Online Privacy: Internet Protocol with Tish

Online Privacy: Internet Protocol with Tish


Welcome to Internet Protocol with Tish. I’m
Letitia Miele. Every once in a while, we all need some space. A little time to ourselves. Some privacy, please! But it seems with the Internet, there’s
no such thing as personal privacy anymore. We put so many aspects of our lives online
for the whole world to see. We have online social profiles that list our
likes, dislikes, political beliefs, religion, relationship status. We list our favorite
books too. We post resumes that make our professional
lives searchable. Some people have dating service profiles online too. We have photo
albums on Flickr, Tumblr and Facebook. Our private moments end-up as videos on YouTube
or Vimeo. We even Tweet or post status updates that broadcast our private thoughts. And some people even feel compelled to divulge
the whereabouts of everyone who happened to be in their high school class on those reunion
sites. And, most of us are probably guilty of this
one. We voluntarily provide our addresses, phone numbers, even the best time to deliver
packages to our homes, to all sorts of e-commerce web sites. Think about that the next time
that you consider buying something from that odd but low priced online “Super Store” that-appeared
in a pop-up ad in your browser. Try this; Google your name. You can also put
in your email address, your home phone number, your street address. See all the places you
turn up. Or here’s a good one, try putting one of your profile pictures into images.google.com.
Click the little camera in the search box and it will search for other instances of
that same picture all over the web. You might be surprised by the results. What all this means is that with a little
detective work you can dig-up all kinds of personal information on anyone. And others
can do the same to you. What’s happened to our personal privacy? Letitia Miele: We are joined by John Sileo.
He’s an author, he’s also an expert on identity theft, privacy and information control. John,
I’ve got to tell you, I’m wondering if privacy even exists nowadays? John Sileo: There is not much of it left is
there? With the advent of social media and all of our records online, it’s pretty tough
to find privacy. Letitia Miele: Why is that? John Sileo: Well, it’s because there are commercial
reasons to capture everything about us. Whether it’s our surfing habits, or the keywords that
we put into search engines, who we connect with, who we relate to, what products we use.
You know, it really comes down to business. It’s good business to capture people’s data
to know how to market to them better, and and it makes privacy very difficult if you
are on the Internet. Letitia Miele: So, tell us some of the ways
that we inadvertently leak our personal information that could be damaging to us, and we don’t
even know it? John Sileo: Yeah, there are very basic ways.
You know, it’s not any great fault that we have. We just haven’t been trained to think
very much about it. But when you set up a Facebook profile for example, just the most
basic of things, that’s what 750 million people roughly have done… and they ask you things
like your name and your birthdate, your hometown and where you currently live. Right there,
that’s a huge loss of privacy. Not that some of that information is not available elsewhere,
or in the white pages… but what we are so doing is we are starting to aggregate it into
individual single places, and as that gets centralized it’s easier to have enough that
it’s really pretty damaging. Letitia Miele: Why is it that some people
feel that because they are alone in their home, or where ever it is that they conduct
business on the Internet, that they aren’t really sharing the information. It’s almost
as if they feel there’s privacy there but it isn’t. Is it a psychological thing? Oh,
certainly no one is going to do anything with my personal information. John Sileo: Yeah, you know it’s that they’ve
never seen the backend of it. If you were to go into one of your profiles, one of the
credit reporting bureaus, or one that is really kind of disturbing is to see a backend of
a Facebook or Google profile. They know the words that you have typed in, they know the
sites you have surfed to… and when you start to see that whether or not it is embarrassing
websites that you are going to or compromising in terms of your health, or your credit history…
it gets a little bit uncomfortable. But the average person doesn’t have access to that.
And so we have never had that kinetic emotional response of  — oh my God — these people
know an immense about me. They know whether it’s a loyalty card information, the pharmaceuticals
that I buy, the magazines that I subscribe to, the websites that I visit, the habits
that I have when I surf… those are really personal things…but we don’t see the product
of that like we do when we go out and shout it out in a public place. Letitia Miele: What sort of advice can you
give us a then, once the personal information is out there, is there any way basically to
reel it back in? Or is that it it is gone forever, it can be used against you. You said
“against you” is probably a strong term, but it can be used in such a way that potentially
