Internet privacy for dummies

We spend hours a day facing a computer at work. At home, we pay bills, write email, view or download movies and music (legally, of course), and shop anywhere in the world, play games and build virtual worlds using the internet.

Our lives revolve around the net which helps us find information on just about anything under the sun. Many even find (or lose) love online. Our social lives have become “net based”. I used to consider myself an introvert. But thanks to Facebook and Twitter, I now make friends without wasting coffee shop minutes (and coffee money) to meet up.

But online life has its trade offs, Privacy. Type your name on Google’s search bar and you’ll find information about you from your social network profiles, group affiliations, or write ups (by or about you). If you’re a little popular (or notorious) than the average guy, forum threads say what people think about you.

Being a victim of electronic rumor (cached as search engine entry) is not the worst that could happen to you. Con men lurk in sites to victimize onliners via identity theft, phishing, hacking, or piracy (if you indiscriminately upload personal masterpieces).

UP Professor, computer law expert and Facebook friend Attorney JJ Disini advises an online newbie to first “know thy internet” before typing away.

One is not really anonymous online. There are ways to harvest information about you or your activities, without your knowledge or consent.

Cookies, (inedible) are information your browser saves on your PC from the site you accessed. These could help build up a profile of your buying habits or interests, and tailor advertising based on them. Delete cookies before you log off.
Hyper Text Transfer Protocol (HTTP) is a set of rules browsers use to retrieve sites you ask for. But it also tracks your surfing activities, your e-mail address or the last page you viewed. Delete history.
Browsers, such as Netscape, Mozilla Firefox or Microsoft Internet Explorer may contain security bugs that hackers can use to access personal information. Netscape and Microsoft provide downloadable fixes from their sites.
Freeware or Shareware are available for download on the Internet, but keep track of information about them and only use those with good reputation.
Search Engines are software tools that allow you to search for information or people. Some engines allow the search of news groups for posts associated with your e-mail address. Be careful.
Electronic Commerce. Credit card information is transmitted over the net when you shop online. Make sure your browser has Secure Socket Layer (SSL) which encrypts your credit card details.
Electronic Mail (E-Mail), are like locators that track your location in cyberspace. tells my name, the internet service provider I’m using and the country I’m from. If you can, construct an email address using a pseudonym, e.g.
Spam. Those who have shopped, published an email address, or joined news groups online can get spam or junk mail. Some ISPs sell email addresses to spammers.
Internet Relay Chat (IRC). Many of those who chat use fake names to keep their identity. It is unsafe to divulge personal information to strangers.
We have to remember that the internet is international and largely unregulated. We have very little control over what we put out, once it’s out there.

Post by: Stanley Palisada

Share on Google Plus

About Jomar Lipon

Web Developer at your service and frustrated blogger in Cebu. Author of, SEO Specialist.
    Blogger Comment
    Facebook Comment


Post a Comment

Pin It

Receive all updates from us via Facebook. Just Click the Like Button Below