How can we defend ourselves?
The best way we can defend ourselves is through education. Now that there have been major documentaries and court cases exposing the true nature behind these business models, it falls on us to learn from the available information. While I believe that government regulations are certainly needed, and the ones currently on the table aren’t exactly enough, we can’t keep placing the responsibility in someone else’s hands. Sure the big companies shouldn’t be taking so much of our data, sure the government should step in and regulate, but ‘should’ doesn’t help us now.
Why teach ourselves?
One thing that Covid has done is accelerate the transition to newer technologies. From grocery delivery and curbside pickup, to robo-advisors, and all the way to video chats with your doctor instead of in-person appointments, we’ve all used some form of new app or technology and its related service through this pandemic. With an emerging technology called blockchain, we’re about to witness another massive leap forward. The reason so many of us fall victim to some of the tricks above is that we don’t know much about the technology we’ve grown so accustomed to. This reaches all the way up to politicians who, in some cases, could barely explain how the internet works, yet they’re the ones interrogating the CEO’s on national television. With this lack of understanding, and the safeguards in our government systems which force a slow process in order to avoid making rushed decisions, the system simply cannot keep up with the advancements.
Introduce your child to coding
Before I go sounding all doom and gloom, I want to point out that there are many people working to correct this. And with the adoption of new technologies, like the blockchain I mentioned earlier, some of these tactics being employed on us will no longer be viable. I’ve recently taken it upon myself to learn how I can contribute to a safer internet, and encourage anyone else who is interested in doing the same. This is also a great time to mention that introducing your child to coding at a young age has many benefits. Like learning a new language, it opens the brain up to new ways of thinking. It also encourages creativity, similar to painting or writing, because it allows them to create something that they can see and share with others. By learning how these technologies work, they’ll also be better prepared to spot nefarious apps and websites while connected to the internet. Perhaps, they’ll even share that information with you.