Your personal information is far from secure, allow me to help you visualize. If your personal information was golden pirate treasure, then your smartphone would be a big heavy jingling sack on your belt that said “Gold Pirate Coins” on the front of it. Would it put you at risk for attack? I’m going to say…probably.
See Also: How to Protect Your Privacy Online
Your laptop, tablet even your game console have sensitive information on them. Before you put all your electronics in a microwave and zap ‘em at full power (which will usually do the trick) make sure you break the internet too. A lot of companies store your information online, on their own servers and in the cloud (remember those computer games end-user terms you just haphazardly scroll through? A lot of them say that the company will store some of your login details and personal information). Just because you like to stay up at night and play computer games, now your personal emails could be used against you in court.
Who knows what about you?
If your first response is email providers, ding ding ding you win! via losing. Now you have your social media sites, your cloud storage companies and, of course, your Grandmother…no wait that’s not right. In the Playstation hack (the multiple hacks I should say) people were fraudulently charged, had their personal information stolen and were locked out of their account and games they had already paid for. Just a little side line information to make sure you build a Faraday cage (this is an enclosure that restricts all electromagnetic waves from entering or exiting, making your paranoia subside slightly).
We all know the NSA watches every single one of us as we sadly eat Pringles while watching cat videos, so moving on.
It can be legally used against you in a court of law
Yes, you read that right, information acquired by subpoenaing information from a third party storing information pertaining to a case can be taken and used in court. And you know what, most companies have it in their Terms and Conditions that they will fully cooperate with law enforcement if asked to. Oh, Terms and Conditions are those pesky pop ups that say ‘Agree’ or ‘Decline’ that you have to click on to go to a website or use a program you want to.
So what can you do?
Unless you involved in an international drug or espionage ring the possibility that any agency is using your information is slim. Sure they will use it if necessary, but that should just be another reason to stay on the straight and narrow. Although I do not condone any type of criminal activity, if you must, use good old snail mail, it’s written on paper; easily burned, shredded and disposed of. Of course, you’ll need to pay postage but 64 cents isn’t a high price for securing personal data.
It can be ultimately argued that the way electronic correspondence is being used today doesn’t differ grossly as to how postal correspondence was used in the past. Although yes it is an invasion of privacy, if the crime was perpetrated against you what side of the argument would you stand on? Let me know in the comment section below.