Blog, Freelance, Mobile Users, News, Tutorials, Windows Support 7.7.2015 Comments Off on Internet Privacy and the Search Engine Generation

20150618_102838-1_resizedThis is CJ, and I have some words of wisdom from from Gen X to the Search Engine Generation. Years ago when the Internet 1st came to be (and you all were in diapers or not even born yet), my father said to me “people shouldn’t do anything on the Internet that they wouldn’t want their own grandma to see/know about”. Those words of wisdom now ring true way more true than my old man ever could have predicted back in the 1990’s.

I recently had someone say to me “don’t screenshot my Snapchat Story”. (it was a cute guinea pig picture that I wanted to save) And I thought to myself “why would someone put something on the Internet (in public) and then have the nerve to demand what people do or don’t do with it?”. Then it hit me: There is an entire generation of young people who don’t realize that when you put something on the Internet, it ceases to become private.

Here’s an example: You have a journal/diary. You put your private thoughts and pictures in it. It’s your personal thing. Then you put that journal out on a pedestal on the main street in your town and get upset when people read it or take pictures of pages in it, or even write in it. Once you put that journal outside, it ceases to become private and you cease to have control over what people do with that information.

Another example (a little more dramatic): You use the restroom. You close the bathroom door and you lock it. It’s a private event. Now install a sink and toilet out in your front yard. Now when you use that restroom, are you going to get upset with people for looking at you when they walk or drive by? Or if they snap a picture of you? Of course not, because you are now in public. You have ceased to be in a private situation.

Long story short, if you want it to be private don’t put it on Twitter, Snapchat, Facebook, Google +, Instagram, your blog, or any other public venue and then demand what people or companies do or don’t do with your information. It’s a very simple concept.

indexTake this a step further: Read the TOC on ANY phone app, or social media venue. Most mobile apps want access to your location, your contacts, your other apps, and sometimes even your camera. If you use these apps, you cease to become private. Use Google, Google Chrome or Facebook? Those companies use your personal information and sell it to other companies.  Google Chrome you ask? Yes! Why would a search engine company make their own browser and then later their own operating system? The answer is simple: To collect and sell your information. Your browsing habits, your hours online, your demographics, your age, your location, your shopping habits, your searches, everything that you do is worth big dollars.

Don’t like this? Start with using a free browser like Iron. It’s the EXACT same browser as Google Chrome, but minus the Google spyware. Use the Google search engine? Use a private engine like Go Duck Go. Use Twitter/Instagram over Facebook. And if you do use Facebook, limit the amount of real information about yourself, your friends, your family, and your workplace. Don’t want people using your images and thoughts? Don’t put them out there for the world to see. And if you do, remember that you are putting that restroom of yours out there in your front yard. Once you post it, you can’t ever un-ring that bell 🙂

-About the Author: CJ is an MCSE/CCNA with over 20 years of corporate computer engineering, training, and network engineering experience. Thoughts or comments to the author should be directed to our contact page

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