Modern technology comes with a cost

Marjan Hussein
Staff Writer

The world today generally revolves around technology, with new jaw dropping inventions popping up almost daily. The reliance on technology in society today is astonishing with everything being online & majority of people being on either one if not all platforms of social media.

Technology has improved a ton of lives by making communication easier & faster, easing the mannerisms in which people conduct their daily schedule in addition to sparking several innovation incentives among young minds.

However, with all the good that technology brings, it comes at a cost as one is required to share some information about themselves.

Data sharing is a phenomenon that is becoming widespread as most online sites require one to create an account, which leads to the individual giving up some personal information about themselves. 

Michael Menne, Chief Information Security Officer at IT Solutions states that data privacy essentially means that what’s yours is yours, no one can access your information except those who you are inclined to share it with.

IT Solutions is the general provider for all things technology for students, providing infrastructure, a service desk in the Wissink Hall basement for IT questions, security for the technology devices used by students in addition to plethora of other services. 

Menne is keenly focused on IT security in higher leaning institutions, MNSU being included and states that the trend to seek out information from these institutions is ever growing. “Phishing emails are a constant issue that MSNU is currently facing,” Menne says, “these are emails that require an immediate response and typically represent some type of threat.”

Menne states that the best way students can stay on top of matters concerning IT security threats is being highly skeptical of who and what information they choose to share. Menne states that an excellent way to check whether peculiar emails are credible is to forward it to spam on Mavmail, where the IT Solutions team constantly keeps tabs on what comes in thus will be sure to alert an individual if something is off.

“Assume that anybody has access to information once shared online, even if this may not be the case,” Menne said. Menne states that free services come at a cost, websites mine data information to advertise or sell the information to other companies.

According to an article in the Washington Post, by Geoffrey A. Fowler on Privacy Settings, he states that on the internet, the devil’s in the defaults. Fowler, a technology columnist states that tech companies bank on the fact that people are “in control” of their personal data.

However, he goes on to state that over 95 percent of people are too confused, busy or have no idea on the wordings in the policies, thus do not even bother to change a thing on their settings.

Therefore, tech companies literally bank off of selling information to other companies that overwhelm one with constant ads and emails on various products. Fowler states that the solution simply lies in changing the default settings on the tech company websites.

Menne states that higher learning institutions have always had an open access environment when it comes to sharing data, but with IT security threats being consistent this proves to be one of the biggest challenges to cope with.

Students can ensure their security is always kept in check by consulting with IT personnel on a regular basis, reading and watching out for information about data security along with other vital facts on technology.

Menne finally states that in October the IT Solutions will be doing an activity called the National Cyber Security Awareness month that students should definitely keep an eye out for. 

Privacy is gradually becoming the main issue in the technological world today and staying informed on ways to improve it would be the best way to prevent one from robbing you of it.

Feature photo courtesy of Flickr.

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