Thursday, March 8, 2012

Blurring the lines of privacy

I often see folks on facebook talk about "their" facebook page. I have to admit, I often think of mine the same way. But in reality, Facebook owns it all. We don't pay for the service. Have you ever noticed that the ads that pop up often are related to topics you discuss in chat and messages? You may think they are private but they are not.

The same holds true for all those fun apps we use. They don't need all our private information to plow a field or shoot a bird. It is used for marketing and is often the way dishonest creators get access to and share such information. That's why I use only a few trusted apps.

Almost any site has so many levels of backup that its hard to say how many copies of a bit of information are made and for how long and where they may be kept. With the new Homeland Security laws, I would not be surprised if many sites provide copies or free access to government agencies.

It's not just kids that need to be aware of what they post and where on the internet. Even when the account is "supposedly" private, the management of that data allows those managers to view and share the information any way they want.

I regularly archived data for five years as part of my job for financial reasons. With media as cheap as it is now, that could be a lifetime. Don't think just because you instructed a site to delete your account that it is gone from every backup. All you really did is just remove YOUR access to the data.

Think before post and remember that anyone can be watching. Just because some friend of a friend you don't like is not directly linked to your information does not mean they can't get to it through some other account.

Parents, that goes for your children also. Parent first, friend second. Many kids have alias accounts to keep their parents from seeing what they are really doing. If they log off or hide the screen when you come around, they have something to hide and you have the right to know. You are in charge! Be aware!

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