Not too long back (Nov 2019), there was a huge fiasco involving Whatsapp, the social messaging app & Israeli NSO Group through their spyware named Pegasus. It was one glaring signal of a clear and present danger that exists. It was a security flaw in Whatsapp that could let hackers infect a user’s smart-phone with malicious software & extract information from the device. Users from different countries were targeted and it became a headline news item. What it firmly exposed was the vulnerability of systems that we use. It becomes imperative in such a scenario to keep one safe from snooping and safeguarding their privacy.

With the rising importance of individual user data, one can never be sure about what sort of information or activity through the device is being segmented or targeted. The devices have become a storage dump for all sorts of user information one could think of. From simple to-do lists to sensitive financial transaction data, people across different regions store too much, too often. By not paying much attention to the fact that a lost/stolen device may have any kind of repercussions, affecting an individual mentally too.

Right from the internet browser one is using to the apps installed on the device, a close watch on the access provided by the user to such systems holds the key. Social media has opened a new level of threat and privacy has been reduced to dust. At the end of the day, most social and tech-giants use the extracted data for serving the interest of the advertisers the world over. Least importance is given to authenticity of the message conveyed through ADs, be it a product or a service. There is a blatant misuse of user’s choice and this can only be restricted or controlled by the user alone. The probability of duping by fraudsters exists and quite a few gullible individuals fall into the trap. It could be a financial transaction or a non-financial one by drawing an individual towards a choice which otherwise becomes difficult, had the device settings been kept in a controlled and restricted manner. Caution and more caution needs to be exercised while allowing access to all forms of third party apps ranging from social media, instant messaging and internet browser.