How to Protect Yourself Against Online Spying
Privacy is important when you want it. Here are some steps you can take to keep yourself safe from prying eyes on the web.
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Don’t Tag Yourself in Photos
I know you want to. Once, Facebook had an option “don’t let people tag me in photos.” They changed it to, “don’t publish photos I’m tagged in on my timeline.” Why the change? I can think of only one explanation. I don’t know if it’s true, but since we’re in conspiracy-theory mode, I’m sure they’re letting you and your friends build a facial recognition database of each other. Facebook will own all the recognition data. You can keep your tags from showing up, but the facial recognition data itself is going straight into a deep, sinister data center somewhere.
See also: Do You Have Bad Facebook Manners?
Why else would Mark Zuckerberg’s sister Randi be furious when a picture she shared on Facebook was publicly viewable? She knows that it’s being used for evil. Poor, poor billionaire Randi. Fortunately, she can afford the plastic surgery to have her face altered to look like Jennifer Aniston, so no one can use Facebook’s facial recognition database to find her in a crowd.
Use Sgrouples for Group Collaboration
Social media in general has been horrible for privacy. Most people have enough information in their public Facebook profile to have their identity stolen. And people share much, much more, and don’t even know who can see it. The current crop of social media tools try to force you to share as much as possible, as widely as possible. That’s how they make their money: the sell data about you and your sharing habits.
My friend Mark Weinstein was appalled by the situation, so he founded Sgrouples.com. Sgrouples makes privacy its #1 value while providing collaboration and social media tools. Unlike Facebook, Sgrouples first assumes you want maximum privacy, then it lets you share files, message boards, photos, and online spaces where only your family, church group, club, fraternity, sorority, group house, or polyamorous family unit can see the stuff you share.
Full disclosure, I’m an investor in Sgrouples.com because I believe so deeply in its mission, so color me biased.