Privacy is something we all need, more so nowadays in the world where oversharing has become second nature due to online social networks. Gone are the days when we could just close our curtains and lock our doors at home, and no-one would be able to bother us or know what we were up to.
Online privacy was brought to the fore of our minds with the US government being caught out by Edward Snowden, who blew the lid on their snooping around of emails and peoples private conversations. It caused the world to start to take a note of what their rights are related to privacy in a digital world, where gaining access to information has become scarily easy.
We all use social media websites, and most of the time just general browsing websites leads to our actions being tracked via Google and other trackers. Sadly, you can never really tell when this is happening, as it all goes on behind the scenes. It does not mean it is not happening though. The first step to get acquainted with privacy software to protect you on Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+.
The best form of privacy is to not be on social networks at all, but that is impossible in this day and age, so the easiest way to go into battle in the online world is to know everything you should about the battlefield, and that begins by learning exactly what your rights are. So if you are on social networks, always ensure that you have the highest set of possible privacy settings are engaged.
Know your rights
With the Internet and social networks being fairly new and constantly changing, it can be very difficult times to know our own rights, and if what websites are doing is actually legal with regards to capturing any information you may provide. Have you ever read the statement of rights and responsibilities from Facebook? It is a fairly scary picture, for example they have the right to use anything you have uploaded, even if you delete your account or remove that piece of content, if your friends or others have shared it, and it is still in their domain, they can use it at will.
Always ensure you read the fine print. Lock up your privacy settings as tight as possible. Make sure that only relevant people can see your Facebook activity. Ensure your Twitter feed isn’t overly revealing, so that no one can gleam any information. And do not shout out every second thing that comes to mind, such as where you are, what you are eating and when you will not be at home, as online stalkers will feed off of that, and be able to view your patterns.
There are organisations out there such as the ICO (Information Commissioner’s Office) who you can go to should you feel the law has been broken with regards to your privacy.
Always read the fine print
When it comes to registering with any site, always ensure you read the fine print. You never know, you may just be selling your soul. You may think you are safe, but you may want to read the Apple terms and conditions, as I can roughly guess about 99% of people who are reading this article, have not. This part is my favourite:
APPLE SHALL USE REASONABLE EFFORTS TO PROTECT INFORMATION SUBMITTED BY YOU IN CONNECTION WITH THE ITUNES SERVICE, BUT YOU AGREE THAT YOUR SUBMISSION OF SUCH INFORMATION IS AT YOUR SOLE RISK, AND APPLE HEREBY DISCLAIMS ANY AND ALL LIABILITY TO YOU FOR ANY LOSS OR LIABILITY RELATING TO SUCH INFORMATION IN ANY WAY.
Basically they are saying that if they lose the information you give them, it is not their problem. So you may just want to pay closer attention the next time you just click on the accept portion of any terms and conditions.