Thursday, 31 March 2011

The internet: security, safety and privacy

I do worry about all this blogging, tweeting, Facebook-ing and the like. Don't you? I mean, only yesterday I was reading about someone who'd had their photo nicked on Facebook by someone who'd then used it to open a fraudulent account. I do worry about privacy, chiefly that of my family. My daughter's now old enough to use Facebook; several of her friends have been on it for years. I try to make sure she keeps one step ahead of the frequently-changing privacy settings to ensure they're always set at maximum. As for me, I have a strange love-hate relationship with the entire internet, especially social media. Obviously, I'm here; I'm blogging. That tells you something. I've been  doing it for almost three years now. But if I was to start again today, knowing what I now know, would I do it in the same way? Would I call my blog the same thing? Or would I hide behind a mask of anonymity?

Hypocritically (in view of what I'm about to say) I probably would. I've even seriously considered starting again, as-it-were, with a blog called 'Bringing up Bob' or something. There are some nasty people out there, and I don't like the thought of what they might be doing with my data. But. And it's a big but. What I don't like even more than what a few unscrupulous surfers might be doing, is the thought that I should have to do things differently because of them. Why should decent, honest, law-abiding (ahem, generally-speaking) interwebby users and bloggers, social media monkeys and twitter titterers have to hide away because of what a few twisted perverts might want to do or see? I still worry, and I always will. But part of me also thinks, 'why should we change what we do because of them?' It's a bit like the move to reclaim the streets. Why should decent people stay indoors because those that loiter in the darkness might not be too friendly? We need to get out there, folks, and get out there in numbers. Show them who's in charge. Because we are. There are more of us than them. Far more. But then, that doesn't help when you're afraid. And it certainly doesn't mean you shouldn't still take care.

And talking of taking care, here's some great advice from ParentChannel TV. All sensible stuff, and I'll be taking note myself. Taking note. But not giving in.

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