Trending March 2024 # Cyber Security Approach Should Not Be Fear # Suggested April 2024 # Top 10 Popular

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With the rising frequency and scope of cyber attacks, it has become crucial that companies and government as well don’t operate over fear-based cybersecurity approach. According to the UK’s National Cyber Security Centre Chief Ciaran Martin, the fear-driven cybersecurity approach won’t be helpful for users and it can neither prevent attacks. Martin considers cyber-arm of GCHQ as a tool to scare people to stay secure online. He compared the government’s approach to cybersecurity and Pixar Movie and said, “Four years ago, as GCHQ and government, we were still reluctantly in the role of the ‘Monsters Inc’ Top Scarcer. We still had to convince people about the threat and that it was all very scary and so forth.” He was addressing Infosecurity Europe 2023 in London. Due to this approach, even the organization got scared and outsourced their cyber security as they believed that they could not get the hold of the problem themselves. According to NCSC chief, this is definitely not the correct approach towards cybersecurity. Martin also quoted that, “That wasn’t the answer: the answer was people needing to own the problem for themselves. So in the last few years, we’ve been moving away from a fear-based approach to cybersecurity towards a pragmatic one where we’re trying to enable people to get on top of the problem.”  

An Integrated Approach to 5G Cyber Security

The NCSC chief also delivered his thoughts regarding debate and argument that followed for several months over China-based Huawei technology firm. The issue of concern was that China is constructing a 5G network for the UK and what its possible outcome could be for national security. Notably, President Donald Trump has already banned Huawei infrastructure from the USA. However, the NCSC chief argued that the debate should be about 5G as a whole rather than revolving around one supplier. Ciaran Martin stated, “We have to get 5G network security right — and that’s a much bigger issue than the national identity of suppliers. We’ve had all sorts of debates about the globalization and the role of China; there’s an absolutely legitimate debate to have, and we’ll talk about it more when the government has reached a final decision.” According to Martin, cybersecurity experts should analyze and discuss the 5G security, as of now, to get the assurance that whosoever builds it, should be secure and in public welfare He further explained, “For 5G security as a whole, we really need as experts to be talking about each bit and what we need to do to secure them — and we need to do that in an orderly and objective a way as possible.”

With the rising frequency and scope of cyber attacks, it has become crucial that companies and government as well don’t operate over fear-based cybersecurity approach. According to the UK’s National Cyber Security Centre Chief Ciaran Martin, the fear-driven cybersecurity approach won’t be helpful for users and it can neither prevent attacks. Martin considers cyber-arm of GCHQ as a tool to scare people to stay secure online. He compared the government’s approach to cybersecurity and Pixar Movie and said, “Four years ago, as GCHQ and government, we were still reluctantly in the role of the ‘Monsters Inc’ Top Scarcer. We still had to convince people about the threat and that it was all very scary and so forth.” He was addressing Infosecurity Europe 2023 in London. Due to this approach, even the organization got scared and outsourced their cyber security as they believed that they could not get the hold of the problem themselves. According to NCSC chief, this is definitely not the correct approach towards cybersecurity. Martin also quoted that, “That wasn’t the answer: the answer was people needing to own the problem for themselves. So in the last few years, we’ve been moving away from a fear-based approach to cybersecurity towards a pragmatic one where we’re trying to enable people to get on top of the problem.”The NCSC chief also delivered his thoughts regarding debate and argument that followed for several months over China-based Huawei technology firm. The issue of concern was that China is constructing a 5G network for the UK and what its possible outcome could be for national security. Notably, President Donald Trump has already banned Huawei infrastructure from the USA. However, the NCSC chief argued that the debate should be about 5G as a whole rather than revolving around one supplier. Ciaran Martin stated, “We have to get 5G network security right — and that’s a much bigger issue than the national identity of suppliers. We’ve had all sorts of debates about the globalization and the role of China; there’s an absolutely legitimate debate to have, and we’ll talk about it more when the government has reached a final decision.” According to Martin, cybersecurity experts should analyze and discuss the 5G security, as of now, to get the assurance that whosoever builds it, should be secure and in public welfare He further explained, “For 5G security as a whole, we really need as experts to be talking about each bit and what we need to do to secure them — and we need to do that in an orderly and objective a way as possible.” The NCSC chief added, “Because it’d be a real shame if one of the consequences of this 5G debate would be if we allowed the fear back into cybersecurity, where we had people scared of technology again because they shouldn’t be.”

