MCO 425

Security and Privacy in Media- A Day in my Life

For this 24-hour media diary, the focus was looking at data that I consciously (or unconsciously) provide when I use different media services. A secondary focus was on the way that data could be collected and/or sold to outside agencies. With that in mind, here is a look at my online presence on Wednesday, May 31.

07:15 am– I woke up to a good morning text from my dad, and some messages in a work chat on WhatsApp. I also briefly scrolled and liked a few posts on Instagram. I hadn’t ever really looked at my security settings on WhatsApp, so when I did, I noticed that I could set up two-factor authentication as well as fingerprint lock for added protection. WhatsApp also has the added protection of using end-to-end encryption.

07:25 am– I opened my email, and noticed that I had a few messages from the WordPress Limit Login Attempts Reloaded plugin that is installed for my blog site. It let me know how many times a particular IP address had tried to login to my page as an admin and how it had been blocked. I took a few minutes to open the plugin on my computer and adjust my settings.

07:31 am– I checked to see if some photos and videos I had taken earlier in the week had been backed up in Google photos. I haven’t done a full check of my Google security settings in a little while, but it is something important to do since I use quite a bit of their platforms.

09:46 am– I looked at my Fitbit to see how many steps I had taken already. The data it logs for me includes my activity throughout the day (sleep, exercise, steps) and my heart rate. If I choose to, I can sync it with the phone app for tracking, but I tend to not do that too much. If I was more consistent with syncing this information, I could see that data being potentially used to track me and target me with advertising.

11:06 am– I started up my VPN ( NordVPN) and used it to be more secure while gaming and doing some video streaming. I’m not always consistent with using it, but it is a need when I am using public Wi-Fi networks.

2:15 pm– While scrolling through my IG feed, I started to notice some of the ads I was getting. There was an ad for skincare, which I have been looking at a lot more recently. I saw at least one for a California event (I like to search for things to do around the state). I have a Toyota Corolla, and I got an ad for the new Toyota Cross hybrid. That shows that cookies, cache, and other info are being collected from how I browse. As far as account security, whenever I sign out of Instagram, I manually input the password instead of having the app save it.

5:20 pm– I created a shared album on Google photos so that my family and I could view and add photos and videos from a recent trip that we took. It’s set up so that only myself and the people that I invite to the album can access it, as opposed to creating a link that anyone could use to open the album.

07:25 pm– I listened to a few podcast episodes on Spotify dealing with current American news topics. I use Spotify every day while cleaning up around the house, running errands, driving in the car etc. Even though I use it so much, I have never really taken the time to investigate the privacy and security settings for the app.

10:00 pm– I finished off the night by reading the verse of the day and the corresponding chapter in the You version Bible app. I have never really looked at the info I provide the app besides my account settings.

Reflection:

Overall, I noticed from my media use of the day that I tend to rely on basic account security (username/password, less public info on profiles etc.). What I don’t always check are the extra privacy settings (multi factor authentication, account visibility etc.) that would thwart someone who had access to my phone or computer and was seeking to access my information. It was interesting to see the targeted ads I was getting on Instagram based on my web history and compare that to what we looked at in this module dealing with how our data is collected and sold. While I feel that I have practiced good basic security habits overall, I have room to improve on staying up to date on my settings and usage. I need to make sure that my anti-virus software is always updated as well as check my settings on different platforms and applications as they are constantly being updated and improved with new technology. Practicing good media habits doesn’t mean setting up an account and then never checking the settings again. It is something that I consistently need to take account of, especially when it comes to platforms like Google.

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