I just read an article about a man in Europe who was posing as a mind reader and astonishing people with what he ‘knew’ about them. At the end of each session he would reveal a large computer screen filled with pictures and information which ‘hackers’ were getting from the internet about the person having the session. This is not funny. I hope people take this as a wake up call as to what they post on line.
My husband recently visited our insurance agent to make some changes to our policy. The agent needed a driver’s license number for each of us, but said that he could also get it over the internet. DH asked how, then tried finding his own driver’s license number on the internet with just some basic information and a formula. Sure enough, there it was.
DH has worked in computer security and as such, keeps our home rather paranoid about things put on the web. Our eldest daughter has to have a blog for her English class this year so I gave her the house rules. Never mention your name nor anyone else’s, and don’t name specific locations. She had to bring this up with the teacher when they were creating logins and I got an e-mail that night about how this blog site is only accessible by invitation, it’s completely private. HAH! I wrote back a polite reply stating our house rules and why we have them. She hasn’t written again.
I’ve been living with a computer engineer for over 18 years. I am fully aware of how exposed anything on the internet is. I see him shake his head over Facebook and have seen him let the church firmly know that our children are not to be tagged in photos posted on the youth group’s page, and to request that their photos not be put up at all. You may limit access to your page on Facebook, but what if someone in your circle of trust reposts a picture or quote or anything? It’s not protected anymore. Also, anything on the web for ANY length of time is being backed up somewhere. You can take a post down 30 seconds after you put it up. Too late. Someone has it.
If you want to have an idea about what’s out there for people to find about you, you can Google your name. I found that my alma mater had posted the birth announcement of our youngest which included the girl’s names as well. I wasn’t too pleased, but it’s out there now. Fortunately there’s not much about me, but I dropped out of the workforce several years ago, which makes a difference, and I’m not on social media. I’ve been told that I’m missing out, but that’s okay with me.