Am I really alone?

8 Feb

Privacy is a topic that I have been writing about and talking about quite a bit lately. With the Web 2.0 course that I’m in right now, I have to sign up for quite a few sites and provide my personal information in order to register. Even downloading the programs onto my computer makes me wonder how much I’m being followed.

Last night it was made incredibly apparent to me just how vulnerable we are when we’re connected like that. I was having trouble with finding a file to allow Google through my firewall and, quicker than a wink, a friend’s boyfriend had remote access to my computer and was rummaging through my files. It was so strange watching the mouse fly around as I just sit there as an observer of the machine that holds much of my personal information. I was thankful that he stayed on-task and, since everything was visible on my desktop and I don’t really have any questionable files, I didn’t have too much to worry about. But if entering my computer was that easy for him….

Maybe my friend’s uncle has the right idea about taking himself off the grid (cash purchases only, food stockpiled and a self-sustaining farm so that no one can track him in any way) or maybe that’s a bit too extreme. I don’t think I will be moving to a large plot of land any time soon but this whole experience has made me think. As we introduce Web 2.0 technology into our lives and our classrooms I don’t think we can stress enough the importance of informing students, parents and ourselves about the privacy and security issues that may arise.

Happy tracking. 

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