Social Question

jazzjeppe's avatar

How important is privacy on the Internet to you and how would you interpret privacy?

Asked by jazzjeppe (2598points) February 21st, 2010

I am an Internet junkie, no doubt about it. I simply love the Internet. If you would Google my name and “Internet alias” you would find me almost everywhere. Pictures, blogs, communities etc. Everything I do on the Internet is up for viewing and I don’t mind. I understood early that Internet is a place where you only give away things about yourself that you can spare and be viewed or used by others. My simple rule is: if you don’t want people to know this about you, then don’t tell them.

Personally I feel I don’t have much to hide from people. I am an open book when it comes to how I feel, what I do, what I own, where I go etc. Sure there are things I would keep away from you, but these are, I would say, very few. I mean, I wouldn’t give you my bank account number, my passwords, my credit card details etc. But that’s it, really.

What about you? How do you protect yourself on the Internet? What is public to you and what is private to you?

By this being sad I just with to add:

Have a great Sunday!

Jesper in Sweden (all about me, me and me!)


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25 Answers

Just_Justine's avatar

Here in South Africa we were a bit “behind” in terms of net addiction. First of all we had the old dial up connection, so I had to wait until 7pm at night to dial in to get better rates. Which were still not that great. The idea was to not lose connection. The moment you did that, you were charged again. Of course connections were often lost. Net surfing in general in S.A. is probably the highest costing in the world, or at least in the top five. We pay per page or per frame. So if you are video streaming your download goes fast. Then we have to top up. I pay astronomical amounts for the net. I pay speed company’s and download company’s. You see here we only have one supplier as of now.

sorry I went on a historical review. But it does have relevance. I was sort of a pioneer. So I was all over the place. Not understanding things like footprints, and Google searches. The idea terrifies me. I hate that I was so gullable and so trusting. But what is done is done. I cannot undo it? If I can I need to know how.

I suffer with bipolar and I believe the net was a playground for a mind like mine. Over here we did not even know of things like spybots for e.g. so I had no where to turn to get help when they were launched on my computer. So, to answer your question. No I am not an open book, I wish I was. I need to understand why I am not an open book. I have needs and thoughts that no one understands unless they belong to a small particular minority. Which I can find on the net. I also isolate myself so this is easier.

If anyone can tell me how to obliterate my footprints or deal with stuff that comes back at me, I would love to know. I just feel that the people that invented the net, transparency and all that should have put in place protection for ignorant individuals such as me.

SABOTEUR's avatar

@Just_Justine Wow…that’s very interesting. I never considered that internet access would be different for some users outside of the United States. (Just goes to show how naive I am.) I have no idea how to obliterate global footprints, but if it’s any consolation, you’re not alone. We’re all leaving global footprints so the best defense that I know of is, (a) don’t use the internet or (b) assume you have no privicy and do nothing that may potentially come back to haunt you.

Dan_DeColumna's avatar

Obviously, I feel much the same way as @jazzjeppe does on the topic. Yes, this is my real name, and yes, that is my real picture. Simply, the best way to keep something private is to simply not share it.

I am concerned about my phone being tapped. I am concerned about workplaces forcing life decisions at the possible cost of your employment (if that’s not an invasion of privacy, I don’t know what is). I am concerned about online financial transactions (I am still one of those awful tree-marauding individuals who, insanely enough, desires a physical copy of their bills and statements.). I am not concerned about the privacy of information I volunteered to potentially hundreds of millions of strangers.

If you have nothing else better to do to than to find out that I like to read and write and I use to live in Sault Ste. Marie, MI, then that’s fine with me. Have a field day.

Just_Justine's avatar

@SABOTEUR sadly too late now. Sigh..

SABOTEUR's avatar

@Dan_DeColumna Ditto. Can’t do much to ruin my credit ‘cause it’s already shot to hell. Don’t see how knowing that I like to play chess or give unsolicited opinions online can damage me much at this stage of the game. But there is a line a draw when divulging personal information. I never say anything in social forums that may embarrass me, my family or anyone associated with me should my identity be revealed.

