Privacy, not wanting the world to know everything about you or not wanting to be tracked by individuals or bots. Security, a sense of being comfortable, a belief that you are secure from everyone around you, knowing that your stuff is safe from the elements, or that your location is unknown to people that might be your threat. Both privacy and security might be you trying to avoid using a computer, being online, not sharing your everything or medical information with others, it is being yourself and not taking risks to become influenced by others who are online too. That’s how I would loosely define both these words in this text.
I personally do not want my medical information online yet our doctors make it available to us in an app on a smartphone and whether we want to use it or not, it’s on their online database for the app to connect with and pull it down to your login on the app. I do have my own thoughts on privacy and security but I may not always speak on them because I don’t care at that moment to share. I am not naive but I make more effort on security than on privacy. I believe in securing online accounts with the most amount of failsafes so that I am not compromised by a single password, and if the account needs more security for the topic of privacy, I make sure they have alternative security actions available before I sign up for those services.
Do I really care if I’m tracked across the web or my email address is distributed to several lists? Yes and no. Yes, I don’t want annoyances on the web and I don’t want spam in my inbox. No, because the web browsers and email services that I use give me the tools I need to block that spam and use filters/macros to filter out the email I don’t want. I don’t like to be added to distribution lists that I didn’t double opt-in to. I don’t want my personal email to be bombarded by emails that could visit my work account.
I would argue that anywhere you put your emails, you will never be secure or have the privacy that you want, despite what companies or the media tells you. But I can silo the problems by not using easy-to-remember passwords or the same email and password combo everywhere else. I’m speaking from not naivity but network administration education. I know that despite all the efforts you make on your end to stay secure, there’s still that level of encryption happening realtime between you and the recipient and there’s that war driver on your street picking up your free Wi-Fi, that other person that you are unaware of in the coffee shop or in the parking lot picking up everything you are saying over your Bluetooth device. There’s an additional bonus of encrypting your hard drive contents or locking down your firewalls, etc. But despite all our attempts to securize our online data, there is always going to be a way in for a hacker if they desperately want to make that break. If you truly want a higher level of security and privacy, stay offline.