The rise and subsequent deployment of technology have been a double-edged sword in most instances. While it has improved human lives across the board, these haven’t come without their fair share of failings and flaws.

This is most pertinent when the subject of the debate is the rapid digitalization of the world over the past two decades. Everything from communications to logistics has improved drastically. But these have come with unprecedented caveats. Take the ordinary smartphone, for instance. “Dumbphones” were the first foray into mobile communications, but today, these have been almost exclusively been replaced with their smarter and sleeker counterparts.

Smartphones have now become powerful computing devices with more processing heft than the Apollo 11 mission. Multiple communication channels (text, voice, and video) are now possible with them, and at the fingertips of children to adults. Location services have brought global mapping technologies to our portable screens, essentially guaranteeing we never get lost again. Finances are handled and managed all from an app or digital wallet, and shopping is now effortlessly delivered within hours at our doorsteps. We’ve come a long way.

But these benefits have pain points too. Akin to running, which is great for cardiovascular health but terrible for knee joints, smartphones and technology in general, have brought crippling issues. Social media outlets and instant messengers are continuously the subjects of attacks. Either in efforts to gain access to high-profile accounts or valuable app development source code. We still remember the critical celebrity multimedia leaks in 2014, and how they had everyone clamoring for safer storage and backup infrastructure. 

Debates on can employers spy on your phone continue to rage on too, with cybersecurity becoming the best line of defense for most enterprises. And yet, technology giants such as Nvidia and Samsung routinely find themselves at the receiving end of hacks.

Online shopping is ubiquitous and e-commerce has become a household name. But the amount of unsafe and dangerous websites looking to scam people out of a quick buck is astronomical. Safe online shopping practices are fed on a loop to warn people of dangers online, whereas YouTubers like Jim Browning continue to expose the culprits behind them.

While technology has enabled a more open and connected world, it has ensured this world is navigated with picket fences along every step.

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The Cyber Problem

Cybercrime has always accompanied technology, with viruses and ransomware becoming part of the trade for nearly three decades. But it took a global pandemic to fully shine a light on the depth and severity of the matter.

According to McAfee Enterprise, cyber threats have increased by 81% since the COVID-19 pandemic. It also states that 79% of companies had some form of downtime due to cybersecurity issues during the peak season. It seems that with lockdowns and remote working environments, the agar was ripe in the petri dish for hackers. And colonized they did.

These attacks weren’t isolated either, with companies around the world facing similar problems. Even government enterprises (which are usually the prime targets for large-scale cyberattacks) reported a staggering increase. Most attacks were also linked with employee negligence or human error, which isn’t difficult to fathom as remote working environments weren’t the safest during the pandemic. Couple all of these reasons with the fact that most companies could not staff cybersecurity experts on-campus due to health regulations and the picture becomes grim.

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Then there’s the flip side of the problem. Where cyber attacks ran rampant on enterprises and businesses, the world’s teenage and adolescent population had a similar and serious dilemma.

Schools continued classes and curricula with students resigned to their homes, and virtual learning (e-learning) entered everyone’s lexicon. While it provided a sufficient stop-gap solution to the problem of lagging academia, it had its fair share of cybercrime to deal with. Cyberbullying was at the tip of every child’s tongue, and a very real problem that educational institutes and parents had to contest.

While most students had to live with this new reality, schools scrambled to find the best solution to quell this issue.

We mentioned before that digitalization can be viewed as a double-edged sword and nowhere is this more applicable or visible than in the cybercrime department. Everyone from governments to enterprises to individuals and students is affected in very real and dangerous ways.

Smart Tech That Helps

It wouldn’t be fair to highlight the issues around technology without mentioning all the hard work that has been done lately to alleviate these problems.

Firewalls have become the mainstay in most organizations and enterprises today, with consumer offerings available too. These have become highly sophisticated of late and have been the best form of defense against early intrusions and malware. These firewalls act as barriers against early intrusions and can help people and businesses be ready for a response.

Elsewhere, the advancements in artificial intelligence and machine learning have meant that much more sophisticated anti-malware and antivirus programs are available off the shelf. These can successfully weed out potential bad actors within a database or code, and with their continuously improving nature, guarantee safety for a long period.

Besides the two, other highly sophisticated tactics and software are used in conjunction to combat cybercrime. But companies are often clueless when persistent bad actors are present within the company as employees. This is where the use of monitoring applications comes into use and took off during the pandemic. 

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Xnspy is one such monitoring tool that allows companies to legally track the cell phones of employees, and keep tabs on their day-to-day activities in the workplace and outside. The application can be stealthily deployed on company-issued devices with the respective IT departments keeping tabs on all incoming and outgoing traffic. This includes texts, social media channels, calls, and even geolocation data.

Similarly, when the issue of cyberbullying is tabled, parents use Xnspy Android app for protecting kids who are victims of cyberbullying the and even use it to prevent instances of cyberbullying in the first place. Parents can install the Xnspy remote monitoring tool on their child’s tablet or phone and monitor all activity that occurs. Similar to its enterprise use, the kids tracking app for Android and iOS can monitor social media networks and instant messenger chats. It can also be used to log in specific words and notify parents of their use when typed or searched for on the phone. 

Xnspy has also recently extended its support and compatibility towards schools and educational institutes for similar purposes. During the pandemic, schools issued smart devices as learning aids and very quickly understood that these could be used for other purposes besides learning. Xnspy helps quell those worries with its app blocking features and restrictive usage of the device.

There is no doubt today that the efficacy and effectiveness of technology today are more widespread than ever. It has also had a stranglehold on society unlike anything else, with entire businesses and administrations becoming fully reliant on its multiple facets. 

That being said, it does open a plethora of problems for the untrained and new. These issues will require time to iron out as smarter tech is incorporated to make it safer and reliable but until then, the tools available to us today need to be used to the full.

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