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Saturday, April 17, 2010

Privacy.....What's That???

When it comes to security and privacy on the Internet, everyone thinks that they are exempt from having their identity stolen or their privacy and home life invaded by people from around the world or even by people who live next to you. Security and privacy is almost non existent on the Internet because it is sooooo easy to find out anything you want about anyone. There was a column on the NY Times website about how privacy vanishes when you are online. It gives the example of twitter and facebook. One these sites you can wish people happy birthday, you talk about work and school and as everyone knows you upload hundreds of pictures of you and your loved ones online for the whole world to see!!

(Picture courtesy of www.emergentchaos.com)

This part is scary, the column also states that as you give away the tiniest bits of pieces of information away on your computer, the computer can put together all of that information even down to your SS number!! There are steps you can take to help improve your chances of safety on the internet and on the social networking sites. Facebook has come out and said in a recent article in the NY Times that there are three settings that everyone should change 1.) Who can see the things you share 2.)Who can see your personal information and 3.) What google can see, and by that it means keep your information off of search engines.

Google itself has launched Google Dashboard, it shows only information that is connected to a google account, for example gmail. It provides links for users to set their own privacy settings. Click here to learn more.

Companies out there are always trying to get information from you. Companies like Netflix, in which customer data was released to help find patterns of movie ratings and recommendations. And also information that was supposed to be anonymous was soon to be something of the past. Anonymous information can be "de-anonymized." Click here to read more about Netflix and other companies.

Graduates from thousands of colleges and univerisities are out there looking for jobs, but did you know that future employers are also out there looking at you!! They can search for you on facebook or where ever else and see what kind of a person you are and see how your social life is as well as see how dedicated of a person you are. I know this for a fact because one of my good friends is graduating this semester from EMU and when she went in for an interview the employer told her outright she saw her facebook page and saw what types of activities she likes to do. I personally think that it a little weird but I guess if you take the risk of putting yourself out there, you take the risk of anyone and everyone looking at your life.

This information relates to Chris Anderson's, The Long Tail because of his example of hit driven economics, an age where there exists more books and more information than stores can carry. This all falls into the privacy domain because if there was infinite shelf space in stores, that would lead to less people on the Internet putting in private information and more people actually in the stores shopping and getting their information that way and therefore not having to risk putting private information all over the Internet for the whole entire world to see.






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  1. Nice post! It is a brand new world for sure. We have to take the steps to prevent our privacy from being violated. The best thing to remember is to not say anything that you don't want the world to know and don't post anything that you don't want the world to see. I checked out Google to see what is visible that I have posted and it is a lot. Fortunately, for me I have not posted anything that I am ashamed for the world to see.

  2. We really have to watch what we say, do, post, ANYTHING on the internet! I agree with what you said about the people looking for jobs, I touched on that as well in my blog, how we can totally get screwed if we don't watch what we do! It's hard enough to get a job as it is, we don't need Facebook to ruin our chances! Nice post!

  3. It's interesting how much information is out there about us, even if we don't want it to be. I wonder about the employers looking at people's information - is that right or wrong? Is it morally good to spy on someone? Is it even considered spying? That is so confusing to think about when you really lay it out there to try to comprehend!