The United States, and by extension our businesses, are becoming increasingly dependent on technology*. And as technology progresses, it becomes more complex, harder to understand, and harder to manage. It becomes an ever increasing burden on those who are tasked to manage it. What would be the dangers of falling behind in technology literacy?

What is Technology Literacy?

Computer literacy is defined as “a term used to describe individuals who have the knowledge and skills to use a computer and other related technology.” It would be easy to see how, in an increasingly computerized business world, that the impact of “illiteracy” could be tremendous.

Is This Really a Problem?

In short, yes, this is clearly a problem, as recent news about social networks would suggest. For example, the proliferation of “fake news” is accelerated by the fact that social networks have become the primary news source for most people today. Social media tends to generate fake news at a higher rate among the “digital illiterate.” The problem has become pervasive enough that there is a spike in funding for technology literacy programs, most recently with Apple contributing to programs in the US and Europe to “encourage critical thinking and empower students to be better informed.”

Social Media on a cell phone

Be Careful Where you Keep Your Data

It seems that we hear about a new data breach daily. Equifax, Yahoo, Target, LinkedIn and Sony have all leaked millions of personal account records in the recent past. Knowing where your data is, and who has control of it, is key to keeping that data from falling into the wrong hands. Whether your business is bound by a framework like PCI-DSS or HIPAA, data hygiene should be one of your top priorities.

Privacy? What Privacy?

Today, technology companies track consumers as much as they can. Data is valuable to digital marketing companies, Samsung’s Smart TVs are listening to your private conversations, and Facebook is even building advertising profiles on consumers who don’t have Facebook accounts. Informing yourself, and increasing your technology literacy, is the only way to know how to configure the privacy settings on these devices and services to best protect yourself against the leakage of your private data.

Photo by Con Karampelas on Unsplash - Facebook login screen

If you have any questions about privacy and security, please contact us today. We can help you to control your digital footprint, and to improve your data hygiene.

*- Committee on Technological Literacy, “Technically speaking: Why all Americans need to know more about technology,” G. Pearson, A.T. Young, eds., National Academy of Engineering, National Research Council, 2002.

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