SABOTEUR's avatar

@Just_Justine It’s not too late. Just be wary from now on. Besides, most of the information gathered, if I’m not mistaken, are our buying habits. This determines what ads you see and what spam you receive. I’m sure other kinds of information is gathered and potentially exploited, but I…naively perhaps…don’t see myself as important enough for anybody to give a damn.

Vincentt's avatar

I’m most concerned about what other people put online of me that I don’t want the world to see, like that video of me dancing weirdly ;-). That’s the biggest problem: you do not have control over what the world sees of you. Heck, someone could even pretend to be you and scare away e.g. all potential employers.

SABOTEUR's avatar

Yeah…I can see that.

(Where exactly is that video?)

Vincentt's avatar

Hehe, for now I’ve been able to convince them not to publish it ;-)

candide's avatar

how did you find me?

dpworkin's avatar

I have yet to be convinced that there is such a thing as “Internet Privacy”. We should all behave as if the whole world is looking over our shoulders when we do anything at all on the Internet, unless we use a battery of confusing servers to hide our tracks, and even then, the Chinese attacks on Google were eventually traced to two Universities which are know to cooperate with the government – even the most secret, most carefully planned exploits can eventually be unearthed.

ChaosCross's avatar

I think that is a rather fine rule to go by, such a shame there are those untrusting of our good friend the internet.

wundayatta's avatar

I think that mostly we are protected because people can’t be bothered to track us down. There are a gazillion people on the internet, and no one can spend the time to track all of them. Only the folks of interest are tracked. I feel safe because I know I am not a “person of interest.” I’m a small fish in a small pond. Only a few people pay much attention to me. Which is fine. Most of them don’t know who I am, and the ones who do seem trustworthy.

Even if I were outed, there’s half a chance that no one who knows me in real life would catch on. I seriously doubt that anyone I know in real life has even heard of fluther, much less checked it out. It’s just not that important to anyone except people who participate.

So I think that not really mattering and not really being of interest to anyone more than a small circle of people pretty much protects us. It always amuses me when people think they are important, or that much of anyone else pays any attention to them. I know that unless I talk to someone every day, I quickly forget whatever I know about them.

dpworkin's avatar

@wundayatta It matters when you apply for a job. Then you are the only fish.

wundayatta's avatar

@dpworkin Say more. I’m not sure what you’re getting at.

dpworkin's avatar

Prospective employers, Grad Schools and prospective lovers often use the Internet, looking for anything invidious, and then, no matter how small a fish you are, you are the target.

gailcalled's avatar

@jazzjeppe : By this being sad I just with to add: Perhaps you are scrambling your brains by not spending more time in the fresh air.

jazzjeppe's avatar

@gailcalled Yeah, you got me! :)

DominicX's avatar

It’s alright for me. I’m okay with giving out my first name and showing pictures of me and giving you a general idea of where I live. But beyond that, not going to happen. There is more information on my Facebook of course, but that’s only for people I’ve met in real life. Seriously, all 920 of my Facebook “friends” I’ve met in real life. That’s just how I do it. Of course I don’t put my address on Facebook or anything. Only very close friends are going to get to know that.

I’m not big on the idea of strangers finding out too much information about me, but what I give out on sites like this is not too much, in my opinion. I can never be too private; my dad is all over the internet. His name comes up a million times, his picture comes up, I can’t escape it…lol

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

I has little expectation of privacy on the Internet. I try to be sensible but knowing I have no assets to steal or secrets I need to hide makes me fairly free to relax and enjoy the Internet.

Vincentt's avatar

@wundayatta My brother was a while ago researching something quite random, and coincidentally ended up on Fluther on a question which I had answered. He recognised me by my avatar and username. I generally reveal some things about myself on Fluther that I wouldn’t in real life, because nobody who I’d care about seeing that will read it anyway – but it turns out even that isn’t certain.

wundayatta's avatar

@Vincentt I’m sorry to hear that. Did he find out the stuff you didn’t want him to know? Did it cause any problems?

Vincentt's avatar

@wundayatta No it wasn’t really bad or anything, and I’m not going that far that I’d really be sad about it, but it did make me realise that you can’t know for sure that someone you know never comes across what you write.

Dan_DeColumna's avatar

@Vincentt: Its a small world.

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