On Privacy

On the surface, privacy is a well-defined and understood concept.

As a reminder, here is the following definition from Merriam-Webster:

A.   the quality or state of being apart from company or observation.

B.   freedom from unauthorized intrusion

With this definition in mind, I’d like to focus on “freedom from unauthorized intrusion.”

So, how does privacy show up in our emotional, physical, and digital world? Privacy can take on different forms and meanings, depending on your situation. 

Let’s take love and relationships as a simple example. 

In this post, you will not find the secrets to communicating more effectively with your person regarding uncomfortable conversations and privacy matters in your relationship. If you are looking for a thought leader here, I highly recommend you pick up a copy of Jay Shetty’s new book, 8 Rules of Love: How to Find It, Keep It, and Let It Go, for yourself. Jays got you there; it’s a great read, in my opinion.

In my forthcoming book, Privacy Pandemic, you will learn how bad actors targeted and compromised my entire digital existence, compromised my mom’s home WiFi router, and targeted my former company to try and steal crypto and destroy my personally identifiable information (PII). They even compromised my Airbnb account to track my physical locations.

Fueled by this experience, I founded DFend.

For this post, I’m starting with a core human concept around our desires to connect, love, trust, and share. Some of our most private moments, inner tensions, shared experiences, and how that relates to our digital privacy and safety.

In the age of instant connection (to the internet), our human impulses can be one of our most significant weaknesses regarding our digital privacy. Sharing so much of our inner thoughts, feelings, and locations on the internet can feel instantly validating. However, sharing too much can cause a ripple effect, putting our digital privacy and safety at risk.

So, let’s return to our love relationships regarding digital privacy.

Are you the type of person that prefers to share your love with the world? Or do you choose to keep your love and private moments between you and your person? Do you “check in” everywhere on social media, thus creating a digital timestamp and detailed map of your every location and whereabouts?

I lived in that bubble of feeling safe for a long time, sharing everything about my life in an instant. However, based on my experience of becoming a digital identity theft target, I have chosen to keep my private life as private as possible. But, of course, I would love to share every photo with my person, family, or my amazing holiday.

But due to my significant—and life-altering experience—I have chosen to be more filtered and selective about what I share on the internet.

Why? I do this to safeguard myself and protect the people closest to me. While this sounds extreme (I’m not the only one), I have yet to return to my old digital habits. And yes, sometimes it’s frustrating for the people I love not to post pictures with them at every event, but this is my new reality, and I’m still unsure if I will return.

My story will not be yours, and I hope it never will be. But have you asked yourself, “How does PRIVACY show up in my digital life today?”

Think about it. I’ll wait.

A few years ago, a TV spot ran during the World Series by Apple. Their messaging was simple. “There is more information on your phone than in your home.” Think about it. Our entire lives are interconnected through a few devices, and once that privacy has been exploited, your digital and physical life can turn upside down instantly.

I know what you’re thinking; Time to update your passwords to passphrases and add MFA to all your accounts, right? I hope so, make that happen, and let’s keep going.

Our digital privacy has a cost. While it’s great to share your life with the digital world, the ease with which digital platforms have made it so easy for us to post, share, and tweet only add to the digital footprint we are creating for bad actors to analyze and understand our digital and physical behaviors.

In Privacy Pandemic, I spoke to digital privacy, security, and law experts to understand how our desires to connect in the physical and digital worlds can have significant implications in our personal and digital lives regarding our privacy and safety.

We trust our partners, family, and friends to keep our personal information safe when we’re vulnerable and to share our hopes, dreams, and fears. We trust organizations and people to safeguard our digital data when large and small organizations face daily attacks to undermine our digital privacy and security. 

For example, in 2021, there were over 1,800 data breaches in the US alone, according to the Identity Theft Resource Center. That means, without proper data governance, our data is out there and can be accessed by people who do not consider your digital privacy and safety.

This has led to a privacy pandemic for all of us. So how do we safeguard our private thoughts, feelings, and digital existence when all we want to do as humans is to connect, feel, and share?

Balancing our digital privacy can be difficult, especially in our ever-so-connected digital world. If we seek more privacy, we must evolve by understanding the inherent challenges of where private data is shared and who might be out to exploit it.

Stay Safe.


To learn more about Privacy Pandemic, please visit.