Big tech companies might know a lot about you, but a recent breach at genetic testing company 23andMe takes it to another level.
Imagine a world where not only your shopping habits but also your DNA can be accessed by hackers. This is not a distant future scenario; it’s happening right now. The recent data breach at 23andMe, which affected about 7 million users, is a chilling example.
Hackers managed to gain access to personal information, including family trees, birth years, geographic locations, family connections, and even the percentage of DNA shared with relatives.
And the sad part is, this wasn’t some Mission Impossible level breach.
Hackers simply exploited old passwords previously exposed in other hacks. This is why it is so important to use a password manager so you can have a different password for every website– but I’ll get back to this.
Just think of how this information could be misused.
Family trees and locations could help gain access to other more important accounts, like banks (mother’s maiden name, where you might bank). Or it could empower stalkers, or internet doxxing– exposing your data and location in retaliation for free speech.
But the DNA aspect brings us to even more dystopian scenarios.
The government has already used the DNA from websites to go after people.
For example, a company called FamilyTreeDNA was caught in 2019 giving the FBI routine access to its database of more than 1 million users’ data. This allowed agents to compare DNA samples from crime scenes with customers’ genetic information. They could even triangulate from relatives’ data certain family matches from people who never even submitted their DNA.
Now if this is done truly to solve crimes, it’s not so scary. The question is, do you trust this kind of data in the hands of the FBI?
For all we know they are using Ancestry.com to try to track down the grandmas who took a stroll through the Capitol on January 6, 2021.
Let alone how the government might use such information to lock people into their “15-minute cities” or “social credit systems”.
What about Pfizer, the World Economic Forum, or Bill Gates… what might they do with access to your DNA?
It’s possible, even easy, to keep this, and other data, secure online. But there is so much to think about with online privacy and anonymity, it’s hard to know where or how to even get started.
It helps immensely to have a blueprint to follow. You always know which step to take next. This way you can spend a few minutes each day securing your online identity, and within a couple weeks, your personal information is all locked away.
I found an organization which understands these threats, and lays out a simple path to stop Big Tech and Big Brother from knowing every little thing about you, down to the molecular level.
Glenn Meder, an online privacy and security expert, is hosting a free webinar called 5 Ways to Protect Yourself from Big Tech, Big Brother, and Thieves Who Spy on You.
This is part of his Privacy Action Plan. He’ll explain the threats that we are facing and give easy real-world tips that help people to become more private and secure today.
Follow the link to grab your spot in the webinar. Again, it’s free, and it’s as important as locking your front door in this day and age.