Online Privacy: An Oxymoron?

By Sarah Lagro

Every single time I open Facebook my feed is automatically flooded with information. Usually it’s news, maybe the occasionally Tasty video. But every few days there seems to be life updates from my Facebook friends. So-and-so got engaged, that girl from high school homeroom posted a thousand more photos of her baby, my uncle got a new car, and we all have that Facebook friend that posts status updates with a little too much information. It makes me wonder, why are we putting so much of our life online?

Social media networks connect people to the world after all. But do we really want everyone to see our life? The occasional update is harmless but constant sharing and posting of personal information can’t be good. “I use all the privacy settings!” Sure you do, I believe you. But that’s not good enough in 2016. Privacy online isn’t as simple as making your posts friends only or protecting your tweets. Those settings do help on most social networks, but people often forget about browsers or search engines.

Thanks to the invention of the cookie, our every search and every move online can be tracked or saved. Ever wonder why those ads seem to be something you might want? Those are the cookies talking. Another scary thing about our Internet habits is a process called “canvas printing” where everything we do online is often recorded without our permission.

It’s scary enough that my mom can see who I’m friends with let alone multinational companies seeing what kind of useless things I buy on Amazon. Though we can’t make our online activity completely private, this list is helpful for those of us who tend to be paranoid about online safety. When in doubt just do what Ron Swanson did and throw your computer in the dumpster at work.

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Published by

UNT Eagle Strategies

Class members of the social media class in the Mayborn School of Journalism