Our smartphones, tablets, and laptops play an important part in our modern lives. We use our devices for work, study, and social interaction. Because we depend on our devices so heavily, we don't always stop to consider what happens to the data on our devices. Because our devices, including our phones and computers, contain a lot of information about us. The question is: who has access to these data gold mines?
What are the Privacy Risks of Your Smart Devices?
Different smart devices are introduced into our lives every day. We're not just talking about your smartphone and laptop, but about all the smart tech solutions connected to the internet that are used these days. Think of that smart speaker you use at parties, for example. Or the webcam in your living room, which might just constantly be able to view everything you do. Or the smartwatch that keeps track of your heart rate and the number of steps you take in a day. Often these devices are able to connect to each other or to the internet, allowing them to exchange information. This can pose a significant privacy risk.
Below you'll find articles that explain exactly what these privacy risks are - and how to get around them.
How to Protect Your Privacy on Smart Devices
Almost all your devices, perhaps most importantly your computer and smartphone, collect data. To make sure your Windowns PC or iPhone doesn't gather too much personal information about you, it's important to keep a good overview of your privacy settings on these devices.
Privacy on Different Devices and Operating Systems
Every device and operating system has its own privacy settings and terms and conditions. This means that Android privacy settings look different from iOS privacy settings. To make sure you get your preferred level of privacy on your device, you can check out our guides above. Some settings are hidden and can be hard to find, especially if you don't know what to look for. In this section, you'll find tips, guides, and articles that tell you all you need to know about the privacy settings of different devices and operating systems.
More Data, Less Control
A lot of our data is stored on our devices or as part of online databases. This means that, most of the time, we have very little control over our own privacy. We save and share information, but most often never delete it, which makes it very hard to guarantee and protect our privacy. Every time your private details are shared with a tablet, smartphone, or laptop, there's a possibility that you won't be able to delete that information. This means out privacy is continuously at risk.
What Can You Do to Protect Your Privacy?
If you want to protect your privacy, the first step is to understand how and where your information is stored. You might think that the files on your computer can only be accessed by you. However, it's likely that your operating system has created a backup of all your files without your knowledge. This is very convenient if you happen to lose some files, but it also means you don't have full control over where your files end up. This is where our articles about the privacy risks of different devices might be of help to you.
Moreover, it's important to consider whether or not you want to save sensitive information on your device or share it with an app. After all, it can be quite a hassle to delete files afterwards. Therefore, as a general tip, we'd like to advise you to always consider carefully which information about yourself you share with your devices - whether that be your phone, your fitness tracker, or your smart glasses. This, of course, doesn't mean that you'll never be able to use these devices or share any data ever again. However, it is wise to be aware of what you're sharing and make conscious choices, so you always know what you're up against.