Before the end of the world came (according to the Mayan calendar), 2011 was known as the year of social networks. Facebook alone is considered the fourth country in the world just because its population of over 700 million users. Google has positioned itself as the most important search engine in the history of internet; considered a monopoly by most internet users in the land of free market and fair competition. There companies are the grapes of wrath for any marketing strategist craving for information and mega databases, the largest ever seen in history. What is Facebook and Google doing with all this information on its users? The answer is simple and obvious, both are using the information to profit, i.e. to make money of your private information. Both are tracking how and why you use the internet, what your habits are, and making big money.
Information is power. Search engines and social networks make your information easily accessible to just about anyone online, putting your face, photos, address, phone number, professional and education history, what you did last weekend, and more, all online for the world to see. The result? Evidence shows a sharp rise in identity theft, invasion of privacy, financial loss, home robberies and invasions, and in some cases, even rape and murder. In some cases, criminals will use social networks to see what your plans are, when you’re home, when you’re not. Criminals will search Google to find out your address, and Google maps to see what your home looks like, what the neighbors’ homes look like, and how they might break in. Co-workers are search online public records about how much your home is worth.
Google is tracking your every move online, and selling the information to well, no one really knows. The left leaning company has made it clear that it has a biased political agenda, and in some cases cooperated with big government to share private information on its users with the government. All of this can be done in the name of “national security” but you can be sure that Google is getting paid. Facebook says it is serious about protecting privacy of its users, but how can it be when using that information is precisely how the company makes money? Ads targeted to your likes, or your friends likes, who’s following who, etc? What you like or who you are is how the company and its affiliates target you with ads, and sell your information and preferences.
International private investigators warn that posting personal information on the internet is not a smart idea. No matter how safe the site appears to be, remember that information on the web can be used by anyone, for any reason, for good or bad. Think your page is private and can only be seen by your “friends”? Well, ask yourself if everyone on your list is truly a trusting and reliable close friend? The bottom line is that no website is 100% immune from fraud and scams, or theft of information. Major banks have account information stolen every year. Is your private information, photos and date of birth, name and address and more really that safe on Facebook?
Posting about a stupid thing you did last weekend can cost you a job opportunity, or even your current job, as Human Resource managers are now searching the internet about you.
Facebook keeps all its users’ information backed up in enormous servers in the U.S., Canada and Ireland, and though users are protected by each country’s laws and firewalls, all information is subject to hacking. If China can hijack American satellites, you can bet a group of criminals can access Facebook’s databases and servers. From posts, photographs, videos, comments, applications and acquaintances of their subscribers, even if they delete it or cancel their profiles, information is still there. What you post in Hi5, MySpace, Badoo, Friendster, Google+, Facebook or even Flickr, could later come back to haunt you.
Google+ exposes their users’ and their contacts every day by letting anyone know who you associate with. Even worse, Google maps exposes your address and location, and a photograph of your house and sometimes even your car. Thanks to them, cyber criminals not only get your email address and contact list, but learn who is your closest friend or even your child or spouse. When a criminal can quickly get your address and photo of your home online, and the approximate value of your home, and your daily habits and schedule, there is a high risk for crime and theft.
Professional private investigation agencies stress to be careful about posting personal information online because it is being used by social network sites for profit, without your knowledge. This violation of privacy is then made worse by search engines…
Best of luck,
© 2011 A Hathaway