you feel violated if you will. John Sileo: You know, that’s the particularly
difficult part about this whole subject is… once you put it out there, in any form, whether
it’s a post, a tweet, something you put on your wall, a photo, a video,.. we tend to
think of it as private. And maybe we even signed an agreement where to some degree it’s
private. But the reality is there’s the three basic laws when you post it. It’s public.
It’s permanent. And it’s in some way exploitable in most cases. It’s public because the second
you put it up, it’s already backed up. It is screen shot, it ‘s re-tweeted, it is forwarded.
In just like an e-mail… when you hit that send button it is no longer your property.
It is in the public domain whether you think it is or not. It’s permanent. It will be there
forever. Digital DNA unlike human DNA does not deteriorate over time. It is in the system
once you put it out there. And we are learning more and more that it is exploitable. Mostly
for good things. I don’t want to create a culture of paranoia here… most of what we
are doing is used in very good ways. We are reconnecting with friends. We are finding
job positions that we wouldn’t have otherwise. We are learning things that we couldn’t have
without the Internet. But it can be utilized against you whether it’s by an ex-spouse,
or an enemy so to speak, a competitor, or an identity thief or somebody who is trying
to harm you in some way. Letitia Miele: Privacy is an illusion then? John Sileo: You know, privacy is an a matter
of personal responsibility. It always has been. You didn’t usually share with the average
person who called on the phone asking questions. You were skeptical. Now, whether you input
that in just because it’s digital and a little bit more virtual, it’s not an illusion, but
it’s easier to abuse it nowadays. Letitia Miele: John SIleo, thanks so much
for joining us today. John Sileo: It’s always a pleasure. Thank
you very much for having me. Now that we have a better idea of what’s happened
to our expectations for personal privacy, let’s bang-out some Internet protocol… some
guidelines that’ll help us better understand what levels of privacy we can realistically
expect, and the level of privacy we should strive for. First, every time you create a new online
profile, make a note of it somewhere, in a special folder for bookmarks for all of your
online profiles. Or simply list them in a spreadsheet. That way, you can easily keep
track of your growing online presence. Periodically go through those bookmarks and
spreadsheets, and get rid of the profiles that you are no longer using. Delete the accounts
completely if possible. Only post basic information about yourself
at first. You can always add more detailed information as time goes on — and you develop
more trust for the web site. Create a secondary email account that you
use strictly for all your online profiles. Never use your primary email account. This
way, you can delete the secondary email account and create another one if you start getting
too much spam. If you refrain from using your primary email account, you will be protecting
it from spammers. Be selective about the number of newsletters
you choose to receive… and use that secondary email account for any you do decide to sign-up
for. Remember that many web sites sell their mailing lists and they could sell your email
address to spammers — who in turn, sell it to countless others. And before you know it,
your secondary email address could easily start receiving junk mail from hundreds of
sources. Be careful where you input your personal data.
If you feel something is fishy about a website, something probably is. So treat all your personal
data as private information that you give out only on rare occasions. Provide only the minimum amount of information
required. A web site may require you to fill in certain fields like first name, last name.
But if a web site asks for your email address — but that’s not a required field, don’t
provide it. The same holds true for home phone numbers, cell phone numbers and zip codes.
Many web sites put little asterisks next to required fields. Never provide more than you
have to. Strip all metadata from pictures before posting
them online. Many cameras embed GPS information in the image’s metadata — enabling you
to later pinpoint the exact location where the photo was taken. But if these GPS coordinates
remain with a photo when it’s posted online, anyone can determine where your kid’s playground
is for example, or where his soccer practice field is located.To remove GPS coordinates
from the metadata, all you have to do is simply rename the photo before you upload it to the
public web site. This removes all location-based information. Lastly, use caution when tagging pictures
in online photo albums. If you want to tag yourself, do it with caution. But if you feel
the need to tag everyone in your picture, remember that by doing so, you are linking
their name with an image of that person. You might want to make sure they are comfortable
with that before you do it. There you have it, Internet Protocol on ways
to retain your personal privacy online. Thanks so much for joining us on this edition
of “Internet Protocol with Tish.” We look forward to seeing you again next time.

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