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Has Our Online Socializing Made Us Vulnerable To Thieves?

monument-and-funny-advertisementI hear constant reports about Internet privacy breaches. Just now I’m learning that burglars use Facebook to rob houses. These countless threats against us remind me that we should take caution. What is happening to us? Why have we made ourselves vulnerable?

Is Mobile Technology To Blame?

We don’t use the same precautions when mobile browsing as we do on our computers. Yet, hacks infecting computers also infect phones, tablets and notebooks. What about moving from place to place makes us feel safer than staying home?

I understand why people feel safer using a phone than the computer. After all, the ip address changes along with location. Therefore, we assume no one knows where we are. Still, traveling doesn’t make people less of a target. In fact, chances of harm often increase on the go, not decrease.

Why is mobile browsing more trouble than going online on a home computer? Many people don’t remember to turn off their GPS apps. Tablet users also set their devices to make their immediate location detectable.

We don’t need to do this at home most of the time because we already know where we are. However, as we transport from one location to the next, we forget others can track us.

When Does Lack of Privacy Become Too Much?

Sometimes we need people to find us in case of an emergency. I understand that. I even turn my GPS on when I want to know where I’m going. It definitely makes life easier. It’s also nice to connect with people on Facebook or Google Plus when I can’t see them for weeks.

However, I don’t always let everyone know when I eat, go to the bathroom, or when I leave the house—especially not when I leave town. However, if I share photos of a family member’s birthday cake to all my online friends, the device may force me to share my location.

I don’t really like people knowing exactly where I am. I try to tell as little as possible, but today hiding seems hard to do. Should we put up with this lack of privacy? When do we finally say it’s just too much?

Possible Security Solutions

We might not always have a way to hide our location. However, it’s worth a try. I sometimes use Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) because it conceals the real ip with a proxy one. However, the availability of proxy Internet Protocol (ip) addresses frequently changes. In fact, some ips may not work an hour after I try them out. This sometimes exhausts me.

I would like static ip addresses. I want one I can use where ever I go. That way, people think I’m somewhere else. Perhaps receiving a device ip that looks similar to my home location helps.

However, we all may not have access to advanced solutions. At least, we have to make sure we don’t put our real address, phone number, and e-mail out for everyone to see. We need to make it harder for thieves to break into our homes.

By Erin Walsh

Guest Author: Erin Walsh enjoys blogging for employer’s software PC Health Boost because she gets to talk about issues that enlighten the everyday computer user, such as how to fix common computer problems and how to protect yourself from privacy invasions. With the Internet becoming more of a standard for the way we live life, she feels that it is important for all of us to have tools that will empower us to handle these problems on our own. To read more about these topics, please visit the PC Health Boost blog.

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Posted in Social Networking.

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