You Really Do Have Secrets Worth Keeping and Protecting

You Really Do Have Secrets

If you have something that you dont want anyone to know, maybe you shouldnt be doing it in the first place.

This argument is so common, it has a name. It is called the Nothing to Hide argument. The Apple vs. Google fanboy wars have contributed to bringing this argument to the fore. Apple fans say Google products are bad because Google and advertisers have access to almost everything about a person using those products. Google fans fire back that the Apple folks must have something to hide.

The encryption debate was rekindled over the infamous San Bernardino iPhone, with privacy advocates arguing that if encryption can be broken on a terrorists phone, it is broken for everyone. FBI sympathizers want to know what is so important that decent people have to hide.

While a case can be made for both sides, I have to side with the privacy advocates in this respect: You really do have something to hide. Not only are your secrets worth hiding, they are worth protecting. Here are a few secrets you may not even realize you have:

Passwords

If you have one of those password management apps, every password to everything that is important to you is in that one place. It is a single point of failure. As of now, they are still among the most popular ways to manage passwords among techies. But without strong encryption in place, all your passwords are up for grabs.

Losing those passwords to hard drive failure is almost as devastating as losing them to criminals. Bottom line, you still wouldnt have them anymore, and would be locked out of everything important to you. Fortunately, the same apps to spy on your kids without them knowing. If you can do it, so can a person with ill-intent. Location services can let a burglar know when your home is empty. There are a lot of conveniences afforded by location services. But there are also a lot of risks. You may not have thought about it in this way. But your location, and the location of your family, is a secret you definitely want to keep.

Sexual Preference

In some parts of the world, your sexual preference is a non-issue. You are free to be your truest self without social or professional repercussions. But that is not true in all parts of the world. There are at least 79 countries where homosexuality is illegal. That number is even larger if you consider places where it is not strictly illegal, but where there are oppressive laws that will make life very difficult.

Your smartphone is a treasure trove of secrets. It is shocking what people can learn about you just from your choice of movies, music, and books. Your smartphone may be your most personal device. But it is not the only device that can divulge your secrets.

This is not intended to make you paranoid, just to remind you that even though you have no criminal intent, you do have plenty of things worth hiding and protecting from loss. Passwords, location, and sexual preference are just the tip of the well-hidden iceberg.