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Should Avax Be A ‘Must

Betty Botter had some butter, but, she said, “this butter’s bitter. If I bake this bitter butter, it would make my batter bitter.”

Take ‘butter’ for tokens and ‘batter’ for your portfolio, does this tongue twister make sense then. Booyakasha! In all probability, it does. Undeniably, the educated choice of coins can massively increase the value of your portfolio. But hold on, what about the bear markets.

As American-British investor John Templeton puts it, “For those properly prepared, a bear market is not a calamity but an opportunity.” On this thought, you may rather load up on a bit of crypto snow. And, that’s where comes a sixty-four-thousand-dollar question- Could AVAX be your ‘knight in shining armor?’

Your ‘go figure’ solution

You wonder what’s that one factor (besides others) that determines how well the cryptocurrency will fare during the bear market. Well, it is the amount of money the project has raised post-ICO. Intriguingly, Avalanche seems to have outdone its plebeian brothers, in this regard. In fact, the big announcement in mid-April had investors in awe after Ava Labs raised $350 million from numerous crypto venture capitalists. Thus, bringing Avalanche’s total post-ICO funding up to almost $700 million.

Dolefully, at the time of this press, AVAX was changing wallets at $22.91 with a 3.66% decline over the last day. But, a permabull who is planning to go long would find contentment to know that Avalanche’s three blockchains, at press time, were secured by a set of 1,394 validators with each of them staking a minimum of 2000 AVAX to be locked up for 14 days in order to process transactions. Also, Avalanche, at the time of writing, had 19,429 delegators. These delegators are required to stake a minimum of 25 AVAX for two weeks. Interestingly, staking rewards for both validators and delegators are 9.25% (average per year).

Metrics got your back

Keeping validators and delegators aside, let’s take a look at Avalanche from the adoption perspective. In this regard, Avalanche C-chain unique address count clearly shows that there has been a daily increase in ‘total distinct addresses.’

In fact, over three million unique wallets have been created on Avalanche’s C-chain alone. Furthermore, close to two dozen additional subnets were in development, at press time.

Furthermore, the Total Value Locked (TVL) on Avalanche’s DeFi protocol stood at $3.87b with AAVE V3 dominance of 31.42%. Interestingly, at the time of this analysis, there were approximately two hundred DApps live on Avalanche.

While the network looks strong with its fundamentals, its development activity has taken a hit in recent times. Notably, after 28 May, it has been declining sharply. However, it should be noted that the metric saw a surge in its count post 23 May to reach a mark of 25. Thus, surpassing its five-month high mark of January.

Now, even though AVAX is in line with the broader crypto market, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to allocate a portion of your crypto portfolio to the token. Put simply, a bull-ride on a macro-frame can’t be ruled out. But, traders/investors should keep their risk appetite in focus before planning to enter or exit their positions.

Privacy And Security Settings In Windows 11 You Should Know

Here is a complete guide on Windows 11 Privacy and Security Settings. Microsoft has officially launched Windows 11 and you can download it for free on your system provided that it meets minimum requirements. As it claims, this time the prime focus is on enhancing the overall security of your PC. It has made some minimum security requirements that your PC must meet to install Windows 11. Now, to further improve the security and privacy of your system, you can set up some settings provided in Windows 11. Let us check out what are these Privacy and Security settings and how you can enhance your PC’s security.

Privacy and Security Settings in Windows 11

Here are the Privacy and Security settings you should know about in Windows 11:

Keep your Windows 11 up to date.

Check your sign-in options.

Log out when you’re away.

Turn on the built-in security tools and features.

Run a virus scan at regular intervals.

Check out Device Security.

Stay safe when online.

Control app launch tracking.

Control Diagnostics and feedback data.

Manage Application Permissions.

Ensure your device can be found if lost.

Encrypt the data on your device.

Disable suggested content.

Control website access to the language list.

1] Keep your Windows 11 up to date

You can also set up update options like Receive updates for other Microsoft products, Download updates over metered connection, and more as per your preference. Also, make sure to set up Active Hours inside Advanced options so that Windows doesn’t restart and apply updates when you are in the middle of your work.

Read: New Security features in Windows 11.

2] Check your sign-in options

There are some additional sign-in features that you can set up as per your preference, like show/hide account details on the login screen, only allowing Windows Hello sign-in for Microsoft accounts, etc.

