As we adjust under house arrest, COVID-19, financial market meltdown, and working from home, cybercriminals are reaping the benefits. Our bits and bytes are now equivalent to dollars and cents. Be as careful with your data as you are with your money. The IT department we all took for granted updating malware, blocking threats, and keeping our invisible enemies at bay is working from home now. The new reality has us trading both personal and business information over the same internet connection your children are using to share school work, pirated videos, and all sorts of unprotected content. Combatants in the new Cold War are fighting over the currency of the modern age: personal information. The battles are over who controls data. Vying against each other are those societies that believe that individuals have an absolute right to control their personal data—to exercise the same kind of dominion over data that they do over their bodies or their personal property—and those that believe that personal data is a good to be traded on the open market and thus subject to the same market forces at play elsewhere.
Granted, we are part of the problem. We continue to sell our soul for a coupon or discount code regularly. Everything is based on a barter system. I trade my data for a service or product. I look at what data a company wants, how they collect it, and what they will do with it once they have it. Then I look at what they are offering. This way, I can decide if the trade is worth it to me. I trust that my data will be kept safe, and if something ever did happen, things would be handled in a way I approve. Our data is making both big business and criminal enterprises wealthy. We all need to realize how valuable and vulnerable our information is and that data is now currency.