The growth of information technology has led to the growth of new threats such as threats in cyber security. Cyber security is a broad area which touches on many aspects. Some of the key aspects include the privacy and protection of personal information in the internet and especially over social media sites. Most people share a vast amount of information with the outside world through the internet without putting in mind the serious repercussions that it may have. Furthermore, different types of data are collected and stored on a daily basis, from personal profiles on the Internet to shopping habits and photos viewed by the Internet user, thus leading to the creation of big data. The purpose of this paper is to analyze a game known as Data Dealer from the perspective of cyber security. To do this, the writer will identify the negative implications of freely posting or sharing private information online. The writer will also analyze the PIPEDA policy and the protection that Canadian citizens receive through it. Finally, the paper will highlight issues on Data Dealer and how the game can be used in raising the awareness regarding the dangers associated with sharing of personal information online.
Sharing too much personal or private information online may cause more harm than the perceived benefits. It is always important to remember that information shared on the Internet is like a tattoo, which is quite difficult to erase or delete. Furthermore, the phrase “the Internet never forgets” should be used as a warning for precaution when sharing information online. Some of the negative aspects about posting personal information online is that at times one may want to remove that information or change the information upon realizing that the information is harmful. However, the highest chances are that even if a person deletes an image of message from a social media account, it is still accessible (Mary 2). Additionally, several social media platforms become the legal owners of any information or material which is posted through their websites. In this perspective, other social media users can use the information to cause harm to the source of the information (Skinner 6). For example, individuals may use personal information from one user to create a fake profile on a different website. In this case, the fake profile can be used to cause harm or commit crime and unlawful actions by malicious characters. Finally, the information shared on social media or the Internet can lure predators. For example, when an individual posts about the city he or she is from and personal hobbies, they attract predators who use such information to attract individuals.
The Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act is also known as PIPEDA. PIPEDA is a policy which protects Canadian citizens who use online services such as social media sites. Section 3 of the policy indicates that it establishes rules which govern the collection, use, as well as disclosure of personal information online. The policy provides a guideline regarding personal information. In this perspective, personal information is classified or defined as the information about an identifiable individual. The policy does not necessitate names, titles or business addresses and telephone numbers as personal information. Through this policy, individuals are able to understand why their organizations collect, use or disclose their personal information. The individuals are also in a position to give consent to the collection, use, and disclosure of personal information. Therefore, upon issuing consent, the personal information can be used for legal and reasonable ways. Nonetheless, PIPEDA does not apply to any government institution.
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The Data Dealer game allows players to learn the security issues that revolve around the exchange of personal information. The game places players on the role of business managers for personal data. Users of Data Dealer understand or receive insight in the data trading system. The game presents the real issues that revolve around privacy protection and personal information disclosure. Users perform simple actions through the platform which integrates dating sites and personality test sites thus allowing the users to share the information. Furthermore, the buying of information is done through agents. The company has an easier time gathering the significant profiles with a variety of information. The players, on the other hand, are able to see what king of personal data exists. The existing data is presented in different forms (Sandvig 4). Players have a chance to access the basic data, which includes the name, email, and phone number of a user. Furthermore, players can access complex data, which includes employment data, sexual experiences as well as medical records. The simulation in this case indicates the use of data and its accessibility when individuals use search engines. The searches collect and store the information as histories. The information is further categorized into different interests according to the sites visited and the products purchased over time. Most importantly, the texts, photos and tweets as well as the current location may also be tracked using social networks through mobile phones. The game, therefore, shows players how much information can be collected through a few clicks on the computer or mobile phone. The issues raised or indicated include the issue of consent of any information that is shared.
In addition, the game indicates that different players may collect data through different ways. Some people may use software, while others use analytics to analyze the data patterns and histories. An example is the information that may be accessed through an organizations system thus allowing external parties to access employee data. Furthermore, these types of information are accessible by hackers, who are able to use their knowledge of information systems to navigate through security measures (Sandvig 4). On the contrary, search engines create big data by collecting data from companies and users. The data is captured through the cookies on the website. Therefore, during the use of information systems or the Internet and other social media websites, users may not be aware that they are actually sharing plenty of information with the outside world. However, the game has a shortcoming since it does not educate the users on online privacy issues. Users only simulate through different processes or activities in the game. Furthermore, the users are not able to control all aspects, such as reverse, and see the effect that other actions would have on the game.
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The improvement should allow the players to learn rather than just simulate. In this perspective, the developers should use the game as a learning platform where players gain insights regarding the personal data business. The game may describe how the data or information is collected from the users (Sandvig 4). For example, it may inform users about the dangers of having cookies on a website. Furthermore, it may educate the players about the IP address tracking by websites. Therefore, the users will always be cautious that the websites are tracking their movement. Most importantly, the game should teach users how to control their privacy on the Internet.
Other important scenarios that should be covered include the process of hacking and how user information is lost during such processes or activities. In this case, users are in a position to understand the dangers involved with sharing their information online or on websites that they are uncertain about (Homeland Security 1). In this case, the game will be more interactive and educative rather than just entertaining the users. Furthermore, the game should provide a platform for feedback and interaction with other users in order to share testimonials and information regarding personal experiences.