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Oct 3 19

How I lost my mind while using the internet.

If you look at the world today, it is evident that a humongous amount of our information is currently filling the airwaves ready to be captured. Our emails, browsing and downloads, all are on the mercy of a mediocre hacker that can decide our online fate. Every bit of our information is up for sale and big white collar firms are leading the pack to purchase your data by hook or by crook. A huge difference from the simpler times of before.

Back in the noughties when I got my hands on the first gadget I was ecstatic. A purely DOS machine good enough for a few old school games and a basic forum for coding. It felt like something new and unexplored. Something that could revolutionize the way we connect with our environment. Hours after hours were spent on the machine trying to code a person jumping from the top, or making sure Dave survives.

Then came windows, and it opened another spectrum in the development of the machines and how humans can interact with them, and I felt that Jetsons are not too distant a reality.  I am sure the sentiment was shared by most of the people around the world.

From US to China, more and more countries were actively participating in the progression of Information Technology. Computers started becoming smaller, Steve Jobs became bigger and Bill Gates toped the Forbes list. Things were moving in a great direction. Very soon we were able to engage with peers through emails and video calls, get update of social activities of our friends and order a nice meal via apps, to a point where all we needed was a stable internet connection and a mobile device to accomplish majority of stuff throughout the day.

And then came a reality check.

In our eagerness to welcome the technology in our life with open arms, we forgot to keep a check and balance. It was lovely to see Pandora playing a song for you based on an algorithm or YouTube recommending the video, but after a while it started feeling like my capacity to choose is governed by an algorithm. Sounds robotic right? I felt so too yet safe in the knowledge that at least my information is only being used to help me out.

Little by little technology became much larger part of our lives resulting in majority of personal information floating around the internet. It wasn’t just basic information, our habits, our likes, dislikes, buying patterns, financial information, our friends, network, every piece of data being sucked in the huge IT black hole. A considerable amount of information that can be used to predict millions of people.

And then came the disasters.

Yahoo was hacked compromising billions of user accounts. Facebook was involved in breaching privacy rules to use user date for rigging the elections. Marriot lost almost half a billion user data. Ebay lost quarter of a billion user data. Equifax lost hundreds of millions of credit card data and social security. Target stores and Heartland payment information lost credit card information in 100s of millions. Uber and JP Morgan chase lost financial and personal information of millions of users. Even the governmental offices of united states were guilty of losing millions of user’s information. And the list is endless including Sony, Home Depot and many more familiar brands. Add to it the constant struggle against malware, spyware and adware, and it is safe to say that internet is not safe anymore.

And it is freaking me out.

Big corporates, governments, websites and forums have failed to secure me against the cybercriminals. I do not feel secure on the internet as I am exposed to data stealers, identify thieves and cyber criminals. My doctor tells me I have developed anxiety. My reflex action is used primarily for closing pop ups and most of the border agents are well aware of my selfie collection.

I was born a human, but now I term myself as human robot hybrid or a humanoid. My gadgets dictate my ecosystem and I am vulnerable to cybercrimes. My individuality is dying and I am becoming just another integer with no personal space or personal information.

Technology did change the world, for better and for worst.

So it is only fair that I should arm myself with the best tools to secure my privacy and keep invaders at bay. But problem is that I am not an accomplished security specialist with lots of time to make it happen. So I put my trust in CASVPN. They told me they have the fastest servers and complete anonymity. I was skeptical before especially after reading their tag line “the most secured and fastest vpn” but after using it for a while and testing their logs policy, I am happy to say that there is hope that I can lead a normal life without having to compromise on all the pros that technology offers.