The problem of online privacy – or more specifically, the lack thereof, seems to constantly be popping up in the office, in the evening news, and in numerous websites the planet over. So is it something we all should be worried about, or is it another gratuitous concern?
Many believe that the digital natives, or the younger generation, hold a blase attitude to online privacy, not really worrying about who or what can get their home town, phone numbers, or general demographical information. Yet a recent survey found that it is actually the 18-35 year olds that are more prone to be tread the privacy waters that were web more carefully than their older peers. It seems that although the younger demographic may be more easygoing about posting private details across their social networking pages, they’re also more inclined to utilize the privacy settings in place to specifically dictate just who can access those details that are private. Based on a PEW study, for example, only 6% of teenagers permit their first and last names to be viewed by most people on social networks. Maybe this is because many are only using social networking to maintain in contact with buddies that are already existing – and privacy settings are adapted to ensure that no others outside their ‘friend’ lists can access their advice.
Unfortunately for Facebook, recently it has been making news headlines for the wrong motives. Over how just their private information had been used Facebook recently introduced new privacy settings to empower users to control their on-line privacy, and then have a backlash of criticisms the newest settings were overly complicated, with users perplexed and concerned. There was a ‘Cease Facebook Day’ founded mid 2010 in an effort to boycott the social networking site because of the internet privacy problem, but that was met using a lukewarm response from the site’s users. In May 2010, Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook, released a statement declaring that new and improved privacy settings were on their way. With ‘privacy controls which are a lot simpler to use’ and ‘an easy way to turn off all third-party services’, put a stop to the secrecy break rumours and Facebook are wanting to soothe their disgruntled users. A big concern that remains is that even though the privacy settings are not more difficult to use, they’re not set as default option – in other words, before you actively seek out the privacy settings and alter them yourself, information, your profile and photographs are available to the public. This means that if we want be not public, we need to understand the way to get it done.
Social networking sites also have come under fire of late because of numerous horrible abductions as well as other crimes that have resulted from users falling for disguises online. Chat rooms have always been a worry for parents, giving anyone from any place in the world an outlet for direct communication with under age Internet users. On-line purchasing is frequently stemmed from by another important privacy concern. As e commerce continues to boom, regrettably, so too do the instances of identity theft, monetary larceny and fraud. In reality, many believe the one thing holding back the ecommerce industry is the dearth of consumer privacy protection online.