• Paul Parke

If you're not paying for it, you're not the Customer... You're the Product!

"There's No Such Thing as a Free Lunch." This adage, meaning 'to get one thing that we like, we usually have to give up another thing that we like', dates back to the 1930's. However, in today's Internet economy, this is the case as never before and the things that we are giving up every day are our data and our privacy.

Indeed our private information, our social interactions, e-mails, messages and more are being collected, mined, profiled and sold on a daily basis. This is happening, albeit with our consent (check out the license agreements you signed up to when you opened your free messaging account), but without our oversight or knowledge of how that data is being used.

Due to the lack of transparency, the rewards of being able to talk to our friends and family for free, in real-time, across continents, anytime, anywhere, seem to overwhelmingly outweigh the risks, especially as we cannot see them. But what about the information belonging to the companies that employ us?

With the widespread and accelerating use of unsanctioned consumer messaging and Voice over IP (VoIP) apps within organizations, the risks to business communications have never been greater. Company confidential discussions by voice and text are increasingly vulnerable to eavesdropping and are being stored on networks and servers that are completely outside of our organizations’ visibility and control.

Unwittingly, perhaps, we are jeopardizing not only our jobs, but also the trust that our customers’ have in our companies and that We have of the companies of which we are the customer.


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