We are all pretty much captives to the internet.     There is no gainsaying that without access to emails or using the internet in any numbers of ways, life would be a tad more complicated.    However, we are all confronted with critical issues in all of this, not the least, where do we, the individual, stand, not only as users, but whose personal  details, are in the main,”out there” on the cloud.

“Every day, billions of people around the world use the Internet to share ideas, conduct financial transactions, and keep in touch with family, friends, and colleagues. Users send and store personal medical data, business communications, and even intimate conversations over this global network. But for the Internet to grow and thrive, users must continue to trust that their personal information will be secure and their privacy protected.

NTIA’s analysis of recent data shows that Americans are increasingly concerned about online security and privacy at a time when data breaches, cybersecurity incidents, and controversies over the privacy of online services have become more prominent. These concerns are prompting some Americans to limit their online activity, according to data collected for NTIA in July 2015 by the U.S. Census Bureau. This survey included several privacy and security questions, which were asked of more than 41,000 households that reported having at least one Internet user.

Perhaps the most direct threat to maintaining consumer trust is negative personal experience. Nineteen percent of Internet-using households—representing nearly 19 million households—reported that they had been affected by an online security breach, identity theft, or similar malicious activity during the 12 months prior to the July 2015 survey. Security breaches appear to be more common among the most intensive Internet-using households. For example, while 9 percent of online households that used just one type of computing device (either a desktop, laptop, tablet, Internet-connected mobile phone, wearable device, or TV-connected device) reported security breaches, 31 percent of those using at least five different types of devices suffered this experience”.   

National Telecommunications and Information Administration, Department of Commerce.

But it doesn’t end there.     Now, our medical data is ever more vulnerable to being “out there” as hospitals are either using the cloud for storage of data – or more likely than not, the medical facility being hacked.

“Some say privacy is an illusion. I hope that isn’t true, but I do know that our medical records are not safe. Why should you care? Because our medical records contain our social security numbers, health insurance information, our home addresses, phone numbers, emergency contacts and their phone numbers, our email addresses, possibly our driver’s license numbers, and likely credit card payment information. Ever paid your co-pay with a credit card?

Your medical record is worth ten times more to a cyber criminal than your credit card number. And with health care’s mandatory transition to electronic medical records, cyber thieves have taken full advantage. If you think major institutions are immune to cyber attacks, think again. You might recall the cyber attacks on our U.S. government.”

Kevin MD.com (27 May, 2016)

And then there is this:

“So many hacks occur every week that you can barely remember them all. Which is the most recent? How much data was stolen? Are there common underlying trends? Here you’ll find a short recap of the biggest data breaches and hacks in the past six months and the aftermath that often affects your daily digital life without you even knowing it.

This past March, 360 million MySpace passwords (and 427 million LinkedIn IDs) were traded online, representing approximately the population of North America. These two cases turned out to have similarities when the authorities discovered data was stolen years ago, but only came to light at the beginning of the year. These breaches exposed both current and former users of these social networks, and as a solution, MySpace reset the breached passwords. Still, there’s always a risk when people use similar passwords for other websites.”

Cédric Jeannot, PhD via Linkedin

Let the illustrious Harvard Business Review have the last say on the topic:

“Cybersecurity has become one of the CEO’s biggest worries, according to several surveys. Companies are investing billions in protecting their systems and training their employees. The worldwide cybersecurity market has been estimated at $77 billion in 2015 and will be $170 billion by 2020. However, the field has mostly focused on protecting systems from vulnerabilities in software and hardware. Today’s threats are no longer confined to those two places. As organizations have come to rely more and more on data-driven algorithms, risks are increasingly present in the data itself.”

If the above isn’t enough to cause one a headache and ponder what one can do to at least ensure that as much of one’s personal data is maintained for and kept to oneself – and off the cloud – LifeBank, HealthBank and BusinessBank affords the #1 answer for the user.      The user can determine to what extent they will collect and protect their data using the LifeBank, HealthBank or BusinessBank system.