3] Logout when you’re away

You can also choose to sign out from your account when you have been away from your device. There is an option named If you’ve been away, when should Windows require you to sign in again inside sing-in options. You can set this option to When PC wakes up from sleep. This will ensure that when you are away, you are logged out and required to sign in again. Now, you can be sure that no one else can access your account when you are away from your device for a while.

Additionally, you can also enable the Dynamic Lock feature to automatically lock your device when you move away from it

4] Turn on the built-in security tools and features

5] Run a virus scan at regular intervals

You should also make sure that you scan your system for viruses and threats at regular intervals. Launch Windows Security and run the Virus & threat protection scan.

6] Check out Device Security

Firstly, open the Settings app.

Read: Privacy Settings in Windows 11 you should change to protect your privacy.

8] Stay safe when online

Read: How to stop Microsoft from tracking you on Windows 11.

9] Control app launch tracking

Windows personalizes your Start menu on the basis of the apps you launch. However, you can control app launch tracking if you want by tweaking some privacy settings. Here are the steps to do that:

Enable or disable the Let Windows improve Start and search results by tracking app launches feature as per your preference.

10] Control Diagnostics and feedback data

Read: Privacy and Security Settings in Edge browser on Windows 11.

11] Manage Application Permissions

You can choose the permissions you want to allow or disallow apps on your PC. These permissions include access to your location, camera, microphone, notification, account info, app diagnostic, pictures, music, and more. You can open the Settings app and then go to the Privacy & security tab. After that, scroll down to the App Permissions section and then select the permission you want to set up.

Read: Manage Telemetry and Data Collection settings in Windows 11.

12] Ensure your device can be found if lost 13] Encrypt the data on your device 14] Disable suggested content

Windows show suggested content including apps and new content throughout Settings. However, if you prefer privacy, you can disable this feature. For doing that, here are the steps to follow:

Now, disable the Show me suggested content in the Settings app option.

15] Control website access to the language list

Windows can collect and send information regarding your preferred language list with websites. This is basically to automatically set your language preferences for each site. However, if you want, you can control website access to your language list using the below steps:

Set up the option Let websites show me locally relevant content by accessing my language list as preferred.

What privacy settings should I use on Windows 11/10? What security should I use for Windows 11?

The in-built security shield of Windows 11 is much better than some of the third-party apps available in the market. Some key features of Windows Security include Windows Defender Smart Screen, Windows Defender Application Guard, User Account Control, Windows Defender Device Guard, Windows Defender Exploit Guard, and some more. There are some more features like Microsoft Bitlocker, Credential Guard, and more than improve your security.

That’s it! Hope this helps!

Now read: Windows 11 Settings you should change right away.

Cyber Monday Wwe 2K22 Deals 2023

Cyber Monday WWE 2K22 Deals 2023

Booyaka Booyaka 619% off! (Not really)

Cyber Monday WWE 2K22 deals 2023 are probably going to be big! The game came out at the beginning of the year, so we can expect some good discounts on it.

It is a great addition to the collection of every wrestling fan, especially with the revamped gameplay and graphics.

READ NOW: Cyber Monday Uncharted Legacy of Thieves deals

WWE 2K22 is a fighting game with some of your favorite WWE Superstars including John Cena, Randy Orton, or The Rock.

Now, let’s jump to our picks for the best Cyber Monday WWE 2K22 deals!

Best WWE 2K22 Deals 2023

WWE 2K22 was released on March 11, 2023 so the game is already a couple of months old. Since Cyber Monday 2023 takes place on November 28, 2023 it is safe to assume that the game will be heavily featured during the sale. Make sure to look out for the best Cyber Monday WWE 2K22 deals out there!

Where to Find the Best WWE 2K22 Cyber Monday Deals?

Cyber Monday WWE 2K22 deals 2023 are going to be available physically and digitally all over the internet, but you have to know where to find them.

You can get your hands on good discounts by visiting your local retail stores on the day of the sale itself or online at the official stores like Microsoft Store for Xbox or PS Store on PlayStation.

There are also going to be sales from some of the biggest stores out there like Amazon, Walmart, Best Buy, and more. Here is our sales shortlist picked out just for you!

WWE 2K22 Cyber Monday Sales Shortlist:

Amazon – Deals on everything from games to PCs

Steam – Big deals every year for Cyber Monday

Green Man Gaming – Save big on AAA titles this Cyber Monday

Cyber Monday WWE 2K22 Deals

Here are some of the best Cyber Monday WWE 2K22 deals we were able to find for every platform. WWE 2K22 is a great fighting game to play alone or with friends.

