With the recent uproar coming out of Edward Snowden’s leak on PRISM, it begs the question, what’s hurting us more? Over-sharing on social media or government snooping on our private conversations? Have you heard of PRISM surveillance? It’s hard to ignore the widespread rage over the U.S Government collecting and analyzing data from their citizens without consent, but perhaps you’re not up on the details.
What is PRISM? Are we really under surveillance?
First let’s define what PRISM is. PRISM is a system utilized by the NSA to gain access to private communications across 9 of the most popular internet services, such as Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Facebook and others. In 2008, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act was put into place, giving PRISM permission to pull this data. When Edward Snowden leaked what PRISM was up to, the internet services companies, such as those mentioned above, made public statements that none of them were disclosing private user information to the government. Obviously there are occasions when they are required to act on specific orders from the government about certain individuals, but that most certainly does equate to giving the government direct access to their servers.
Are we to blame for over sharing?
Consider now, how much information we share on our social media accounts. Should we blame PRISM or we should take a look at our online social habits? We all are guilty of sharing too much. Our social networks probably don’t need to see pictures of what we’re cooking for dinner, where we’re going on holiday, that new outfit purchased on the weekend, or frustrations at work. And yet, we all do it. Combine those details with cookies of websites we’ve used, keywords, emails, purchases made with our credit cards and anyone looking in, could learn a very great deal. So, whether it’s the government or a cyber-criminal searching your web history for Personally Identifiable Information (PII), we’re all being watched. And every piece of electronic data is captured and analyzed by someone. BullGuard urges you not to over share, save that for your in-person interactions, you’re much safer off that way.