Maintaining your privacy online isn’t as simple as Pirillo puts it, but his tweet made me laugh, because it’s such an important point. Awareness and prudence are more critical than any piece of software or privacy setting when it comes to protecting your personal data. Over at Fast Company this week, I took a stab at the most important things you can do to protect your privacy online. It’s common sense, worthy of repetition.
Online Privacy: Check Yourself (Before You Wreck Yourself) [Fast Company]
It’s similiar to my advice, that if you want to keep something a secret, don’t tell it to anybody. Obvious to the point of being silly, but works like a charm.
Lifehacker published a tool today to check your Facebook privacy settings and see where your information is being leaked out, and how to fix it.
Gina, I have to disagree with you on this point. I was a professional genealogist, digging out bits of information and putting them together to trace people’s ancestors. It is almost impossible for most people to comprehend how tiny bits of seemingly innocent information can be assembled into a mosaic which reveals far more than you intend. I understand this, and I’ve still shocked myself when I sat down and worked out just how much could be pieced together from what I’d let slip.
All kinds of everyday activities require us, or at the very least urge us, to give up seemingly harmless bits of data about ourselves. None of us has the time to stop and consider how those few bits might fit into the larger picture. And just the basics of modern life prod you into divulging a flood of information.
The trouble is, we already have no privacy. We lost it drop by drop, and all the clever tricks anyone can dream up can’t recover it. As algorithms and techniques for evaluating the accuracy of data are refined, even the tiny areas of confusion the most dedicated seekers of privacy can manage to introduce will be wiped away. Just as American culture became fascinated by the tribes who originally occupied the land only after most of their members were dead, so now our society desperately grasps after something we’ve already lost.
In my experience just a few short weeks ago, I finally got my birth mothers first and middle name.
I researched and in 4 hours had my grandfathers obituary, my moms address, my aunts and uncles addresses and phone number and even the ships manifest from 1951 that showed my grandfather leaving Oslo to Nova Scotia.
Very small pieces do add up very very quickly.
The littlest things can leave HUGE clues and correlate to massive amounts of information.
this only makes sense if you never change your settings… eg if you enable cookies you have effectively become a different user from the one who did not have cookies enabled. add or take a plug-in and the same rule applies
What is upsetting about Facebook and what a lot of people forget is that we had much more privacy even just a year ago. I was attracted to the idea of a closed private network a little over a year ago when I joined Facebook. Now, I find, especially after F8, that what was once private is now public, by default. It’s not the bill of goods I bought into in the first place and Pirillo’s childish answer to the problem doesn’t address it in any way.
I wonder if Mark Zuckerberg publishes all his personal information on Facebook?