Showing posts with label privacy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label privacy. Show all posts

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Tips For Minimizing Security Risks on Social Media

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In my blog post entitled Privacy Vs. Networking, published on What on Earth are We Doing Here, we discussed the issue of privacy while networking socially on the Internet and how much of the problem sits with the user, not specifically the network we're on.
All of this is quickly changing as more and more of us become far too comfortable with sharing far too much on the social media channels we frequent. The following short video, entitled "Social Media & Privacy - Be aware of what you share," on Mohammad A. Itani's YouTube channel, features a number of common sense dos and donts that act as a reminder of how little privacy we really have on Facebook, as one example.

Summary
First, read the condition and terms before signing on the dotted line. Secondly, Be frugal with what and how much personal information you offer when signing up for these services. And third, don't spill your guts out there and expect to keep your life private.
Do you have other ideas on how to stay safe in the world of cyber-life? Please share it with me!
Al Colombo

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Copyright©2014/Allan B. Colombo
www.alcolombo.us / al_colombo@hotmail.com
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Friday, November 7, 2014

Big Data Might Tell on You!

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Air/wireless television and radio are losing ground and in their place are a host of services that come with strings attached. If you pay a subscription fee, like Hulu on cable or HBO on satellite, then there are strings attached to your viewing preferences that ultimately lead to someone or something.

Of course, agents of Uncle Sam have better things to do than to sit around and monitor what you watch. But in this world of Big Data--where government and corporations seek to intercept, gather, collect, save, and analyze any and every type of available data, whether it resides on metallic, fiber, or radio waves--it's all there long after you turned that set off and gone to bed.

The other day, Linda, my wife, asked me to look into an air/wireless antenna for local channels as we've gone exclusively to Internet-based programming. Despite the fact that I, personally, was trained by Channel Master, not to mention two electronic trade schools and a techie father, I had to give some serious thought as to 1) where I might find such an animal these days, and 2) how/where we'd attach such an antenna to our house as we live on a lake in an association that may very well forbid outside antennas.

Is it all that important that no one know the television and radio stations you tune into? At first glance it would appear the answer is "No, not really." But in a nation such as this that is increasingly losing it's footing on Christian values and traditional American culture, no one can say for certain who or what the political climate will one day be. If all the authorities have to do to ascertain if you're a Christian is go back and review your viewing/listening preferences on cable/satellite television/radio.... well, I'm sure you see where I'm going with this.

So, what's the answer to the progressively hostile, police-state mentality we now see unfolding before us? Isn't that the underlying reason why we would even worry about our viewing/listening data? The problem isn't the data, and it's not even the fact that someone might collect all that data. The problem is what government will do with that data when the wrong people are in power--like the current administration.

Let me give you a little example by way of recent revelations about the NSA spying on Americans. All the while the press is telling the American people that it's the NSA, here we find out that the NSA has an accomplice--the President of the United States.

The Obama administration quietly got a court to undo U.S. surveillance limits on the use of intercepted phone calls and emails, The Washington Post reported.

The 2011 reversal of a 2008 restriction let the National Security Agency search deliberately for Americans’ communications in its massive databases, the Post said, citing newly declassified documents and interviews with government officials. (read it)

So when you turn on pornography, or you turn on a Christian station on an Internet TV/Radio station, remember that someone someday may decide to use it against you, and it will be right there in Big Data indefinitely just waiting for them. Do you have to change that dial? Nope, but you at least deserve to know what the possibilities are. However, for those who might like to change their viewing habits, like how they get their TV/radio programming, you might want to look for an air antenna. Try looking at http://www.antennaweb.org/

Happy watching.


For the serious researcher:
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Copyright©2014/Allan B. Colombo
www.alcolombo.us / al_colombo@hotmail.com
(Permission is given to republish blog posts providing
my contact information and copyright notice are included.)

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Friday, January 10, 2014

Privacy Vs. Networking

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Is it possible to network while maintaining your personal privacy? Those of us who seek to make a difference in people's lives by communicating ideas know that there is a definite choice to be made.

I have friends of the old school who are not on Facebook or any other social networking solution because they wish to maintain their personal privacy.

One in particular will go to great lengths in emailing news items to a limited audience of email recipients. We've discussed at great length the trade-offs related to reaching the highest number of readers vs. a simple, limited emailing list.

The question is, can you network and still remain private in your personal life?

I'd like to hear your thoughts? Please email them to me at blogger@tpromo.com.


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Copyright©2013/Allan B. Colombo
www.alcolombo.us / al_colombo@hotmail.com
(Permission is given to republish blog posts providing
my contact information and copyright notice are included.)

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Sunday, October 27, 2013

The Voluntary Use of Personal Information

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In was in the early 1990s when Walgreens introduced its Advantage Card. The advantage card was not unlike most courtesy cards in use at the time. Where it differed was in its use of information collected by shoppers using it.

When you signed up, you agreed to allow Walgreens to utilize any information they got with third parties. Third parties are entities such as their product vendors, insurance companies, government--whomever wanted or needed it.

At the time, my wife and I began to debate the issues regarding privacy with regards to these new cards. Because of my strong belief in individual privacy, I made the decision, as a family, that we would no longer use this card, even though we could use the 4% savings that it offered. This was, in fact, her argument at the time, that we really could use this 4% savings.

I said no--double no.

Now, here we are--even myself, two decades later. None of us think twice about using these cards in conjunction with our credit cards, debit accounts, and other forms of identification. Do we get something in return for allowing these vendors to collect this information on our buying habits? Yes, we do--you know we do. In many cases we get points, which lead to monetary savings or free stuff. In the case of Pilot, we get a lower price on gasoline at the pump.

We know what we've gained, but do we know what we give up every time we use these cards?

So far as the MyRewards program, sponsored by the Pilot/Flying J group, which can be found on most any Interstate Highway, the following condition should be of interest:

By registering in the My Rewards Program, you hereby consent to PFJ and its affiliates’ collection and use of your information in connection with the My Rewards Program.
The key point is, once you have signed on, this company legally has the right to use your information in whatever way they deem fit. In my next blog report, we will talk about the ways in which your personal information is being used, without your knowledge.

If you have some thoughts to add to this or the next blog post, please send it along to blogger@tpromo.com.

Thank you
Al Colombo


Copyright©2013/Allan B. Colombo
www.alcolombo.us / al_colombo@hotmail.com
(Permission is given to republish blog posts providing
my contact information and copyright notice are included.)

Subscribe

Be sure not to miss each and every blog comment by subscribing to my email service. Every time I publish a comment or an update, you will be the first to know. To sign up, enter your email address in the email subscription box on the top right of this page. Thank you!