The Wire makes it clear if someone wants to know what we're up to, they can find out if we're not careful. "Do you feel me??" (you Wire aficionados understand!) Stringer Bell notwithstanding, there are steps we can take to maintain some privacy and security while utilizing the great tools of the Internet.
Everyone knows the basics :
- Open emails only from individuals you know. And if you are sent a link from someone you don't know, don't click on it!
- Use strong passwords for your online accounts, and always logout of your online account when you are done
- Set your browser to automatically delete cookies and temporary files when you exit
- Run firewall, anti-spyware, and anti-virus software
Now, what else can we do? Here's a nice tool to monitor your exposure on the Internet : Google Alerts. You define a phrase and get regular reports every time that phrase is found by Google's network of bots... I have alerts set up for my phone number and street address. If these show up somewhere on the Internet I get an email showing how they are being presented. You can set up alerts for your name as well, if it's unique enough. There are way too many people with my name, so it's not very effective... check it out... you can also use it for other productive purposes, such as marketing for your business -- see how often your business is getting it's name out there...
There are obviously many tips and techniques to maintain privacy on the Internet. Social Networking brings a new level of privacy techniques that need to be understood... I'll try to expound with more detail in upcoming blog posts.