3 Surprising Things That Spy On You That You Can’t Stop
Do you ever feel like you’re being watched? In the past, you could chalk it up to paranoia, close the curtains and get on with your life. Thanks to technology, it’s not just your imagination. You really are being watched in your home, at work and everywhere in between. From online advertisers and hackers to the NSA and other government agencies, everyone is trying to keep tabs on you. And things keep getting worse.
Here are three things spying on you that you probably didn’t know and that you can’t stop.
1. Your Car
You may or may not have heard that beginning September 1, 2014, every new car is required to have a black box installed. This will record information about your speed, direction, braking, whether you’re wearing a seat belt and everything else going on in the seconds surrounding a crash. Investigators will know exactly what happened rather than trying to figure it out based on witness testimony. That might not be such a bad thing – if you’re in the right.
Of course, the big worry is that the black box might eventually go beyond that. Paired with a GPS, a black box could easily record your entire driving history. Insurance companies might eventually use the data to set your premiums. Some states, such as California, are already talking about including GPS to tax drivers based on how many miles they drive. What happens if hackers get hold of the data?
2. Your Favorite Stores
Whenever you swipe a loyalty card, enter your phone number or use the same card at a store, your purchases go into a database profile. Based on what you buy, stores know way more about you than you think.
Back in 2012, the New York Times Magazine reported a shocking story. A father went ballistic in a Target after the store sent his 16-year-old daughter coupons for baby supplies. What was Target doing sending pregnancy promotions to a minor?
Well, it turns out the daughter really was pregnant. Target had a team that, crunching data from millions of consumers, were eerily accurate at such predictions. Target can tell how far along a pregnancy is and estimate a fairly accurate due date based on what a person buys.
Imagine what else they can figure out about your politics, beliefs, health, relationships and more.
And, aside from using fake information – which some people do – or shopping at the farmer’s market, there isn’t anything you can do about it.
3. Your Internet Service Provider
Quick: What’s the one organization that knows everywhere you go online? If you read the title of the section, then you know the answer is your Internet service provider.
Not that it’s necessarily trying to spy on you, but its business is connecting your computer to websites. And for various business reasons, it saves that information. Some ISPs keep your traffic information for a few months and others for a year or more. And, of course, any ISP will turn the information over to law enforcement if asked.
Christian – Who Is Watching You?
1. Your Non-Christian Friends
1 Peter 2:12 “Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.”
Your unsaved family members, friends, coworkers, and classmates are always watching you to see if your life matches your testimony. Sure you say you are a Christian, but they wonder if you are genuine.
Do you say one thing but do another? Are you consistent in living a godly life? Do you show by your actions that you really believe in being like Christ?
Of course, no one is perfect and you will make mistakes. But when you slip, do you apologize when you say or do something that is not authentic? The world is hungry for what is real, genuine, and consistent.
Show the reality of your faith in all that you do and say. You are being watched.
2. Your Christian Friends
1 Corinthians 10:31-32 “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. Do not cause anyone to stumble, whether Jews, Greeks or the church of God.”
1 Corinthians 8:13 “Therefore, if what I eat causes my brother or sister to fall into sin, I will never eat meat again, so that I will not cause them to fall.”
In Paul’s day very expensive meat was given as an offering to idols in the pagan temples. That meat was re-sold in the market where it could be served as a meal in private homes. In itself there was nothing wrong with that meat and a mature believer could eat it with a clear conscience knowing that “an idol is nothing” (1 Corinthians 8:4).
However, new believers could easily “stumble” (be tripped up in their faith) if they saw another Christian eating “idol meat.”
The principle is that mature Christians should be willing to give up many things for the sake of their testimony to “weaker” or “immature” Christians. There are many activities or objects that are morally neutral which a mature Christian could do with a clear conscience.
However, a weaker brother or sister that activity or object would remind them of their unsaved past and they would either be offended at the mature Christian or they would be tempted to participate in something that violates their “weak conscience” (1 Corinthians 8:7).
Choose your activities and freedoms carefully. You are being watched.
3. Angels Are Watching
1 Corinthians 4:9 “…We have been made a spectacle to the whole universe, to angels as well as to human beings.”
1 Corinthians 11:10 That is why a wife ought to have a symbol of authority on her head, because of the angels.
Ephesians 3:10 “…so that through the church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places.”
Angels watch believers to see how our faith is put into practice, how we live out salvation, and how we show daily holiness. The angels are interested in what God is doing in and through His church! These verses reveal how God is “educating” the angels through the lives of his people.
Your life is an example to the angels of God. You are being watched.
4. God Is Watching
Genesis 16:13 “She gave this name to the LORD who spoke to her: “You are the God who sees me,” for she said, “I have now seen the One who sees me.”
Psalm 139:1 “You have searched me, LORD, and you know me…”
Hebrews 4:13 “Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.”
God is watching you with careful love to guard your life, to protect you from Satan, to reward you, and to discipline you for your own good. You are His beloved child and He can’t take His eyes off of you (Psalm 17:8, Deuteronomy 32:10)
Think About It
Every minute of the day your life is under constant observation. Your life is being watched by cameras in public buildings, your computer, your car, and even your grocery store.
You are also being watched by unsaved friends, brothers and sisters in Christ, angels, and your Father in heaven.
Take care in how your live, what you do, what you say, and how you spend your time. Your life is a testimony. It may be a good testimony or a bad testimony, and it is up to you. Choose to glorify God with you body, it belongs to Him.
1 Corinthians 6:20 “For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.“
“In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:16