Tech talk — Privacy vs. Security a regular Orcas Issues column

In the tech world you hear these two terms a lot. What is the difference? Lets us an analogy (which we will do a lot in this column)- privacy vs. security in your home. In your house, privacy happens when you close the curtains, outsiders cannot see what you are doing. Security happens when you lock the door.

Related to your technology, privacy is keeping “what you do”, like which internet sites your look at, to yourself. Security, is keeping your personal information (passwords, documents, contacts, email, etc.) locked up and out of the hands of the bad guys.

Who cares about what you do enough to invade your privacy? The big money in the internet world is collecting and selling details about what you do when you are on the internet. Who collects this info? Thousands of companies because it is very lucrative. Who buys this info? Lots marketing departments in companies and bad guys. They have learned that watching what you look at and what you click on shows them what you will respond to. Colors you are attracted to on line, what fonts you tend to like, along with subjects you are interested in are collected and analyzed. (And this is just for starters.)

Security is keeping locks on your information. The primary key to most locks is passwords. Good passwords technique is your number 1 defense against the bad guys steeling you money. But it also is important in protecting your family and loved ones from the bad guys. (Yes, they will work through you to get to your family and vi sa versa).

Next column we will dive into the locks, keys and pick pockets.

Dave & Lisa
360-376-TECH (8324)

376Tech, your local computer support team, believes that everyone can understand their technology. This column will explore all sorts of topics to educate and inform. Visit for more information. If you have topics that you would like discussed, please let us know.

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Tech talk — Privacy vs. Security a regular Orcas Issues column — 1 Comment

  1. On the topic of security, I’d posit that phishing and pwned machines (via Trojans) is a far more common method of compromising identity-based security than lost passwords.
    In fact, password compromise is often achieved using a Trojan such as a keylogger — in which case a complex/uncommon password doesn’t help.

    In more colloquial terms, a password is a key to the front door, but phishing/malware/Trojans/etc. are ways to get you to agree (often without realizing it) to give someone else access to the inside of your house (which probably also happens to include another copy of your keys). So, having a more sophisticated key is useful if the bad guys want to pick the lock at your front door, but being careful who you let into your house is more important. And, in the cyber-world, it’s easier to sneak into your house than it is to pick the front door lock.

    Having said that, if your login is a combination of a password (front door key in the analogy) and a 2nd factor like fingerprint or text-message code (like an literal fingerprint in the analogy), it becomes a lot harder for a bad guy to forge your identity.

    Here’s a link to one (of many) sites that provide a little more detail:

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