The discounts are going to be big considering the game’s release date, and it also will be the first time WWE 2K22 deals are going to be a part of the Cyber Monday sale.

US

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Editor’s pick

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Lenovo – Legion Tower 5i Gaming Desktop

Gaming Desktop – NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 – Intel i7-12700F – RTX 3070-16GB RAM – 1TB SSD – Win 11 – Black – Mouse &

Keyboard – Free 3-Month Xbox GamePass

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Acer Predator Orion 3000 (RTX 3070)

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Skytech Chronos Gaming PC Desktop

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iBUYPOWER Gaming PC Computer Desktop Element Mini 9300 (AMD Ryzen 3 3100 3.6GHz, AMD Radeon RX 550 2GB, 8GB DDR4 RAM, 240GB SSD, WiFi Ready, Windows 10 Home)

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CyberpowerPC Gamer Supreme Liquid Cool Gaming PC, Intel Core i7-9700K 3.6GHz, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Super 8GB, 16GB DDR4, 1TB PCI-E NVMe SSD, WiFi Ready & Win 10 Home (SLC8260A2, Black)

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Thermaltake LCGS Glacier 100 CPU Gaming PC (AMD RYZEN 5 3600 6-core, ToughRam DDR4 3000Mhz 16GB RGB Memory, GTX 1660 Super 6GB, 500GB SATA III, Win 10 Home) S1WT-B450-G10-LCS, White

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Lenovo ThinkCentre M90n-1 Nano Desktop PC, Intel Core i3, 8GB RAM, Windows 10 Pro

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Cyber Monday will take place on the last Monday of November which this year is November 28th. It is that time of the year when you can find a lot of stuff on sale like games, hardware pieces, gaming PCs, and more.

Cyber Monday WWE 2K22 deals are most likely going to be awesome, due to the fact that it is not the newest game of this year, but it is still the newest game in the WWE Games franchise so it is a great pick-up.

How to Get the Best Cyber Monday WWE 2K22 Deals in 2023?

We will update our deals articles as the sale goes live with new and exciting Cyber Monday WWE 2K22 deals. Game on!

Features to Consider When Looking for Cyber Monday WWE 2K22 Deals?

The game has one of the biggest rosters up to date with over 220 stars including 63 new additions to the series. The game offers a lot of different game modes like MyRise where you create your own wrestler and play a story mode.

There is also a WWE Universe mode, where you book your own show and a MyGM where you are a general manager of a show and need to take care of your talent.

Gameplay-wise it is one of the most polished wrestling games with few issues here and there, but it plays smoothly with some great animations.

More Cyber Monday Deals

Check out all our Cyber Monday Deals here.

Cyber Monday WWE 2K22 FAQs

Is WWE 2K22 Going to be on Sale During Cyber Monday 2023?

Most likely yes, the game is a couple of months old so some sales are almost certain.

Are Cyber Monday WWE 2K22 Deals 2023 Actually Good?

Hell yeah, it is one of the best wrestling games ever created with a year-long gap the developers took to revamp the series.

Is Cyber Monday 2023 a good time to buy games?

Yes. The games will be available at a big discount. They will vary depending on the title, but WWE 2K22 deals are probably going to be big!

17 Top Content Marketing Experts You Should Be Following

Your audience’s favorite platforms and content formats are continuously changing, with micro-this and in-depth that. Influencer marketing is taking over more and more each year, and you can’t keep track of how you’re supposed to be doing it.

My point is that content marketing moves fast.

How can you stay up to date on our industry when books, training, and even the blog posts on Google’s page one become outdated so quickly?

Look to the experts.

Industry influencers will always be talking about what’s happening in content marketing, on social media, the conference circuit, and their own platforms. Plus, you can simply observe what they’re doing and how they’re reacting to industry changes inside of their own businesses.

Here are 17 thought leaders worthy of your attention, so you can keep your content marketing strategy fresh and effective.

Shane Barker, Digital Strategist, Shane Barker Consulting

Content marketer, e-commerce expert and influencer marketing consultant Shane Barker has always worked on the big online marketing strategies confusing businesses most.

He’s specialized in digital reputation management, social media, and influencer marketing, always an early adopter. And when it comes to influencer marketing strategy, he’s diving in deep at the moment.

