generations. But the last generation has much more technological opportunities to harm each other. We are talking about cyberbullying - repeated transmission of hostile or aggressive messages with the help of computers, phones and other devices connected to the Internet in order to harm others or bring them into an uncomfortable state. In most cases, cyberbullying is used by teenagers to harass and humiliate peers. Young people spread unflattering rumors, create websites and profiles in social networks to ridicule others, unauthorizedly shoot their peers on video and share them publically, use anonymous chat rooms for insults and threats.

There are many negative consequences associated with cyberbullying, which are embodied in the real world. Victims of cyberbullying feel sad, refuse to visit public places (schools, universities), suffer from low self-esteem, fall into depression, and in the worst case - reach suicidal thoughts. These consequences pose a threat to life and health, thus the development of cyberbullying prevention tools are crucial for someone’s lives.

As you can see, personal security is quite a ‘broad‘ field of cybersecurity, which reflects various problems of contemporary world. We encourage you to think about these problems and present some possible solutions as project to make this world a bit safer!

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