Season 2 of Digital Citizen is here, and we are exploring some of our favorite episodes from last season on our blog as well. Read on to learn more about the importance of digital privacy and how you, as a good digital citizen, can make an impact.
Fastmail makes a point of respecting users’ privacy. This season on the Digital Citizen podcast, we talked with Lucie Krahulcova, a digital rights advocate, about advocacy and the shifting landscape of digital privacy. Now, more than ever, the responsibility for maintaining a safe and fair online experience falls on the shoulders of the digital citizens willing to stand up for themselves and others.
Digital media companies, like Tiktok, Twitter, and Facebook, are gaining more influence and control over our daily, online activity. As their profits and stores of data skyrocket, these companies are able to sway government policy concerning privacy regulations. Right now, you may not realize how these rules affect your digital experience, but understanding these rights helps you understand the benefits and limits of your online security.
Sometimes, digital citizens are not concerned about current privacy standards. They believe that if they don’t have anything to hide they don’t have to be worried. This stance does not address the weight of comprehensive data and stored information, whether it be personal or professional. Other digital citizens who do wish to maintain privacy from data-seeking companies or governments may not be protected enough.
Krahulcova is not just a digital rights advocate. She has first-hand experience with the impact of limited privacy. She shared her experiences growing up in the Czech Republic, which left her with an acute awareness of the importance of data security. The lack of digital rights puts online freedom at risk, while digital privacy helps maintain it.
To that end, here are a few tips about how to optimize your digital experience for privacy and to advocate for digital privacy standards in your community.
You have more power over your privacy than you realize. Take the time to familiarize yourself with your applications’ privacy settings.
Generally speaking, the default options for privacy are usually the ones that offer you the least protection. Furthermore, you should use privacy-oriented applications such as Fastmail, Mozilla Firefox, and 1Password if they suit your needs. Adjustments like this can noticeably change your digital experience.
Next, encourage the people around you to understand the importance of digital privacy. A lot of people never think about the implications of their digital use outside of immediate practicality and convenience.
Take the time to have conversations with some of the less tech-savvy people in your life and educate them about privacy and why it’s important. In addition to discussing the broad concepts, if they need help, go through their settings with them and encourage them to spread the word about the importance of digital privacy to others in their community.
The majority of digital privacy standards are influenced by local government. In our interview with Lucie, she says, “the reality is that it has to be governments who enforce or at least give the right to enforce some of [the privacy restrictions] towards companies. Let’s say if there’s privacy legislation, there needs to be a way to action that, and there needs to be a functional way for an individual to challenge the system.” Let your administration know that digital privacy rights are important to you and your fellow constituents.
Odds are that there’s likely already some sort of digital privacy advocacy group local to you that could use your support. If you’re really passionate digital citizen and you’re concerned about digital privacy, go get involved!
If you take the steps listed above, you can make a difference!
Interacting online has a lot of positive aspects, but data privacy has a long way to go: governments around the world are still catching up to the harmful practices some companies have been getting away with. With your help, we can build a better world, and it all starts with awareness.
If you want to hear more about advocacy and the importance of digital privacy, listen to our conversation with Lucie Krahulcova here on our podcast: Digital Citizen.
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