Fears is an unpleasant often strong emotion caused by anticipation or awareness of danger and accompanied by increased autonomic activity. From the moment we are born, we only have two fears; loud noises and falling. So what does this mean? Are all other fears developed or introduced to us by society?
Are we programmed to fear certain things based on our circumstance? Fear can also be a weakness or an internal struggle for people struggling to overcome it. Some people would also go through great lengths to shield themselves from the one thing that they fear the most. For example, if someone is afraid of a possible zombie apocalypse they may arm themselves with several weapons and a have a bunker with a large food supply on standby. What about this more realistic scenario, what if you worked really hard to establish yourself within the community, have excellent credit, a huge house, and a lavish lifestyle made to be envied; and someone tells you that someone could possibly take that away from you leaving you with nothing. That is enough to spark fear in a person’s mind and to add insult to injury, you will never see this thief’s face. You may never have the opportunity to confront this person face to face because they live behind a world of code and could be anyone.
However, the media does play a huge role in what society considers as something to fear, how to fear it, and also why we should fear it. I have seen several commercials talking about the dark web and how someone’s personal information could be floating around to the highest bidder. Sounds scary huh.
Video courtesy of YouTube
Granted the dark web is real and it can be a very dangerous dark spot within the world-wide-web. Within the confines of the dark web, one can find some of the most hideous crimes happening. There does need to be a sense of awareness as well as the broadcasting of preventative measures that someone can take in order to safeguard their personally identifiable information (PII), but using fear to convince people to use their services is wrong. Enticing fear will only cause people to overreacted and try to protect their PII at an alarming rate. People may attempt to invest money that they may or may not have in order for them to protect their confidentiality. Someone may also fall victim to other misleading products designed to steal the very information that it falsely claims to protect. Enticing fear would cause consumers to react based on fear and will only lead to buyers remorse as well as extended purchases.
Credit agencies are not immune to the dangers of the web, dark web, or even hackers. The Washington Post released an article
by Craig Timberg, Elizabeth Dwoskin, and Fung on September 7, 2017, depicting how Equifax was hacked. According to their article, data from 143 million Americans were exposed by a hacker. Social security numbers, drivers licenses, birthdays and homes address were just a few items that the hackers were able to gain. That is a lot of personal information being exposed and for all anyone knows is probably being sold on the dark web. Yet credit agencies are attempting to capitalize on this by inciting fear. Granted Equifax is not Experian and they have different management as well, but how safe is these entities that house so much of our lives. Instead of selling methods for people to check the dark web and credit protection; attempts should be made at a minimum to educate everyone on how they can protect their PII. These types of protection and preventative services should be a service freely given. This investment would be more cost-effective in the long run aside from selling credit protection. The other alternative would be to offer the services for free after a breach knowing that there are several other cost and fines associated with these types of breaches.
People should take great care in safeguarding their personal information as many folks can be a bit careless at times with it. Nonetheless, an organization should not attempt to use this growing threat (the dark web) as a method to make money and capitalize on people’s fear of losing everything.