Friday, May 8, 2015

Your security and privacy are all in risk!

Privacy, Pixabay
When you were watching a funny video from Youtube or emailing your friends, you may be just enjoying the fun that the internet provides. But have you ever paid attention to how the Internet tracks you so you know how to protect your privacy and security details? Sometimes we do not know how internet products work and how to protect ourselves. Our lack of knowledge and sharing of personal information causes our security and privacy details to be violated. Maybe you heard about an event when celebrities’ nude photos were shared by the hackers. Those photos were mostly from very famous actresses. It made the event very popular in the world. It also became a scandal for celebrities. It might be a fun news for us. But it reminds us of the importance of Internet security and privacy. So who is responsible for ensuring individuals’ online security and privacy?

According to Maxwell Strachan, this sharing of the nude photos event was caused by a bug called “iBrute” which is from Apple service. He explained how the nude photos event happened and how it works. Hackers used the function of Apple called "Find My Phone" to try the users' password and get into their account to steal the nude photos. The bug allowed them to try as many times as they wanted, without fear of being locked out of the account. The problem was made by the Apple company’s program and Apple spent a lot of time to find the bug from their program. The nude photos of celebrities is a true and a little bit scary example of how easily our privacy can be compromised. It has already happened. So we have to try to protect our security and privacy. But who is to blame in this case? The users? The company? I think both individuals and companies are responsible for ensuring individuals’ security and privacy.

Most individuals do not understand how easy it is for unethical companies and hackers to invade their privacy and security. In Kristin Burnham’s view, Snapchat violates users’ privacy and security in five ways. Snapchat has a similar problem with keeping user data private. Snapchat promised that they can send images and videos with other Snapchat users. The images and videos will disappear forever after the sender-designated time period expires. But they did not disclose that users could save the private images. They also kept the users' privacy details from their account. First, recipients can save the images that others send them. This violates our privacy and security. Snapchat did not followed their products’ claim to protect our account’s security and privacy. Second, recipients also can save our videos. They also can keep it on their computer and upload it. Sender also will lose their security details. Third, our friends in Snapchat also can know our location when we are using Snapchat. Fourth, Snapchat may have collected contact information from our address book. Fifth, the “Find Friends” feature is not secure. All of these five ways that Snapchat might violate our security and privacy details tell us how Snapchat violates our account and the mistakes that the company’s service made. Individuals should not share their privacy and security information like photos, credit card, passport, etc. Individuals also have to learn how the internet works and try to get other efficient protections, like set up the double password, set up security password or set up security questions to protect the privacy and security. According to Amanda Lenhart who found a lot of details about teen users. Because the teen users don’t have enough experience in their life as adults, and because their minds are still not mature, they are the easiest group for companies to target and to violate their Internet security and privacy.

Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat Top Social Media Platforms for Teens
Top media platforms from Pew research center
According to a recent Pew study, more than half or 56% of teens — defined in the report as those ages 13 to 17 — go online several times a day, and 12% report once-a-day use. Just 6% of teens report going online weekly, and 2% go online less often. Approximately 92 percent of teens use the Internet every day. Much of the access is facilitated by mobile devices. One of the reasons teens use the Internet is they have phones and computers very early. Most male teen users are just using the computer to play games. Females are more likely to use the Internet to connect with others. Their lack of life experience causes them to lose their security and privacy information to the Internet. It also give hackers the opportunity to violate their privacy and security. So it is very important for us to protect our privacy and security details.

Sometimes the privacy and security problems are caused by companies. Some of them just ignore the importance of security and privacy to make money. They might share and sell our privacy details with other companies which make ad products to make more money or they publish their products with a lot of privacy problems. In Lisa Vaas’s view, a new product made by Twitter called Periscope does not have a completely safe system for users. When the users forget to turn off the function, it is very easy to lose their privacy and security details. Although Periscope is a very great service to get the news and watch videos. But it does not provide a safe environment for users. They published the products too fast and didn’t do many tests on their product. The product is not very safe for users to use. The mistakes that the companies made also remind us we can not completely trust all companies’ service. We should know more details about the companies’ service and know how safe the company is. However for some companies, their purpose is to provide a safe internet environment for users. They protect users’ privacy and security with very completely secure systems to gain users’ trust. Their response to users is positive. They ensure our privacy and security. So when we are trying to use internet, we have to check the security system and the safety of the system.

Whether the online privacy and security problems are caused by the individuals or the companies, as Internet users, we still need to be careful about our privacy and security. It is very important for us because it could influence our future and our physical safety.


