Saturday, December 16, 2017

Be Aware of What You are Revealing About Yourself

Just a quick thought. Yesterday I viewed the movie called "The Circle" starring Tom Hanks and Emma Watson. Although, it had an odd and "unfinished" style of ending....watching it was still very much worth it, in how it stirs up our caution and awareness of revealing "too much" and at            "what cost" online.

Ok, so allow me to cut to the do we humans currently reveal "potentially" too much about ourselves?

1/ using rewards point cards at all of our fave shops, because they reveal where and when and what we buy, and how we pay.
2/ Twitter....yes, even though I really do enjoy Twitter, I am aghast at what folks tweet without thinking about the long-term ramifications.
3/ Facebook...oh the books that have already been written and will be written to describe how Facebook has changed the social fabric of our lives and how it leaves a very detailed trail of how we live, who we like and don't like....and how we communicate with almost everyone we deem special.
4/ Email. Although we like to kid ourselves that our email accounts are private....most of us still use non-encrypted and very public email servers which constantly monitor ALL of our sent and received emails for a host of reasons. Some of the reasons may be for public safety, but other reasons are for commercial advertising purposes and also for "yet to be determined" data mining purposes.
5/ Instagram. Nuf said.
6/ My Space.
7 the plethora of other social networking platforms
8/ voluntary blogs..... Sure folks like me may dream about making good coin from blogging, but most of us just do it because we love to write and practice honing our craft.
9/ Shopping with debit and credit cards instead of cash. Yes, I realize that cash is no longer king and its days may be numbered. But we must be aware that more our purchases are made through cards of all sorts, that the data about our every purchase is shared and diced and sliced and resold to whom ever is the highest bidder. Do we really want our shopping habits up for public/commercial display/auction?
10/ With the lure of becoming the next Youtube millionaire, millions of folks have sold themselves out by vlogging and selling their own videos to the Youtube video hosting service. I am not against Youtube, and use it regularly, but I am keenly aware of the fact that those who post there often are giving up a huge chunk of their privacy......and at what cost? 20 bucks a month in ad revenue? Consider what you are giving up when you allow perfect strangers to watch your life online.
11/ Google. Oh the books that are being written and still to be written about this Goliath. Yes, there is good and yes, there is stuff to be concerned about. I myself find the whole "google locating" issues to be very creepy. Have you ever noticed that when you "google" a local store", that Google displays how long the average person visits that location? How do they know that? Because they have locating apps through Google tracking our every move through our cell phones.
12/ Yes, there are ways to limit the number of methods that "Big Brother" can track and trace you. But the fine print is indeed fine, and the methods are intentionally made "hard and awkward" to implement for the "average" cell/computer user. If you have the patience, try to master the privacy and locating settings for the social media platforms that you frequent. Try your best to limit whatever you don't feel comfortable revealing. Make it harder for these companies to track and sell off your personal data.  And yes, it would still be helpful to go back to cash.....but oy, yes, cash is quickly becoming more "awkward" and "inconvenient"..... I guess I have been fished into that mindset
13/ ISP's ( internet service providers) have records of ALL the webtraffic that flows through ALL your devices, both at home and when on the road. Also be aware that when you are utilizing
"free wifi" hotspots at cafes or your other haunts,  that the controllers/providers of the "free wifi"
hotspots can monitor/ see all that flows on any device that uses their Wifi services.

I am sure I will come up with even more ways in which we are "selling ourselves out" without consciously being aware of how much data we are revealing about ourselves with these seemingly
inert methods of communication and lifestyle.

If privacy doesn't matter to you, then by all means, ignore this post.....but if it does concern you and you want to protect yourself and your family....maybe it should become a matter of focus and prayer.

And yes, if this post has intrigued you, please do go ahead and read the book called
The Numerati by Stephen L. Baker. And yes, if you get the opportunity, go see the movie              "The Circle" starring Tom Hanks.

With peace and prayer,