It seems obvious to care about privacy, but I bet you’ve heard more than one person say, “There is no privacy anymore.” Or, “I don’t have anything to hide.”

Both of those may be true to a point. But they’re exaggerated. So here are five reasons you should care about privacy.

1. Everyone has something to hide. Your address? Your income? Political leanings? Attractions? Tastes? Do you want people to know you watch Real Housewives of Sorento, Illinois? Are you sure?

2. Surveillance makes you act differently. You don’t search for certain things because you don’t want them to affect future search results or ads. You don’t search for things because the NSA might see it. See what I mean?

3. They can find out more than you reveal. Everyone is collecting data about you and when they share that data they can infer things about you that you didn’t make public. Sexual orientation, political preferences etc. Visit one site and sometimes 30 may be tracking you.

4. Conditions may change. You may not care about companies knowing something about you now, but what about later? Maybe a hack exposes things about you and that could lead to identity theft. Maybe you contract a disease and suddenly you care if third parties know your past eating habits. Or drinking habits after a DUI.

5. Your data is valuable. You should choose how it’s used and have the right to be compensated. It’s fine to exchange your data for “free” services as long as you know what is being collected and have control over it and the right to end the agreement.

You’re judged by ALL your behavior and people do not display what is called “cross-situational stability.” You may never lie except at school, you may always be nice except on cloudy days, etc. Your privacy is also your ability not to be misunderstood.

Also see:
How to gain encrypted email on the Chromebook
Five ways to maintain your privacy on your smartphone, no downloads required
The light side of the Dark Web
Tor: The smart person’s guide