Happy New Year! This week we are going to investigate ways that we can recover some of our personal privacy and enhance the our security our online lives.
Let’s face it, many of us have been running amok on the Internet, busily sharing all sorts of personal information on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Snapchat, and who knows where else. Every time we buy something online, click on an ad or hyperlink, our activities are being tracked, recorded, parsed, and analysed by companies and marketers, in order to “serve us better” and sell us more stuff.
Columbia professor Bernard Harcourt has written Exposed: Desire and Disobedience in the Digital Age and in it he warns about the new age of “virtual transparency.” He says. “We live in a society of exposure and exhibition.”
Unfortunately, we can’t just go and unplug from the Internet. The first problem is that we need the Internet to function effectively in modern society. The second problem is that the Internet already has your information, and the information is not going to remove itself. So you would have your work cut out for you.
So the solution is to look at what you have, and take it down a notch or two. Harcourt advises a path of digital resistance and recommends the encryption and privacy tools recommended at such sites as the Electronic Frontier Foundation or Security-in-a-Box. We will be taking a deeper look at Security-in-a-Box in our post this coming Friday.
A simple start for you would be to do a little Google searching for yourself and your family members, and write down all the web sites where you have a profile, account, or other web presence. With the list in hand, decide which of these accounts could just simply be closed. Then close them.
Wednesday we will have an extensive list of tips from the IC3 to help you lower your online profile even more.