Online Privacy

>>  Saturday, November 13, 2010

I was recently drawn into Jessica Gottlieb's site because of a discussion about posting photographs of your children on the internet. Some very sensible points were made most of which are common sense. I refuse to be drawn into the current mania that the whole world is a den of bad people waiting to pounce on any photo of any child but her website did lead me into another area of interest…my online privacy.

I am a user of all things social mediary and I have been since at least 1996 when I first discovered on-line chat. I have for sometime wondered what my on-line trail of personal information looks like and whether the world could easily find out my bra size if they cared to look.

I decided it was time to wipe away friends reunited where my school and early career history prevailed. How about a wide open linkedin profile, do I mind about that? I have always prided myself on my care with Facebook privacy and then realised if you are a member of your local theatre group or church group then you are starting to be pin point-able. Maybe you follow the local school on twitter, again you have a big flag flying over your locality. How about those bloggy discussion tools used like Disqus or Intense have they been registered? Are blog stats wide open for the world to track more information about it?

There is an interesting presentation at
which is worth a watch.
One of the things this doesn't cover though is Google caching. I was aware that a linkedin public profile page that I had secured a few months ago was still coming up in a Google search, and there was the precis clear for all to see. Of course, if I followed the link it was dead but the data was still plain as day on the Google search. I have written a separate entry on how to get this removed here.

One of the important things though is how much does it matter that I have an internet footprint. I am not suggesting that you shouldn't have one, after all once on line it's hard to avoid but when I go to the shops I don't walk around holding a placard with my name, address and phone number on it.  Hey, if you come and talk to me (and I like you!) I'll probably let you in on who I am and I feel the same way about the internet. I don't really want to have a great big sign of personal information hanging high for all to see, but I am happy knowing if you stop by you will see who my family are and the type of things we do. But I would just prefer it if my phone number doesn't pop up if I search on my name!!

When did you last type your own name into a search engine or your child's for that matter? And that is also an interesting thought. My daughter will need a job one day and maintaining a professional image will mean preserving her online dignity now. So a clear path from her Facebook, to mine, to blog, to humerous potty training stories probably isn't the best move. And that's my point, the potty training antics aren't the problem it's the layers of links to the real her that may present an issue.

For me it's not about being an anonymous person. I just want to remember that a stroll around the blog-o-sphere is the same as a walk around the local supermarket and a chat on Facebook is the same as a chat at a bar of a pub except maybe its not, because that chat at the bar may be overheard but it has past. The chat on Facebook may have been preserved by screenshot. So my school of thought is, if I wouldn't put it on a placard or talk about it on a pub then it probably shouldn't be out on the internet.

I have been trying to clear up the trail of information I have left sprawling behind me and I haven't quite achieved it yet but hopefully I'm now looking less like an unoccupied house on Christmas eve with with a big neon sign over the front door saying "presents ready inside, front door wide open".

I don't agree with everything Jessica Gottlieb says but she has a lot of very useful information about privacy online, if you are interested it is a good starting point.

Related Posts with Thumbnails

  © Blogger template Simple n' Sweet by 2009

Back to TOP