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Internet Privacy

There's been a lot of talk lately about internet privacy.  Quite frankly I never thought it existed in the first place!  You hear from time to time about people who are unhappy with the privacy on social media sites such as Facebook.  Now there are cases of electronic mail being not so private.  As we continue to move well into the digital age with blinding speed, people have to realize just what this means to them.

As far as social media goes - I consider anything I put on a site like Facebook or Twitter or YouTube to be pretty much the same as putting it on a billboard next to a busy interstate; that is that anyone in the world can see it if they want to (Aside - it's call the World Wide Web for a reason).  The web is even "worse" since I can take down a billboard but once something is on the web it pretty much stays there (maybe not in its original form) forever.  I know that I am being "tracked" by all kinds of outfits.  Frankly I never thought that I was that important!  I know that this entire website has been "web crawled" and "cached" somewhere and will live on forever digitally if you know where to look.  I consider that fact before posting anything.  I know that every video I have posted will more than likely outlive me in cyberspace.

The thing with email (or texts) is a little more disturbing but not surprising at all to me.  I treat email pretty much like a conversation in a busy place like a restaurant; that is that I have no idea who may be overhearing me speak.  What makes email "worse" is that there is a verbatim record of the conversation that can seriously come back to haunt you.  You've heard the term "paper trail", well email is the ultimate paper(less) trail.  I can shred/burn or otherwise dispose of paper but I'm quite sure that every email I have ever composed and sent is stored somewhere just waiting to be used in some manner that I can't imagine.

You want my advice?  NEVER say anything in an email that would upset you if it fell in the wrong hands.  As far as the internet - NEVER post anything that you really don't want someone (and by that I mean someone unintended) else to see.  I want people to view my website.  I want people to watch my videos.  I want people to read my tweets and what I post to Facebook.  I want people to read my reviews on sites like Amazon or the Internet Movie Database (including my top lists).  I want people to read what I post on Beer Advocate.  I want people to read my reviews on Trip Advisor.

Bottom Line - There is no such thing as internet privacy - get over it.  If you use the internet you are being recorded, tracked and yes, someone is perhaps composing a "permanent record".  If you're reading this your ISP knows it and probably is keeping track of it.  I am quite certain that Google or Bing have a record of every search I have ever made.  You know what?  I don't care!

Of course, that begs the question "What if you don't mind being tracked?"  I address that here.

Reviewed (and still valid!) June 27, 2017

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