Thursday, October 30, 2008


Are we really anonymous?

I always tell my friends to be careful what they write in cyberspace. One rule of thumb I use is to ask myself if what I post online I would tell to the world at large. If the answer is no, then I refrain from posting it. This can be misconstrued as my being labelled a bore or worse. The truth is; I am really a very private person which seems like a contradiction given that blogging is by nature very public. However, I have no doubt the written word can come back to haunt you.

I am writing this mainly because a friend sent me an email regarding anonymity on the net which clearly outlined how we leave our prints everywhere we go on the Web. Andy Greenberg writes:You may have forgotten about Friendster, the once-booming social networking site that faded as American Web users flocked to MySpace and Facebook. But Friendster may not have forgotten about you.

It still remembers, for instance, that John Smith from Salisbury, Md., enjoys hobbies including "comic books" and "copulation." And any Google (nasdaq: GOOG - news - people ) user can read a glowing testimonial written to Brooklynite Sam Brown, describing his habit of walking around his apartment drunk and naked, as well as his talent for using a certain part of his anatomy as a puppet.

In fact, Friendster is a ghost town of detailed personal information: The site received only 2.4 million unique visitors in the U.S. in January, but has more than 10 million American profiles, many of which publicly display information that users would probably prefer to keep private.

Friends, you see why a little discretion is not a bad thing in the long run? A commenter on this blog informed me that a post of mine was read on the radio. While, I don't particularly care; I have no doubt the writer would have been branded as anti government and others would be busy trying to get the identity. The only real solution, argues a hacker and security researcher who calls himself "Dead Addict," is to not reveal your personal information in the first place. "If you already have a history online and suddenly start caring about privacy, you're in a very tough spot," he says. "Basically, there's no easy answer."

thats why you should always be careful with what you put online
Fuh real,ent!
I've always had a personal rule that applies to every part of my life...Don't do or say anything that I would be embarrased to do and say in front of my folks. I try to make that a rule online as well.
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