For those who receive this in your email box, please do reply if you would like to stay on my list. Privacy laws are updating and terms are being redefined regarding online data. It is my desire to respect the privacy and trust of my readers. Especially if you are in the EU, in order to be GDPR compliant, I need your consent to keep your information in my records. I am not a lawyer or law professional. I have researched General Data Protection Regulation to the best of my ability and have updated my policies to reflect my understanding. Please take responsibility of your data and online privacy. Be careful what you share and who you share it with. As our world becomes more virtual, awareness is vital. I look forward to hearing from you.
Today it's hard to trust anyone. You may be sued for the smallest thing at any moment. People seldom stand by their word. Even worse, there are people purposely working hard to exploit others especially online. Yes, we've always had thieves, pirates, and scoundrels in the world. With the internet, their population seems to have exploded. There are companies who monitor "Cyber Attacks" across the world. The more people using the internet, the more data breeches there are. Online security companies have to update regularly to stay ahead of hackers. No matter how careful you are, or how private you try to be, if you are using the internet, you are at risk.
At the same time, privacy isn't what it use to be. Not long ago, party-line telephones were normal and someone could easily listen in. Neighbors had a pretty good guess what was going on in your life simply by what you had hanging on your clothes line. If you wanted something to be private, you were very careful who you spoke to about it and how you handled things. Many families had proverbial "skeletons in the closet" that were kept secret for only few to know.
Now, people are very free with what they put on the internet. At the same time, the same information they are so free about on social media, they tend to get very upset if they see it in an unexpected place from an unexpected source. It seems very inconsistent to me. For some reason, people fail to see social media platforms as the public bulletin boards they are meant to be.
Tips for being more conscientious online:
- If you wouldn't want the information on a public board at the post office, coffee shop, or in the news paper, don't post it.
- If you don't want someone in your family to find out, don't post it.
- If you wouldn't want it said about you, don't post it about someone else.
- If you wouldn't say it in front of a particular person, don't post it.
Another thing I often see that is dangerous are the "get to know me" games going around on facebook with random personal questions. Many times these are the same questions secure sites, like online banking use as security questions and answers.
- Name of your first pet.
- Best friend in school.
- Childhood nickname.
- Where you met your spouse.
- Favorite food, color, or vacation spot.
I've been guilty. I was filling out one of these games once and suddenly realized how many questions were similar to the options when I set up a recent online account. The realization startled me.
While we should not have unreasonable expectations for the internet keeping our privacy, we also should not be flippant about the things we share. I love the "Intentional" movement I've seen over the past few years. We should be more intentional in our prayer life, in our parenting, in our marriage... Should we not also be more intentional in what we post online?
Please do read through my updated policies. Let me know what you think.