Information on Technological Storage Methods

Online data refers to digitally-stored information that is accessed via the Internet or other technological storage methods. Passwords, banking information, and location history are all examples of online data and each one can be manipulated in various ways. For example, users may share their location information for navigation purposes, but companies can use that information to excessively track a user and invade his/her privacy. In the article “How Computers Change the Way We Think” by Sherry Turkle, Turkle mentions various topics related to computers and the impact they have on humans, such as reducing the need to process information manually, providing alternative identities through avatars, creating simulations to model real situations, and limiting privacy by collecting user data.

Although computers provide many benefits to users, problems associated with managing and protecting private information arise. While hackers could steal private information and make it accessible to millions of people leading to fraud and identity theft, users themselves could casually share their information online without understanding how it will be used.

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However, those users can take various steps to protect their data, such as by understanding and tracking where the data is used and by using enhanced software to further protect the data. Invasions of data privacy is a significant issue because many technology users, specifically younger generations, needlessly share their private information online to what they believe are trusted sources. However, those sources may look to steal user data rather than use it to benefit others.

While technology users are constantly at risk of losing their private data through means such as hacking and identity theft, if they learn how to efficiently protect their data and can understand why doing so is important, they will help prevent cybercrime and other dangers associated with data privacy in the future.

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As large amounts of data are transmitted online each day, problems occur due to various factors. For example, identity theft is a major problem associated with online data as it involves stealing and using private information under another identity. One way identity theft occurs is through location services as many servers that store location data are not secure. If a thief can access a user’s location information, he/she could eventually determine the identity of the user and obtain more private information about him/her.

Also, users could receive scam emails from banks asking for payment information, and the sender may provide the user’s name, address, and location history in the email to make it seem official. Regardless of the risks associated with location services, many users continue to use the services as they provide customized advertisements that pertain to user interests. This trend relates to another problem with online data privacy which is user carelessness when sharing personal information. Often, users will fail to read the terms of conditions of a service and will submit personal information without understanding how it will be used. Also, specifically on Facebook, many users share a large amount of their data to third parties to gain access to various applications, but those users generally don’t realize the amount and type of data they share.

Furthermore, many users will only take steps to secure their data if they believe doing so is effective and if the costs are low; however, most trustworthy security services are expensive and require multiple payments. Without data protection measures in place, users are at greater risk of losing their data, particularly because of hacking. According to Esteves et al., companies of all sizes have been hacked in recent years, including larger companies such as Sony Pictures, Target, and Home Depot. As those companies can take months to realize they were hacked, hackers could steal large amounts of data without others knowing. As stated by Esteves et al., “No industry appears to be safe from attacks, regardless of the specific measures individual companies use to defend themselves”.

Hackers could also target individuals and steal their information without leaving any traces, specifically by installing viruses to control devices from afar.  Also, users could connect to fake wireless networks and allow hackers access to the connected device after downloading a virus. Loss of data due to hacking and other forms of cybercrime affects many people and is difficult to manage without proper security measures, even for the biggest companies. Although many problems can arise when managing private information online, users can take various steps to prevent those problems in the future. Storing online data requires the use of software and typically involves various security measures to protect the data. However, some services may not have the best policies to protect their data and can be vulnerable to cybercrime.

In this case, users themselves can upgrade their software and store their data securely, especially through data encryption services which convert private data into code. For example, users can use a virtual private network software to encrypt their data with added privacy and prevent others from tracking it. Even if hackers gain access to encrypted information, they can’t unlock the information without a password. Users can also install anti-virus software into their devices to help prevent viruses, but this method alone may not be sufficient against larger attacks. Services that protect against data loss and other risks associated with online data are also available, but users can also take simple steps such as using multiple passwords or avoiding dangerous websites.

However, Fishleigh mentions that not every method is “100% trustworthy” and will completely secure a user’s data as “managing is not eliminating”. Therefore, users should stay up to date with their software and information about potential threats. Another solution to protecting online data is understanding and controlling how the data is used. As mentioned before, many people don’t read the terms and conditions of the services they use and underestimate how much data they share. If those people ignore the dangers of online privacy, they are also less interested in privacy and security policies. However, if the same people are informed of the risks of managing online data, there will likely be greater support for improved privacy policies in the future.

Fishleigh notes that many websites fail to clearly display their terms and conditions to users, but if those websites emphasize the importance of reading those terms, more people will be aware of how their data is used and can take steps to prevent problems in the future. For example, Chen and Li state that users will likely control the data they share through methods such as “permeability (determining the amount of private information to disclose), ownership (determining who has access to the collective boundary), and linkage (giving permission to share private information)”. Users can also adjust the privacy settings of a service or report violations of privacy if necessary.

While reading a long list of terms is not ideal for most users, understanding the general topics discussed in those terms can greatly benefit those users and help them manage their private information effectively. Technology’s development over time has significantly improved many people’s everyday lives. For example, various products and services have increased efficiency for others when completing tasks such as working, communicating, and traveling. However, many problems have also arisen from those products and services that have negatively affected their use.

An example of this situation is online data’s development in terms of storing and transferring information.  While large servers and faster Internet speeds have helped progress data management services, cybercrime and other forms of data breaches have hindered that progress. Technology users may be vulnerable to potential threats from others, but they often make themselves vulnerable as they fail to understand and control the information they share online. However, if those users research more about the dangers of online privacy, they will know how their data is used and can take steps to protect it in the future. Using data protection techniques may not completely prevent data from being stolen, but even the smallest measures such as reading a company’s policies can be effective.

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Information on Technological Storage Methods. (2022, Jan 04). Retrieved from

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