How to Protect Yourself Inside the Metaverse: Do NOT Fall Victim to Virtual Maniacs by@anton-dzyatkovskii

How to Protect Yourself Inside the Metaverse: Do NOT Fall Victim to Virtual Maniacs

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Nowadays, everyone is heavily inspired by the idea of the metaverse. It is presented in numerous publicly-known projects like the “Westworld” series from HBO Studio, “Ready Player One”, “Black Mirror” on Netflix and many others. Then there’s Facebook, which has officially been rebranded as Meta and shows Mark Zukerberg’s serious intention to evolve the technology and attract an audience of many millions. However, as is often the case, novice breakthrough technologies tend to have some weaknesses that require some time and a certain approach to be resolved. Unfortunately, the metaverse is no exception and mostly raises security and privacy-related concerns.  Let’s take a closer look at the most disturbing of them and figure out how to make metaverses a safer place for yourself and other users. 
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Anton Dzyatkovskii

CEO and co-founder of Platinum Software Development Company. Blockchain enthusiast, blogger.

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Nowadays, everyone is heavily inspired by the idea of the metaverse.

It is presented in numerous publicly-known projects like the “Westworld” series from HBO Studio, “Ready Player One”, “Black Mirror” on Netflix and many others.

Then there’s Facebook, which has officially been rebranded as Meta and shows Mark Zukerberg’s serious intention to evolve the technology and attract an audience of many millions.

However, as is often the case, novice breakthrough technologies tend to have some weaknesses that require some time and a certain approach to be resolved. Unfortunately, the metaverse is no exception and mostly raises security and privacy-related concerns. 

Let’s take a closer look at the most disturbing of them and figure out how to make metaverses a safer place for yourself and other users. 

Crimes Will Continue

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While the majority of people imagine the danger hanging over them inside a metaverse as being something like Agent Smith from the Matrix, a real maniac who terrorizes your existence in a virtual world, the truth is far different.  

Even though you should be prepared for well-known types of crime like deception, cyber trespassing, harassment and violence, they will be committed by the cruelty of some users, not antagonists from movies.

Internet users do many terrible things via websites and social media platforms, so there is no particular reason to believe that they will suddenly stop when they get inside a metaverse. 

Doubtless,  numerous conflicts will occur in the name of gender, race, religious beliefs, political opinions, etc., which can have a negative effect on the mental health of metaverse residents.

What you can do is limit your social circle inside virtual worlds to your acquaintances and people with whom you already have some kind of relationship. You might say that the metaverse was actually created to join together international communities and to enable users to have new experiences without leaving their homes. 

While that is true, it doesn’t really mean that you should not make new connections with users who can bring you mutual benefits or with people who share your interests. What I'm trying to say is watch out in the virtual world environment and avoid the conflict situations that are likely to arise.

Hardware Problem

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One of the biggest problems with the metaverse relates to the high level of dependence on hardware. The whole idea of a virtual world is to actually experience it, not just observe it, as in the case of the conventional internet.

A metaverse cannot exist or function without various external digital devices like VR headsets. As a rule, they serve as an entry point for hackers to access unprotected gadgets.  

This can have serious consequences, as attackers can spy on you through the virtual reality application. On occasion, hackers have been able to listen in on users inside a virtual room, without their knowledge or consent. Aside from that, they are even able to collect biometric information, which is the main target for hackers. 

The data captured from these devices during an attack can be used against users. There is a huge risk of blackmail and other forms of extortion, which puts you in danger. 

So make sure you only purchase these sorts of devices from verified manufacturers who use premium solutions that come with top-notch security protocols. By taking these unsophisticated actions, you will greatly reduce your chances of becoming a victim of cyber-crime.

Privacy Concerns 

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Last but not least, the amount of personal data that will be collected on participating individuals is way more substantial than everyone’s current favorite social media platforms.

We are all familiar with cases where market giants have sold personal data to governments and it is also crucial that we all understand that metaverse platforms will be able to track users in an extremely intimate way, which is clearly a good reason why you should worry about your data.

Companies will have the ability to monitor all your biometric data as well as physiological responses, including body movements, facial expressions and vocal inflections while you are enjoying an unforgettable experience in the virtual world. 

This is basically a two-sided coin. When companies have the capability to better understand an individual’s behavior, that individual may be targeted with exceptionally well-tailored advertisements that could indeed be very useful to them. On the other hand, this is a little scary.

Imagine no longer being asked by Netflix, “Are you still watching?” – the app will know for sure that your eyes are no longer looking at whatever movie you were just watching.  

What I recommend is to decide for yourself whether you are prepared to expose your personal information in order to experience all the innovations of the metaverse.

Additionally, the world community should demand a guarantee from metaverse platforms that their personal data will never be sold to third-party companies.

Final Thoughts

Currently, no one can give a clear definition of what the metaverse will ultimately turn into. This new concept has the potential to create new economies and connect people all over the world in a beautiful and meaningful way. 

Mark Zukerberg, the CEO of Meta commented on the future of the metaverse, “we'll be able to feel present – like we're right there with people no matter how far apart we actually are''.

I anticipate that the best international development teams will be jointly addressing the most relevant issues regarding user privacy and security. Hopefully, they will find a solution in the near future and allow excited technology enthusiasts to tap into the gripping virtual world of the metaverse.  

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