We are living in a world where the value of privacy is at its last threads. We live in this modern age where ‘everyone shows and tells everything’. However, the dangers that live just over the horizon are often overlooked.
Importance of privacy
Dangers that exist
- The rapid evolution of technology has made it easier to connect and share with friends and family. It also allows us to communicate with strangers we haven't met before all over the globe.
- However, everything we read and see online cannot be trusted.
- Without protecting privacy our children are at risk. “41% of children aged 8-17 have public profiles open for all which is an open invitation for predators and risk for these young ones”. Strangers/ predators can take on the identities of others and appear to children in an innocent light. They do not see the imminent danger that lies.
- Terrifyingly our phones and technology reveal personal details about ourselves that we would never show/say to someone we just met. Eg Our age, workplace, family life and even our location. All of this can be used to track us. The majority of users are not aware of the risks. In fact, 19% of people have never turned off their device location tracking option. This means anybody can trace them with their devices.
Bullying and mental health
- Besides the obvious online safety risks, there also lies a more subtle peril that can damage our minds.
- Social media has been the primary cause of mental health problems such as depression, social anxiety and comparing our lives to others. Social media has become a virus that infects the confidence, self-esteem and minds of many people especially young people aged 14-26.
- Bullying has existed for centuries and a cure to this brutal disease has never been found. However, it seems that it has got worse and evolved into an all-consuming, more harmful type. - Cyberbullying. Cyberbullying now affects victims 24/7. There is no escape.
- Cyberbullying takes place over digital devices such as mobile phones, tablets and computers. According to Broadband search, “37% of online users feel that they have been bullied in their lifetime”.
- Cyberbullying is no secret and is as humiliating as it is hurtful. 87% of young people have seen cyberbullying occur online.
- The effects of cyberbullying can have a tremendous negative impact on the mental health and well being of victims. According to cyberbullying research centre “64% of people say that it has affected their ability to learn and feel safe at school.
- Nowadays social media platforms encourage users to share their lives on the internet. In 2019 approx. 3 Billion users were recorded on social media sites. There has been a staggering increase of 2.1 billion users in 10 years.
- People feel obliged to share every detail about their lives online. For example from wages to pregnancies. There remains no mystery in people's lives.
- There lies a huge challenge of resisting the urge to share and comment on every detail.