What’s the big deal – Privacy on the Web

I was particularly interested in this web assignment because I love technology! For the first half of the work, I was asked to count the number of open-source programs on my computer. I am a Computer science major, and I am also studying cybersecurity. The laptop I use for my daily tasks has Ubuntu Linux for its operating system. As a result, most of my programs are open source. However, I think the author of this assignment may be confused as to what the opposite type of program is called. Closed source software means that a company or individual does not want to release the “source” code. The software can be commercially available and still be open-source; for example, one of the programs I use to create software is IntelliJ, produced by JetBrains. This software has free and paid professional versions and is open-source, with some paid parts being closed.

With that confusion aside, there are many alternatives to paid software available on different operating systems. One that comes to mind that might help some people learn to improve their photo editing skills is called GIMP. GIMP is similar to Adobe Photoshop but is free to download. I have been using this program a bit in the past week to learn how to remove the backgrounds of my photos.

Another helpful tool that I recently downloaded is called Audacity. This software is used to edit audio recordings, and I think it will come in handy when I make more SoundCloud posts in the upcoming weeks.

For the second half of this assignment, I was asked to compare the words “open,” “community,” “cooperation” to the terms “share,” “like,” and “social data.” These words have many similarities and celebrate what it means to make and create open-source software. What makes open source software secure compared to its counterpart is that the community of developers can inspect, analyze, and improve upon the code. When a company denies access to its source code, only the employees understand the inner workings of the software, which can lead to the potential of severe bugs.

It is ultimately challenging to prevent sharing one’s data, but steps can be taken to help minimize the amount collected. Google, Amazon, Facebook (now called Meta), Microsoft, and Apple are all large tech companies that thrive on their users’ data. Much of the information being collected may seem innocent upfront, but it’s when all these bits of data are put together that the big picture begins to become frightening.

The most significant prevention is to read about the steps to help minimize one’s online footprint, as well as to make sure that your accounts are protected with strong passwords and two-factor authentication.

If you take precautionary measures such as visiting secure https sites as well as minimize clicking on ads as wel as visiting “shady” websites, you can significantly reduce your chances of becoming a victim of data theft.

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