Conclusion, updated(29 May 2015)

When you were watching a funny video from Youtube or emailing your friends, you may be just enjoying the fun that the internet provides. But have you ever paid attention to how the Internet tracks you so you know how to protect your privacy and security details? Sometimes we do not know how internet products work and how to protect ourselves. Our lack of knowledge and sharing of personal information causes our security and privacy details to be violated. Through my article, I just want my readers know our account and privacy are all in risk. I want to let them pay attention on protect our account and privacy and get know more details about how the companies work for protecting our account. I got a lot of positive response to my article. It helps me develop my essay. They discussed with me about the deeper issue. I also need to provide more informations to support my opinion. They also gave me a lot of helpful resources to my article. They also knew the importance of privacy and security from my article, and they also want to pay more time to search and help me improve my article. That told me people are very interested in privacy and security problems. My readers also helped me find my lacking of data. I should find more sources and find the programing reason that caused the privacy and security problems. I also need to separate one part to talk about the problems are from the hackers. They also are the main part that caused the privacy problems. For readers, they are more prefer to know how their account got violate and how to protect their accounts. Finally, I am so happy that my article can change other’s mind and help them know more about the Internet privacy and security problems.


  1. Nice post Leo! I never really thought that much about how easily my privacy can be jeopardized. I thought that it was interesting that a small bug could allow a hacker to gain access of nude photos of celebrities. I thought that this was a total violation of their privacy and possible destruction of their reputation. The story about Snapchat was also very interesting to me. Do you know if they have changed their system to prevent the saving of photos or videos that are sent? Where did you get this information: "Most male teen users are just using the computer to play games. Females are more likely to use the Internet to connect with others." Nice post and thanks Leo.

    1. Hi Oaxaca. Thank you so much. I appreciate that you leave a great comment to me. I hope you enjoy my article. Thanks for your questions. I searched the informations about those companies. And the answer is they are changing the system to prevent the saving of photos that are sent. But it just a small step. They did not change the whole problem. And now Snapchat can help you to find other security and privacy hidden danger. They will give us a remind about those danger when our photos and videos are violated. And "Most male teen users are just using the computer to play games. Females are more likely to use the internet to connect with others." is from
      which is from PewResearch. It is a report about Teen users. Here is also another one about Teen users which are in Internet.
      Thank you so much!

  2. I think that you should read this article because it is very interesting. Nice Post!

  3. Leo, thank you for bringing these security risks to our attention! As users, we need to be careful what we are agreeing to when we sign up to use apps and services from companies who may not take the security of our data as seriously as we should. Do you think there should be penalties and fines for such security breaches, or will it only happen if companies are sued? The natural consequence of such poor data management would be less consumption of that product (fewer users), but only if we are paying attention, and only if we think our privacy and security are worth more than our access to the service. If you discovered that Apple (or Twitter, or Facebook, or Snapchat, etc) had compromised your privacy, would you still use their services?

    1. Hi Ms. Gerla. Thank you for reading my article. I hope you enjoy reading it. For your questions, I think the companies just can get warning first from the government. If they still do not get some action to fix it or others sued those companies, they should be penalties and fines for security breaches. I also think although users' privacy get violated. Most of them still use them. Because they might get very good function. I also think those privacy and security problems can be solved by those companies in the future. If they still do not do some privacy and security protection when they violated our privacy and security, I think the users also would not use the service from the companies anymore. Thanks for commenting my article. Thank you!

    2. Here is another link about how Snapchat will fix the privacy and security problems:

  4. Great post Leo! I really enjoyed reading about the five ways that Snapchat disregards your security and privacy, and I thought it was a crucial part to your post. I wrote a post on a similar topic of security and privacy, and I totally agree with what you are saying. The burden falls both on the users and the companies. I also thought that it was a good choice to bring up the celebrity nude scandal because it is fairly recent and it displays the possibilities of not being aware of your security and privacy on the internet. Also, you might want to check out this link. It is an article that talks about location security on smartphones.Great post and thanks for informing us!

    1. Hi Mrs. Beanz. Thanks for reading my article. I hope you can enjoy reading my essay. The reason that I wrote the article is I wan to tell readers about how those companies violated our privacy and security details. My purpose about the essay is I want to help you know how to protect our accounts more. I am so appreciate you also wrote a similar essay as mine. I read your essay and your link. Those are very good to tell readers how their accounts are violated. I think if everyone know how their privacy and security are violated. They can give the companies more advices. It also can help us get a more safe and better Internet environment for us. Here is also a link about Snapchat. It tells us how Snapchat is getting improved:

  5. Hello Leo, I liked how you tried to spread the awareness of this topic right off the bat. I also like how you related it to a real life situation when your talked about "leaked celebrity nudes". I also think it is very scary how easily our personal information can be found. We commonly think that when we delete our information that it goes away forever, but that is not always the case. I agree with you when you say it is both groups fault. The companies should not allow access to our personal information, but as digital citizens we have to know the risks of putting our personal information online. As a side note I am interested in what "unethical companies means? I found it interesting when you talked about the five security problems with snapchat. I was surprised to find out how unsecure their system was. Another problem associated with information that's not secure is identity theft and how people can hack into your webcam. This article talks about it more in depth. You did a wonderful job with this article Leo, Great Work!!!

    1. Hi Prad Bitt. I am so excited about your comment. I am so appreciated it. I hope you enjoy reading the article. The answers for your questions are "unethical companies" mean those companies which just paid attention on the money from ad. They just used a lot ways to make money from ad. They tell those ad which interested on our privacy informations. They can give us the ad which related our privacy informations. It can increase their selling percentage. Here is a link about those companies sold our security and privacy informations:


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