The Privacy Paradox: How We Compromise Our Personal Data Online

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We trust the internet with a lot of information about ourselves, whether our names, contact information or credit card information. With so many aspects of our lives available on the web, you’d think everyone would take cybersecurity very seriously.

However, the reality is that people’s intentions to protect their data don’t align with their online behaviors—this dichotomy is known as the privacy paradox. Let’s take a deeper dive into this troubling concept, plus steps to break your privacy-compromising habits.

Why Does The Privacy Paradox Exist?

When learning that people’s online behavior doesn’t align with their desire to protect their privacy, you may assume it’s because people don’t understand how their data is used. While this may be part of the equation, the driving factor of the privacy paradox is that people don’t care enough.

Information regarding how to protect our online privacy is readily available. Still, the average user prefers the convenience of deactivating 2-factor authentication or using the same simple password for every site versus taking steps to protect their data. We also put a great deal of trust in the websites we know and love, not even considering the possibility of a data breach.

Online Privacy Risks and How to Account for Them

When you consider all the sites and platforms we interact with online every day, it’s not a far stretch to say that we leave pieces of our personal information behind with almost every click online.

That personal information comes in the form of contact information and payment methods we save for later on apps or in streamlining accounts and in more public places such as social media profiles where we overshare in “about me” fields.
All this to say, all of these breadcrumbs of our personal lives can be compromised — by data brokering sites who crawl our pages to create customer profiles and even by cybercriminals who want to leverage our personal data to commit extortion and even identity theft.

How can you protect yourself from these threats and privacy breaches? Prove the privacy paradox wrong, including by adopting these cyber-safe best practices:

  • use complex and unique passwords
  • activate a VPN
  • opt into 2-factor authentication
  • cover your webcams when you aren’t using them.

5 Places We Compromise Our Personal Data

For more statistics surrounding the privacy paradox, plus common places, we compromise our personal data and pointers to stop, pore over the infographic below, courtesy of Norton.

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The Privacy Paradox: How We Compromise Our Personal Data Online

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