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Any device that connects to the internet has the capability to share data about you. The apps that we use every single day on our smartphones collect data and share information whether or not your realize it.Compare our privacy to just 20 years ago and you will see a stark contrast. As the information age progresses the communication gap in the world is slowly closing. Americans handoff privacy to multiple outlets. So, what happens to all the collected data about our lives and what kinds of data is being collected? The type of data being collected about you depends on what your accessing. There are startling flaws in our privacy these days that can compromise our safety.Last year Facebook reported over 1.11 billion users. That number is shocking, but not unexpected. Most are drawn to Facebook with the hopes of connecting to distant family or friends. Being able to share photos and videos of our lives makes us happy. The truth is that numerous agencies and sometimes malicious people gather information on Facebook. Think about posting pictures from your awesome vacation on Facebook. Meanwhile everyone on your friends list (whether they are actually your friend or not) knows you’re not home. Likely they have seen the inside of your house and some of the nice things you own as well. Many companies monitor Facebook for potential and current employee’s embarrassing photos or stated opinions. Before you make the argument “What I put on my Facebook is my business” if your privacy settings aren’t perfect it’s everyone’s business. Everything you post, share, like or comment on is visible, and once information is online it’s pretty well permanent. Click here to learn more on how to keep you internet life more private. Buried beneath all of the ads we see on a daily basis is a booming and complicated business whose product is your personal information. Each step you take online leaves a footprint that can be traced back to you. Data mining is the new and dangerous business that uses your information to try and sell you junk! Each time you sign up for a subscription or a new service online your choosing to give away more of your personal information. Sites like Spokeo.com prove just how easy it is these days to retrieve this information. Anyone who wants to find you or find about you can pretty easily and quite affordably. Each little fragment of data collected about you is worth about a fraction of a cent, and there are many fragments throughout the course of a normal day. If you use a smartphone, access a computer, have a library card, order magazines sign up for ANYTHING free online you're injecting a plethora of information on the web. What does this all mean? It means we are sacrificing our privacy for the free flow of information. Why are we doing this? Because we want the world to see our lives, but at what cost. Realizing the damage done by data mining isn’t easy, after all we assume that accessing the internet is a private way to gain information. Just because the person looking at your information doesn’t know you, doesn’t make it any less wrong. Next time you sign up for something think about that.
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