2018 was a strange and sometimes scary year for privacy.
Emerging technology is changing the world in a lot of powerful and positive ways, but there is a dark side to digital transformation.
So to figure out what exactly to expect in 2019 and beyond, we should examine some of the most interesting cyber attacks this year.
Russian hackers are in the power grid.
In July, it was revealed that Russian had been lurking inside the US electrical system for If not years.
Now we haven't experienced a hack like what happened in Ukraine in 2015 when the Russians literally turned off the electricity in the capital of Kiev.
But most cyber experts acknowledge that Russia is probing how US critical infrastructure works.
And someday they might be able to do real damage.
You might worry that your phone is spying on you.
But what about your phone company?
In May a bug in T-Mobile's API revealed deep details about the cell carrier's customers, including the customers Full name, mailing address, account number, and even some tax information.
The recent Marriott hack resulted in the loss of over 500 million records, including customer passport numbers, and credit card information, that's really bad.
Now Marriott says that some of that customer data was encrypted, so that's good.
Except the hackers also got away with the encryption keys, so we're all screwed.
And the biggest hack of 2018, well social media.
All of it.
When it comes to privacy social media is a big deal, starting with Cambridge Analytica Facebook had yet another pretty bad year.
Twitter, oops, leaked password information in plain text.
Even Google Plus, remember Google Plus, exposed enough user data to warrant shutting down the entire network.
Look, the point is while social media can be great, it's also a lot more Powerful and more new ones than we once realized.
So in 2019, we will likely see influence campaigns proliferate on social media.
And we're likely to see big tech companies She needs to play defense, artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, and big data will probably be used by a threat actor and produce weird and kind of interesting results.
But what does that mean?
Look, it's totally understandable if your eyes glaze over every time there is news of another major hack.
But here's why you should pay attention.
Behind every major data breach is a person, a human being.
Social security numbers, your driver's license number, your home address, and your credit card information aren't just air quote data.
These rows and columns are your digital footprint, your life, your life online.
So as tech continues to change our lives, often for the better, it's up to us to make sure that we don't treat our own lives as data, and that we lock down everything that's important to us.