Monday, August 17, 2009

Meandering all over the map in my usual boring fashion, yesterday I was reminded in a chat room of something we tend to forget sometimes, and that is the relativity of privacy.

People tend to do things while driving their cars they would not necessarily do face to face sometimes because they tend to feel anonymous.

The same can hold true on the internet.

When we are using an alias in a chatroom, or to make comments somewhere, or on a website with posting boards where we feel safe, we still have to remember to watch what personally identifying details we give out. I know people forget, and it is hard to be on your toes about this all of the time. Still, it is vital to remember that everything we publish on the internet or in an email can be accessed somehow. We may delete it later, but we can't know what server might still bring it up, who may have cut and pasted it and posted it elsewhere, or saved it onto their own computer, or how it might later be retrieved.

Publishing something on the internet, or sending an email, is like taking out an ad in the paper forever.

I'm not suggesting we not post. I'm not suggesting we not share deeply with friends on the internet. I'm not saying we have to censor every word, just be careful of what we say and where.

Personally identifying information is very easy to let slip when you get comfortable, and if you have a skeleton you would rather keep in that closet, if both are on the net, even on sites you know and under an alias, they can be linked and possibly traced back to you.

Be careful out there. Paper journals are still available, if you need to write it but you would rather be certain it doesn't get out.

For the internet, if it would identify you easily, or you would be horribly embarrassed having your mother hear about it at your funeral, it's best to skip it.

Today is:

Archaeology Day

Feast of the Hungry Ghosts, China

Independence Day, Gabon, Indonesia

Meaning of "Is" Day

National Thrift Shop Day

National Vanilla Custard Day

Odin's Ordeal begins, Norse

Paryushana -- Jainism (The staying of the monks in one place.)

San Martin Day, Argentina

St. Hyacinth's Day (Patron Saint of Lithuania)

Birthdays Today:

Robert DeNiro, 1943
Maureen O'Hara, 1920
Mae West, 1892
charles I, last emperor of Austria-Hungary, 1887
Samuel Goldwyn, 1882
Davy Crockett, 1786

Today in History:

The Peace of Bergerac gives political rights to the Huguenots, 1577
John white returns to Roanoke, Virginia, to find no trace of the colonists he had left there 3 years earlier, 1590
Robert Fulton's steamboat Clermont begins its first trip up the Hudson River, 1807
Solymon Merrick patents the wrench, 1835
The first bank in Hawai'i opens, 1858
Patent granted for an electric self starter for automobiles, 1891

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