By Shalu Jaiswal
The digital world we live in has never been bigger and more influential. Many fundamental tasks and activities have moved online. IoT products take over, offering both flexibility and user-friendly usage. As a result, that creates more and more data about users and their activities. So, we rely on technology for many daily tasks, from buying bus tickets to turning on smart LED lights.
Therefore, we see many concerns for user privacy when using various tech solutions available today. In many ways, the tech triggers specific concerns, like whether smart assistants store data and whether it can be secretly misused by companies. On the other hand, we see more and more products trying to fix the holes that, in a way, different tech created. Let’s discuss this curious phenomenon.
Benefits of modern tech solutions
Without a doubt, tech brings many benefits to our lives. Let’s discuss some of the most influential advantages.
Online education platforms are one of the most significant advantages of internet access. Several large firms have sponsored or outright created learning opportunities for students worldwide. It came to complete form during the pandemic, as most educational institutions closed, and a study-from-home mandate remained in effect in several countries.
Healthy social interactions
Social media is an excellent tool for interacting with people from diverse cultural and geographical backgrounds. The various methods of communication help build relations, while the moderation methods keep users in check.
The online world might look different for each visitor. It is because much effort goes into presenting the most relevant and valuable content. While users appreciate it, the personalization of online content also causes concerns.
Assisting small businesses
Online marketing levels the marketing field, offering a fair chance for businesses to grow their customer base organically. Sure, paid methods are often the most effective, but a ‘sponsored’ label next to them ensures that customers can make their own choice.
Digital privacy concerns for customers
While the rise of big tech can be deemed primarily beneficial, it doesn’t come without drawbacks.
Invasive tracking procedures
Every piece of digital technology people embrace in their daily lives opens a new gateway to compromise their privacy. Companies like Amazon and Uber have been caught monitoring their customers without their consent, such as AI voice assistants recording conversations or an app on your phone tracking your location through GPS.
Users do not know what happens to their data
One of the biggest concerns for users online is that they do not know how their data gets used by companies. Privacy policies should reveal such information. However, businesses will likely use vague language, like mentioning data-sharing methods with third parties. Unfortunately, users cannot know who these partners are. As a result, users might receive random marketing letters from companies they have never interacted with willingly.
Data brokerage through third-party access
Not every firm can function profitably without outsourcing a few essential tasks to third-party service providers and government agencies. But, in doing so, they can compromise the privacy of their user base.
How tech tries to improve digital privacy
Many tech solutions have taken a more privacy-focused approach. For instance, users can now find more secure instant messaging apps, email providers, browsers, and more. Thus, tech providers see the find for such software on the market. However, while such options are available, it is difficult to drop old habits.
Minimizing risks to digital privacy
While the risks to digital privacies are extensive and persistent, a few simple steps can help minimize them. Those may include the following methods.
More aware of the products you use
Not all software users choose might be the best in terms of privacy. The crucial component here is that users should know who they deal with. For instance, using Google services is highly beneficial. However, you should know how to tame it. You can disable certain access rights, block third-party cookies on Chrome, and find other ways to make it more private.
Increasing accountability through regulations
Private companies will only evolve if they face a fine for their irresponsible actions. You can urge your local representatives to support legislations that make companies more accountable and have massive consequences for breaching customer trust.
Awareness about data privacy
Users need more awareness about how our data is stored and the methods to keep it private. It not only means more transparency from the enterprises but also means staying informed via relevant news.
Using privacy-first solutions
Many tech solutions have entered the market strictly to improve users’ digital security and privacy. For instance, ad blockers are simple examples that prevent pop-ups and other ads from appearing on your screen.
While users might use such software to reduce the number of ads, it can also protect them from encountering malicious apps. Virtual Private Networks are other examples of bolstering users’ online experiences.
A VPN is an application that encrypts internet traffic and hides IP addresses. Thus, a VPN download can fight certain online tracking strategies, like IP-based monitoring.
Thus, be aware of such products and how they can assist your digital journey.
So, modern tech is a powerful tool assisting different goals. For instance, sophisticated algorithms and techniques can help online tracking. However, some tech solutions are here to protect users and give them options. Therefore, you have the right to find the tech suitable to your needs and ask questions about how your data gets treated online.
About the author
Shalu is a tech enthusiast and business growth consultant with experience in creating growth-driven strategies and solutions to improve operational efficiency and boost profitability. As a strategic marketing advisor, she emphasizes data-driven insights and measurable outcomes.