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Online Privacy Is a Big Deal

I did not have much of an online presence before I began my Information and Learning Technology masters at CU Denver. Yes, I had a Facebook account that I would use sporadically and I did not use any other social media applications. This means I had none of the following accounts:

  • Twitter
  • Instagram
  • Flickr
  • SoundCloud
  • Blog
  • Website (or Basecamp)

I have found it refreshing to enter the social media world from the instructional designer perspective. Most of my content has been for school and to build my portfolio, which means the content is safe. With social media aside, I understand the need for privacy and appreciate David Howell’s how-to article, How to protect your privacy and remove data from online services shared in my Social Media class. Perhaps I will take the time to decrease my online footprint when the Spring semester ends.

Here is my to do list according to Howell:

  1. Check all your privacy settings
  2. Remove old accounts
  3. Unsubscribe from mailing lists
  4. Register with a different email address
  5. Use stealth mode when browsing
  6. Think before you post
  7. Consider Tor browsing
  8. Use anti-tracking tools

As I write all the protective steps needed for privacy I start to feel a bit freaked-out. I am sure that if my information was in the wrong hands or taken out of context, it could lead to repercussions. Then again, I imagine that everyone who gets on the internet regularly feels the same way as I do. We are human and we make mistakes. I don’t always use my best judgement and certainly forget that my every move is being tracked.

Making privacy a priority would take new habits and perhaps, the investment in anti-tracking tools. Welcome to the internet age.

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