So we are in November and Christmas is creeping up on us. You have to start to shopping for Christmas presents. You go to buy that new video game and you see an ad on the right side of the screen. It’s an advertisement for a new type of clothing. That’s cool and all but have you ever thought that the advertisement is spying on you? That’s right, an article written by Jennifer Langston-Washington called “Anyone can track you with $1,000 of online ads” tells us that like the article title, anyone can track you if they pay $1,000 for ads. An example given in the article was that your boss spying on you doing your working hours. With that being said, if your boss cared enough to spend $1,000 on an advertisement to see what you are doing, they could. In fact, a research team went out to see if they could do it and they did. They discovered that “that an individual ad purchaser can, under certain circumstances, see when a person visits a predetermined sensitive location.” (Langston-Washington, Jennifer) Well, what is considered a “sensitive location”? An example is a hospital someone might be in or if someone has their location turned on, on their phone. They also found that they could see what apps people were using. It’s amazing that they don’t even have to click on the advertisement to enable the tracking, it happens which is pretty scary.
Discussing the various ways people can spy on you with ads is already scary enough. How about cybersecurity failures? “The Decade of Security and Privacy” by Danielle Sabrina, she talks about these various threats. Do Target and Equifax remind you of anything? How about the fact that they lost our credit card information to cyber thieves? Obviously, Targets scenario was no one close to as severe as Equifax because you can switch your credit card. With Equifax, they lost over 145 million Americans social security numbers, bank account numbers and more important private things. If I could summarize all of that in two simple words, those words would be ‘not good’. At least we can that the government is taking some steps by spending $90 billion in cybersecurity efforts.
Is there anything we can about this? Are we screwed and we are going to have to sit back and hope that we do not get hacked? No need for trepidation, for we have Blockchain! Basically, Blockchain is using different computers and networks to safely secure your private information. Blockchain is a technology, not a company. Most notably in the article, FortKnoxster is the company that uses this technology. Their goal according to their CTO Mickey Joe Nathan Johnnyson (cool name by the way) wants to make sure that their customers “have a secure place to store their information” and “want to make sure no one is listening in or tapping into the lines of communication.” They want to end all of this spying that anyone can do with $1,000 advertisements. Who honestly cares enough to spend $1,000 to spy on someone? I mean it is outlandish but, people still do it anyways. At least now we are in pretty safe hands.