Time for that tinfoil hat

Being an I.T professional does have certain drawbacks, one of which is the lack of privacy. Your whole life is online. Your success is almost defined by your ‘online presence’. The more blog posts, you have written, or has been written about you, the better. Your life is basically open for all to see (or read).

I’m a very private person. I don’t like talking about my personal life. But at the same time I need my online résumé. It’s difficult to balance all the wonderful services there are on the internet, with your own personal desire to keep your life discreet from the prying eyes of the online world.

Before the Internet, a private investigator’s job could have been quite difficult. If you were looking for someone a lot of your time was spent either on the phone, or talking to people. Nowadays anyone with some Google-skills can find any information about you in a matter of seconds. Facebook is even worse, because a lot of people have no idea about configuring their privacy settings and all their info and photos are available for the whole world to see.

I  love running, and just the other day after using RunKeeper, it dawned on me, I just gave away the location of my home to anyone with access to my running route. I quickly scurried to my settings on RunKeeper and made sure that my route information remains secure and that only I can see that, no-one else.

I keep my location services switched off on my phone, I don’t want Google to know too much about me, but I’m sure they already know stuff like, what’s my favourite food, or, what deodorant I use.

On the flip side, when I research someone, for whatever reason, and I find nothing about them on the Internet, that also raises a few red flags for me. Can someone with no Internet breadcrumb trail really be trusted?

There’s a fine balance between what you want people to know about you and what you want to keep private. To me the golden rule is, if you don’t want people to see or read it, don’t put it on the Internet. That’s it, easy as that.