WARNING- This post may be triggering for persons diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia or generalised anxiety. Also, one music clip has brief nudity at the end (Sheena Easton clip. ) However, it is advisable for school students using computers to also read this post.
Privacy is a pet subject of mine. It affects all of us. It is a precious human right, that is eroding. It can protect our security.
Blogger/Blogspot site, on which I currently have this blog, is owned by Google. If you live in Europe, or Britain, you might be seeing a Google privacy notice now displayed on my blog. This is mandated by law there now. I thought I would link an explanation of what cookies are, here on this site, (please come back here as there is more):
* A while ago I went into the settings of my device , then into the browser, and turned off the ability of websites to sell the cookies they gather, to third parties. That can be a good thing for you to do, if you wish. Also investigate individual sites you visit, and find the place where you can turn off 3 rd party tracking, if desired.
Rockwell, featuring Michael Jackson - “Somebody’s watching me” -
* I don’t currently link to any social media site. You are therefore not linked through me. I do post links of my blog posts to other blogs, and my blog is advertised on my personal profile under a different name on some websites.
* I don’t sell or give away any email addresses or phone numbers my readers /writers give me. That’s been my policy since I started phoning and emailing, way back, for ethical reasons. To pass those on, I would have to have permission of the owner, in writing. I have not authorised Facebook or other , to collect my contacts list, I am not a member of that site. I have been waiting for them to clean up their privacy policies.
* Also I can’t be monitoring what individuals read. All I can see on my dashboard, is some of which countries logged in, or what posts were looked at , and can see gross numbers per day, week, month and all time. Typical, a week (so far):
So if you want me to know that you read a post, please feel free to leave a comment. There is an anonymous button, if you’re shy.
* Regarding Google, to my knowledge I haven’t had any security issues since I joined them, but I avail myself of their privacy settings. I urge you do too.
* Our device is Apple, and their security/privacy has been excellent so far to my knowledge.
* I won’t say who I email through, because, you know, privacy, but their spam catching is excellent, so I’m not passing on links of spam on the blog either.
* I turn off photo and location tracking on my device, unless it’s essential.
* My opinions are mine alone. Your opinions are valued in the comments section, or you can send me a guest post .
* Before taking any of my advice, for a serious matter, it is worthwhile to consult a registered , qualified professional, who is a member of their professional organisation, so has privacy ethics to follow.
* It’s always wise to read and action the fine print of websites. They will always protect themselves. Consult a lawyer if appropriate.
* Have different passwords for sites, and the most secure passwords have a combination of numbers, letters, upper and lower case letters. They should not spell words, or be consecutive numbers. Don’t store them in your contact list, as Facebook and possibly some other sites, have been collecting contact lists.
* Save all your passwords, offline, and delete cookie and browser history on your device on a regular basis. When you log back into the sites you will need your passwords.
* Keep backups of your important data.
* Be very careful what you put in writing and share. Currently, only verbal conversations are private, and in some countries, not even then. At the beginning of the Trump administration, in USA, email content lost its privacy there. In Australia the government can track your metadata, ie who you contacted and where you were, rather than the content.
* Loyalty schemes track, and may sell, your purchasing data.
* The computers on some modern cars may track your movements.
* Public transport swipe cards track your movements. I prefer the anonymous ones you buy with cash at outlets.
* We should all fight the extinction of cash. If a company won’t take cash, an anonymous money order , or a gift card/voucher, go to their competitor. Cash preserves our anonymity. We don’t realise how precious our anonymity is until something goes seriously wrong.
* If you share certain elements of your medical history in public, insurance companies may refuse to cover you, or your descendants.
* If you must get your DNA tested, use an accredited medical company. Others may be faulty.
* If you or an associate shares evidence of your mistakes online, prospective employers may deny you a job. What you don’t regard as a mistake now, such as public nudity for example, you might if you’re unemployed later.
* Many relationships break down, and people are not always who they seem. Think before sharing nude photographs with someone, or before taking them at all, especially on digital devices:
Sheena Easton- “For your eyes only” :
* Use safe, encrypted payment methods online. If paying by bank account, it is wise to use an account with less money in it. The same goes for credit cards.
* People can discover your address from full frontal photos of your residence.
* Don’t display your car’s numberplate online.
* In USA, your address can easily be discovered online via your name and city.
* Don’t display underage children’s location details, including school or sporting crests on their clothing.
* Don’t display full frontal headshots of your underage children, as their identities can be stolen. It is a very hard one to fight, if they don’t yet have photo ID.
* To avoid burglary, don’t say you are going away on vacation, post about it when you get back.
* Protect your privacy generally when you post online for the public to read. Protect your family and friends. There are companies , big and small, that make their money trawling the net for data on individuals. As you can see, I don’t use real names for myself and my family on the blog, because I post personal activity of the family.
* Anything you post online is there forever. Even if you delete something, it is still in the website’s archives and can be recovered by order of a court, or if the website wants to. Think before you post, and read before you press send.
* It’s my opinion, that most corporations jealously guard your personal identity information, for competition reasons, whereas governments give it out (and lose it in rubbish bins and dumped filing cabinets etc) much more easily.
* Privacy regulations are only as robust as they are enforced. When ours was breached by a branch of a government department, the privacy commission refused to take action, despite confirming the breach was illegal. The citizen, can of course, sue. From my experience, when enough people get annoyed, or the free media get involved, then government can be openly held to account. We can protect our free and balanced media as consumers. Just continue buying their product.
If any of this information makes you upset, I advise you to protest civilly to the appropriate authorities. There may be petitions you can sign against the breaches in privacy in our societies. I haven’t received any spam from joining Change.org , a large petition site.
Investigate political parties privacy track records before you vote. In general, conservative parties (on the political right) tend to favour less regulations on companies, small l liberal parties (on the left) tend to favour more regulation on companies, unless the political party are corrupt, saying one thing, but doing another. All governments, once in power, like to gather information on their people, as much as we will let them.
If you are getting anxiety symptoms , I advise you to consult your health practitioner.
Thankyou for reading, I’d love to read your thoughts and experiences on privacy, in the comments section below.
An Australian satire on privacy statements: