Tech Tuesday: Privacy, Part 5 – Choosing What to Share

Each Tuesday, pleasureinlearning brings you Tech Tuesday.  Come back each week for more ways to become efficient and effective in your use of technology. 

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You hear a lot of talk about computer security and personal privacy.  This series will explore privacy and the role you play as a consumer and as an individual.

When using social media, you must also choose what to share and what not to share. You may have noticed that Facebook allows you to set default privacy settings for a post, but you can also set the privacy of an individual post.

Post Privacy (click image to view source website)

Based on who is going to see your post, decide what to share. Here are some questions to ask yourself.

  1. Does this post indicate that I (or someone I love) am home alone?
  2. Does this post indicate that my home (or a loved one’s home) is empty?
  3. Does this post inadvertently share my personal information? (e.g. Is my house number in the picture I’m posting?)
  4. Is this my information to share? (i.e. Does this violate someone else’s right to privacy?)

While we’re on the subject of how much you want to share with certain groups of people, consider a somewhat recent article on the NSA-Facebook relationship in a post-Snowden era. Essentially, Facebook has taken steps to secure your data from the prying eyes of the NSA.

However, there is a resultant cautionary tale from this article. Facebook has implemented SSL as its method of encrypting traffic between you and its servers. Approximately one month after this article was written, the Heartbleed vulnerability was announced. Heartbleed is a weakness in an implementation of SSL (called OpenSSL). Think of SSL like the patent for a really awesome lock.  The lock is practically perfect in theory, but you also have to manufacture it, set it up and install it correctly, otherwise the lock may be easily circumvented. In this metaphor, Heartbleed was an error in the manufacture of the lock at one manufacturing plant. The mistake wasn’t caught before the lock was shipped to millions of customers.

What things do you avoid sharing?

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One comment on “Tech Tuesday: Privacy, Part 5 – Choosing What to Share

  1. Brian Leslie Coatney says:

    Your usual crisp, informative style, very good.

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