On his blog, he breaks down topics like influencer relationship management, going beyond surface tactics like sending pitches and ways to get noticed to teaching marketers how to build strong long-term relationships.

Elsewhere, you can find him partnering with some of the most helpful marketing brands, like SEMrush and Bitly, on content helping their own audiences with influencer success.

Follow @Shane_Barker on Twitter

Read Shane on Search Engine Journal

Brittany Berger, Content Strategist

Brittany Berger creates content for SaaS companies and entrepreneurs, but unlike other content experts, she wants you to create less content.

Berger teaches how to repurpose existing content instead of writing from scratch every time.

Follow @ThatBBerg on Twitter

Lilach Bullock, Founder, Lilach Bullock Limited

If you have trouble tying content to measurable results in your business, you need Lilach Bullock.

Beyond her services as a consultant, Bullock offers coaching, speaks at conferences frequently, and has a premium membership group which marketers and business owners can join at any time to start learning together.

Follow @LilachBullock on Twitter

Gini Dietrich, CEO, Arment Dietrich

Gini Dietrich is one of the first experts you think of when considering the intersection of PR and marketing/digital media. She is the CEO of Arment Dietrich and also runs the Spin Sucks blog and Slack community for modern PR pros.

In addition to her frequent online educational content, she also publishes fun features like Gin and Topics roundups and will be one of the more refreshing and engaging speakers at your favorite marketing conferences.

Follow @GiniDietrich on Twitter

Barry Feldman, Owner, Feldman Creative

Barry Feldman of Feldman Creative has been an industry expert in social media and digital marketing for decades.

SaaS companies can improve their content marketing strategies by following his blog, his guest posts, or his Content Matters podcast with Orbit Media’s Andy Crestodina.

All marketers and entrepreneurs should consider his latest book, “The Road to Recognition”, a must-read. It’s full of lessons on building your personal brand and establishing expertise on behalf of yourself or your company.

Follow @FeldmanCreative on Twitter

Ann Handley, Chief Content Officer, MarketingProfs

This digital marketing pioneer and best-selling author can likely be found speaking at your favorite marketing events this year (or any year). You’ll definitely want her insights on empowering ridiculously good marketing, always delivered with good cheer.

Follow her now so you don’t miss any of MarketingProfs’s co-sponsored research with Content Marketing Institute, such as B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends.

Follow @MarketingProfs on Twitter

Louis Grenier, Content Lead, Hotjar

Louis Grenier helps SaaS companies with marketing in multiple ways, but there’s one thing they all have in common. He helps uncover truths in marketing, as ugly as they may be.

In his role as content lead at Hotjar, he creates amazing resources around the truth in data, analytics, and feedback. This take on best practices is definitely worth a read.

He also runs the Everyone Hates Marketers podcast, where he addresses all the BS in the industry with experts like Seth Godin, Oli Gardner, and Noah Kagan.

Follow @LouisSlices on Twitter

Benji Hyam, Co-founder, Grow & Convert

Benji Hyam is building his agency Grow & Convert with thoughtful transparency that serves as its own lesson in entrepreneurship.

He and co-founder Devesh Khanal have been documenting their strategies and pivots while growing a blog, launching an online course, and finding the best fits as a fast-growth agency.

In addition to learning from Grow & Convert’s journey itself, you’ll also want to read all the success stories they publish on their clients and other businesses trying their content promotion and marketing strategies.

Follow @BenjiHyam on Twitter

Larry Kim, Founder, MobileMonkey

Not sure how Messenger marketing fits into the future of your own strategy? Kim is doling out free tips about this constantly, as he’s currently in the midst of a multi-month marathon of webinars, Twitter chats, and more to help marketers make the most of this channel.

Follow @LarryKim on Twitter

Read Larry on Search Engine Journal

Arnie Kuenn, CEO, Vertical Measures

Arnie Kuenn is the CEO of Vertical Measures, a top digital marketing agency that also offers training and resources for other marketers.

He’s also written a great book on integrating multiple marketing channels, “Accelerate“, which is a guide to combining search, social, and content.

You’re most likely to interact with him at a marketing conference, where he continues to teach the best ways to balance and integrate paid and organic tactics.

Follow @ArnieK on Twitter

Jason Miller, Head of Content and Social Media Marketing, LinkedIn Sales & Marketing Solutions EMEA

With extensive experience in multiple areas of marketing, Jason Miller can help you with your entire inbound funnel.

