THE negative implementation of smart technology are making themselves felt in ways not foreseen until now.

Inadequately protected personal information can be used for data mining by marketing companies, research organizations, etc, sometimes to serve blatantly unethical, even illegal ends.

One of the most infamous examples of this nature was of course the harvesting of millions of  Facebook users profile data for political purposes in the last US presidential elections.

There can also be  social and psychological repercussions : careless data protection can put individuals at higher risk. of cyberbullying and blackmail.

With the rapidly expanding market for smart devices in the developing world, people - especially the students who are the most avid consumers of such gadgets - must take measures to protect themselves in the digital world.

To that end, they should maintain high privacy settings on their smart devices, promptly install security updates; secure their home Wi-Fi networks, disable microphones and cameras when not using them, create ''strong'' passwords, etc.

The authorities too must enforce the provisions of the cybercrime law that criminalise unauthorised use of identity information.

The risk of data theft is ever present, the least one can do is not make it easy.


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