Mind the People created an online Cybcercrime Awareness mini-series which we broadcasted for free on social intranets of organizations and publicly on social media during the Alert Online Cybercrime Awareness campaign 2015.
Nowadays we spend almost as much time online as we do offline. Just as we lock our bikes, cars and homes in the offline world, we need to have the same awareness in the online world. In this mini-series we aim to inspire people to ask themselves questions about their online behavior: How careless am I? What do I post? Do I take the right actions to secure my personal information? Does everybody have something to hide?
It’s our firm believe that awareness and knowledge will grow and stick better if it directly affects our personal lives. That’s why we always choose to compose our broadcasts from a personal perspective. And hey, it should also be a little fun to learn, right?
WHAT WOULD YOUR PERSONALITY LOOK LIKE, IF IT WAS ONLY BASED ON YOUR ONLINE PRESENCE?
Imagine your new personal profile was created by combining all the things you wrote on your computer (your emails, search queries, FB posts). Which of the characteristics of your personality would be missing? Would the new profile show your insecurities, your sadness, your fears? Maybe so, because when we express ourselves, unless you are an actor, we almost always show how we realy feel. That might be the same with expressing ourselves online. We just have to learn a new code: the new online meta code of behavior. We have to learn how to distinguish different types of behavior and make the right choices. We need to be able to see what is naïve and what is prosperous.
WHO ARE YOU TODAY?
It is in our nature to constantly ask ourselves ‘Who am I?’. We present ourselves with friends, colleagues, family, to get feedback on this presented version of ourselves. With this feedback we create our new self, our new identity and say to the world ‘This is who I am’ and get feedback again. We go through this loop continuously *.
Depending on the feedback we got, we present ourselfves differently to different people in different environments. You are probably a different person with your mother in law then with your own mother. You might be know for your enthousiasm with your friends but for your professionalism at work.
If we only had one presentation of ourselves, one identity, we wouldn’t be able to maintain all these different people and different environments as we did before. Imagine how boring our lives would be. This is what would happen if we give away all of our personal data.
HOW MUCH IS YOUR PRIVACY WORTH TO YOU?
“You expressly acknowledge and agree that in order to provide the Service, WhatsApp may periodically access your contact list and/or address book on your mobile device to find and keep track of mobile phone numbers of other users of the Service.” (whatsapp.com/legal).
Your smartphone is pretty much useless without you giving away your personal information. Without reading the privacy agreement we click on a button and give away who we are, where we are and who our friends are. If we don’t, we become an outsider, we couldn’t be in touch with our friends via whatsapp, facebook, google and so on. It’s our choice but what are our options: becoming an outsider or being tracked and traceable. That doesn’t sound fair. Would we be willing to pay for our privacy? If Facebook would charge us €10,- per month to be untrackable and untraceable would we be willing to pay for it? How much is your privacy worth to you?
IS THERE A HACKER INSIDE OF YOU?
Isn't it tempting to cheat in a game? With no bad intentions, just to see if you can out-smart the system? It's like you secretely discovered a way to skip the line.
That's the feeling of a being a hacker. Of course, the true motivation for hacking is not the same for everyone. You have the criminal hackers (black hats), the ethical hackers (white hats) and the hackers who don't have criminal intentions but whose findings are used by others for illegal purposes (grey hats).
This last category is a tricky one. Does looking at pictures of celebrities that are illegally taken from their phones, make you sort of a grey hacker? Allthough you don't have criminal intentions, you do support an illegal market, just by watching, after all. Stepping into this grey area is so easy, imagine how alluring it is for someone with less ethical instincts.
PHD Candidate at 3TU Center for Ethics and Technology
Privacy Specialist Strategy & Policy for Information Society
Marleen Weulen Kranenbarg
PhD Candidate Cybercrime Offender Profiling