The dangers of putting private info online

From the good ol’ days of using Netscape I’ve been a bit wary about putting too much information online so everyone can access the information. I’ve not joined any of the social networking sites either. Blogging, yes; social networking no. Or not yet maybe? When you read articles like these, it reminds you why you should be careful. Here are a couple of paragraphs:

Consider a few examples of how personal information and actions can take on a life of their own once they are posted on the Internet for all to see. In early September, a web developer took an apparently real advertisement placed online by a woman looking for a sexual liaison and posted it on the Seattle “casual encounters” section of the Craigslist bulletin board, according to press reports. There were 178 responses to the phony sexual solicitation, many of which included compromising photos. The developer then posted all the responses on a public website, including photos, email addresses and other personal information — where anyone could view them.

Also in September, the social-networking site Facebook, which is popular among college and high school students, was the subject of protests by a number of users when it made some design changes. According to Reuters, more than 500,000 users complained about a new service called “News Feed” that instantly notifies members whenever friends post new photos or update information about themselves, such as their political affiliations and dating status. Users were angered, not necessarily because News Feed revealed personal data — after all, the same information could be viewed in the user’s profile — but because it made it easier for users to track one another, said Reuters. “Stalking is supposed to be hard,” one user said, according to the Reuters account.

This article is brought to you by the good folks at InformIT and it’s titled Unwitting Exposure: Does Posting Personal Information Online Mean Giving Up Privacy? .

And you thought my title was long.

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2 thoughts on “The dangers of putting private info online

  1. True. I remember watching a video as to how one can get all details of a person just by looking up their profile on MySpace or Orkut. A lot of people I know put in their mobile numbers, address, etc. Scary, isn’t it?

  2. Scary but not surprising. I wonder why the Internet seems to make people a little more open with information they’d not give out normally. Then again, people put passport numbers on resumes, so go figure.

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