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  • Matthew Frank
    Matthew Frank

    Keeping Your Conversations Private

    At first glance, the expression “Just assume you’re always on speakerphone” may sound like advice delivered in jest. But assuming as much could be a key piece of wisdom for protecting your most important conversations. Whether it is a private conversation between friends or professional discussions in the workplace, the unspoken expectation that someone else can’t hear makes it all too easy to unknowingly broadcast your conversations.

    In this day and age, it is more important than ever to keep conversations private. With technology growing more and more sophisticated, there is an ever present danger of inadvertent eavesdarpping. Often, snoopers can achieve this without any physical access to a device. Hackers have been increasingly turning to “side-channel attacks” which can intercept audio from a distance with wireless speakers, mobile apps and even baby monitors. Even something as common as an Alexa speaker can collect data about you which could become available to third parties if the device is hacked.

    It is also important to consider who you are having your private conversations with. A study has shown that more than 20 million Americans have had sensitive information leaked due to the irresponsible actions of people they talk to. The research emphasized that unwitting information theft often occurs among family and friends, who pass on important information without a second thought. This underscores the importance of taking measures to secure your conversations. This can look like as little as using encryption when sharing data online or using an end-to-end encryption app when chatting with a friend. Software such as AirGap can limit unwanted data collection. For those using loud speakers, wave cancellers offer broadcast protection and may work by discarding unexpected sound waves.

    For those afraid of the possible consequences of accidental leaks of information, it might be best to just embrace the phrase “Assume you’re always on speakerphone.” Thinking of conversations as public would create a necessary shift in how people approach interactions. This would naturally lead to more accountability regarding potential leaks of confidential information. So, if you want to protect yourself from unwanted data breaches and protect your conversations, following the saying “Just assume you’re always on speakerphone” may be a powerful asset. It may just save you from dangerous and potentially embarrassing data leaks.

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