Tech Talk  

Big Brother is watching

Everything we type into a search engine is being recorded:

  • Every email and text message we send
  • every social media post we submit
  • every comment we make
  • our likes and dislikes
  • our social status
  • our beliefs
  • our attitudes
  • our political and religious views
  • our lifestyle
  • our friends
  • our purchases
  • the places we frequent
  • the causes we support
  • our sexual orientation, values, morals.

It’s all being recorded online.

The fact that all of our online activities are being permanently recorded should concern all of us who live in a free and democratic society where our privacy is allegedly protected.

The tech companies collecting our information would have us believe that doing so is necessary in order to serve us better, and is ultimately in our best interest.

They insist that our data is safe and will only be used in a responsible manner that respects our right to privacy.

Given all the recent online data breaches over the last several years, the claim of keeping our data safe certainly warrants some healthy scepticism at the very least.

And trusting that our data will be used responsibly in a way that respects our privacy is also up for debate if the Facebook-Cambridge Analytica data scandal of 2018 is any example. They harvested the personal information of millions of users without their consent for political purposes.

While people today have become more aware and concerned about the potential theft of their financial and personal identification online, they remain relatively unconcerned and unaware of the potential unintended consequences posed by all of their other online personal information and activities.

Take for example, social media — much of what you publish online resides in the public domain for all to see whether you realize it or not. This information can impact your life in ways you may have not realized.

A recent and growing trend has seen potential employers, financial institutions, insurance adjusters, universities and other organizations reviewing people’s social media profiles as part of a new criteria in making decisions.

Many people would be very surprised to learn how much information can be found about them online. And perhaps, more shockingly, many people are unaware that their the online activity they perceive is private is not, but is often accessible in the public domain online, if you know where to look.

Don’t make the mistake of assuming your online activities are private or that your social media posts are harmless and inconsequential. Everything you post online in the public domain will inevitably face scrutiny and be ultimately judged in the court of public opinion.

Even seemingly harmless posts can easily be taken out of context online and result in backlash.

People have lost job opportunities, financing, educational entrance and business as a result of their social media and online activities.

Always exercise discretion with all of your social media posts and online activities. If you truly value your privacy, then don’t post anything online that you want to remain private, because it ultimately not private.

Posting online about the time you were at a party and got so drunk you danced on the tables, may seem funny to you and your friends, but may be viewed differently by others.


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About the Author

Trevor Sharp is a computer-support specialist, and has been helping people with computing issues for more than 25 years.

Trevor lives in Kelowna with his wife and five kids, and owns and operates a mobile computer business providing on-site tech support for home and business customers.

Trevor is here to help your home or business with any computing issue,

Contact Info:

email: [email protected]

website: www.okanagancomputerservices.com

blog: www.okanagancomputerservices.com/blog

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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