Unless you’ve been diligently dodging the news of late, you are fully aware of the rants and complaints to online user privacy. Specifically from users and former users of Facebook. I’m not going to get into that too much because it isn’t necessary and I may post some links to articles you can read if you want.
Here’s the thing you really should be paying attention to; your digital profile. As a web designer and social media user, my information is all over the place. Most of which I knowingly posted and signed up to share. Some of which I did not particularly care to have shared about or past my set restrictions. As I Google my own name I find interesting websites that have farmed my information and added to their sites. Some relevant, and some not. What’s becoming a bit alarming to me is how my “digital profile” is starting to look like a social security number.
Why is this alarming? Well because if you’re one of the millions out of work and submitting your resume online to many different job forums, and career sites, your information isn’t always nested and secured within those sites. So yes, employers are searching for you by name and through Facebook, or Yahoo, and other social sites and engines. And yes they’re finding information. We all know banks check your credit history, but should they be allowed to follow your online history? What TV shows you “liked”? What web forums your signed up to (gun, porn, racial, gaming, etc). Even parents are getting into this by checking out their neighbors, or they’re children’s friends parents, or potential babysitter.
Remember cookies? Sure you do. Just as much of a pain that they were before, they are again now. Through these cookies websites like Facebook can see where you’ve been and associate that with your Facebook profile. They then use that to calculate the best advertisements you’d be interested in to try and pitch to you. Smart right? Haven’t you noticed the plethora of ads in the free apps on your smartphone? Those ads will be getting even smarter soon.
Moral of the story is to check out your online profile. There are sites that you can request to remove your