In his bestselling book, “Welcome to the Funnel“, he covers how to pair social and content.

As a highly requested speaker, these days you can learn from him at one of your favorite marketing conferences. Be sure to try and find all the rock music references in his presentations – or his book, for that matter.

Follow @JasonMillerCA on Twitter

Julia McCoy, Founder, Express Writers

A prolific writer and serial entrepreneur, Julia McCoy has scaled her content agency Express Writers to nearly 100 writers.

With so much marketing power on the Express Writers team, they’re able to produce tons of valuable resources for content marketers: frequent blog posts, a podcast, and the lively #ContentWritingChat Twitter chat.

In addition to the agency’s services and free resources, McCoy has also written two books on content strategy and offers a six-week course on mastering practical content marketing skills that will get your strategy into shape quickly.

Follow @JuliaEMcCoy on Twitter

Read Julia on Search Engine Journal

Sujan Patel, Co-founder, Web Profits

Sujan Patel does everything, from creating content constantly to running an agency and growing multiple SaaS companies to jumping out of planes.

Follow @SujanPatel on Twitter

Shayla Price, B2B Marketer

Shayla Price is an ecommerce and SaaS expert whose content marketing work you’ve seen in Leadpages, Kissmetrics, and Shopify Plus. You can also read her work in publications like Inc. and Entrepreneur.

Follow @ShaylaPrice on Twitter

Joe Pulizzi, Founder, Content Marketing Institute

Joe Pulizzi is one of the content marketing leaders you can thank for its popularity today. As the founder of Content Marketing Institute and author of content marketing handbooks such as “Content Inc.” and most recently, “Killing Marketing”, he’s had quite a bit of influence on the industry.

In 2023, he left Content Marketing Institute to focus more on his nonprofit organization The Orange Effect Foundation, but you can still catch him speaking at Content Marketing World to absorb some of his wisdom.

Follow @JoePulizzi on Twitter

Jason Quey, Founder, Growth Ramp

Jason Quey helps entrepreneurs and startups get marketing right, whether that’s with influencer marketing or content promotion.

Previously VP of Marketing and Operations at Codeless Interactive, Quey now focuses on his own SaaS product, Growth Ramp, which is currently in pre-launch beta, loaded with features to help marketers save time on content promotion.

Follow Quey to watch how he helps his customers and clients and to get motivated by his expert roundups, looking at how your other favorite marketers do things.

Follow @JDQuey on Twitter

Joanna Wiebe, Creator/Co-founder, Copy Hackers/Airstory

Joanna Wiebe is the master of SaaS copywriting and go-to for conversion-optimized content. The collection of in-depth Copy Hackers resources is practically its own free startup marketing curriculum – not to mention Wiebe’s content on other websites, so you’ve likely gotten her help with something before.

Take some time to brush up on your copy skills in her free Conversion Copywriting 101 course, or just watch her next Tutorial Tuesday. Each and every Tuesday, Wiebe spends her lunch hour offering tons of free copywriting help through the weekly webinar series, often bringing on co-hosts from other companies for even more expertise.

Follow @CopyHackers on Twitter

Stay Fresh with a Follow

These experts represent all areas of content marketing, all working with different types of businesses and clients in different ways.

By reading their writing, following them, and watching how they use content in their businesses, you’ll be able to easily stay inspired and strategic in equal measure.

More Content Marketing Resources:

Why It Security Pros Can Be Scarier Than The ‘Bad Guys’

I thought I harbored a healthy amount of paranoia before I went to this week’s RSA Conference for IT security professionals in San Francisco. But now I’m just plain scared—and not about hackers and phishers, the perennial bogeymen of the Internet underground.

No, the people who scare me even more are the security professionals who work for big business. They want my online data, your online data, everyone’s online data. And they want it more than even the bad guys who make headlines.

Big business isn’t evil incarnate, and the companies clamoring for our data aren’t the agents of destruction who would steal our identities for profit or erase our family photos just for kicks. But to the business leaders at e-commerce sites, social networks, and even banks, online privacy is something that must be managed at best, and mitigated at worse.

It’s an annoyance that must be dealt with. It’s something that gets in their way.

They want our data so they can track us, categorize us, and use what they know about us to sell us something—or sell what they know about us to someone else. Or, as Trevor Hughes, the President and CEO of the International Association for Privacy Professionals (IAPP), told me directly, “Your data is the currency of the information economy.”

