Thursday, July 18, 2013

Your Digital Footprint



New York TImes image for this article, July 18, 2013


Somini Sengupta is one of the New York Times best technology reporters.  Today she's written an article called "Digital Tools to Curb Snooping," that covers a great deal of ground in describing applications that can help you obliterate your Internet tracks.  I find most of the article to offer too many choices,  many of which are expensive.  But I offer the article for those who do want to consider how to defeat data-miners and cyber-thieves.

Only at the end of the article does she come to what seems to me to be the salient point:  first actions to take don't cost anything.  Do keep your software updated, from operating system patches where you can set up automatic updates for your devices, to security protection patches from whatever vendor you use for virus/malware/SPAM protection.  And, though it is inconvenient until it becomes a habit, use two-factor authentication.  Finally, beware what types of transactions you are engaging in when working in an unsecure wireless environment.

And, as Sengupta points out early in the article, despite all efforts on your part, know that the federal government can subpoena your emails or records if it can show even a barely plausible reason.

Which leads to the point I try to make more clearly in the second edition of Advice From A Risk Detective: consider carefully what you post on social media sites.  It's a difficult challenge when so many have begun to confuse their own voice and identity with the digital profile they aspire to create on such sites.

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