And our online activity is minting more money all the time.

Our data is hard currency

It took just one shocking hour at the RSA conference to destroy every naive hope I might have had about online privacy. Hughes spoke to a large audience of IT professionals tasked with managing customer and user data, and named what he considered to be the hot-button privacy issues of the year: location data, facial recognition, and Do Not Track, among others. He also touched on more sweeping topics like federal regulations and public policy.

IAPP“Your data is the currency of the new information economy,” said Trevor Hughes, of the IAPP.

I was intensely interested in all of these issues as an active, web-surfing individual, but I also quickly realized that the other attendees in the room looked at these issues from the other side—from the perspective of their companies, which gather customer data and use it for business opportunity.

Their job is not to worry about protecting our privacy, but to worry about navigating privacy regulations, and protecting themselves from lawsuits and fines. One thorny example Hughes cited was the mobile privacy guidelines paper released by the California Attorney General’s office earlier this year, to supplement the California Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). In a message accompanying the guidelines, Attorney General Kamala Harris encouraged mobile app developers to adopt a “‘surprise minimization’ approach…to alert users and give them control over data practices that are not related to an app’s basic functionality or that involve sensitive information.” Easier said than done on the small screens of mobile platforms, said Hughes: “That user interface is incredibly limited.”

Your location, your activity, your face: all fair game

Oh, but it gets better. Facial recognition, anyone? You can tell your friends not to tag you in their photos all you want, but that’s small potatoes.

“We will see the anonymity of crowds dissipate,” Hughes said, predicting that photos taken by other people, or by cameras installed in public places, will be used to find you wherever you are. Remember the Where’s Waldo? children’s books, where you had to find Waldo among huge crowds in famous places around the world? Who knew that the happy, wool-capped Waldo would be the harbinger of privacy problems to come.

Do not track me… please?

When the Obama Administration introduced its Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights in February, 2012, the bill cited “privacy-enhancing technologies such as the ‘Do Not Track’ mechanism” as safeguards against many of the tactics that Hughes’ audiences members would like to preserve. Choose not to be tracked, and web sites wouldn’t be able to collect information about you. It’s the ultimate protection, right? No, think again.

“Do Not Track is a very, very complicated and challenging issue,” Hughes said. Indeed, there’s no standard implementation for data tracking from browser to browser, and that’s an inconvenient truth for anyone who would need to implement Federal policy (which hasn’t yet been passed). But for Hughes, the real problem for privacy professionals is, “how do you switch it off or maintain it switched-off.”

Yes, you heard right: Do Not Track would be just another hoop that big business needs to jump through—or circumvent entirely.

Unfortunately, for now, businesses that want to track our data don’t even have to worry about the technical vagaries of Do Not Track. “None of this has the force of law yet,” said Hughes. “Without the ability of regulators to enforce, we may not have any enforcement at all. Do Not Track may not have any consequences.”

You can see where this is heading. And Hughes confirmed as much: “Some organizations have come out and said they will ignore Do Not Track.”

Giving away your online data—willingly

Unless you’re some sort of virtual exhibitionist who actually wants to sacrifice online privacy for fun and profit, data tracking should scare you. But it’s also important to remember that the basic operating principles of our open Internet—an Internet where very expensive content is given away for free—require a certain amount of data sacrifice.

Indeed, if you want all the complex, nuanced benefits of social sharing, you have to actually share yourself. And you’re probably already doing this, sacrificing your data quite willingly.

Ted Schlein, of venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers, brought up this paradox while speaking at a cybersecurity session at RSA. “People kind of care about privacy, and then they don’t,” he said. “Facebook has a conversation about a new privacy policy, people get excited about it, and then Zuckerberg says something, and they calm down.”

Oez/Shutterstock

He’s right, of course. Periodic privacy imbroglios haven’t slowed the popularity of social networking sites, photo-sharing sites, and apps like Foursquare, even though all of these services gather information about us in order to grow revenue. Pinterest was recently valued at $2.5 billion—not because it’s making any money, but because its users are enthusiastically pinning products to their pages, making them ripe for retail sales pitches. Their data is the currency.

Big business is working over-time to collect data about us, and the more time we spend online, the more opportunities we give them to do so. So in the end, I wonder whether it’s scarier that businesses are collecting our data, or that we’re so willingly letting them do it.

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