And When You Click OK
I was online doing some research for an upcoming article when I – quite by accident – stumbled onto a post from Time.com / Money.
After we posted an article on how to share large files with Google, I noticed that many people are concerned with privacy in general and Google in particular. It surprised me a bit, since the Internet is not a very private place anymore.
But, don’t worry. I’m not going to post the entire Time.com / Money article here, but here’s a link to if you want to read it.
The part of that article that I thought many of you would be interested in, is the following section titled “The Lesson”.
It contains a couple of tools/sites that help illustrate how you need to be aware what happens every time you click “OK” to something.
Keep in mind that it’s generally impossible to get rich giving something away, no matter how wonderful that “thing” would be. Mark Zuckerberg didn’t become a billionaire by giving free Facebook accounts away, Microsoft made a lot of money giving Windows 10 away free, Instagram, Google and dozens of other companies, are making a ton of money by giving away things for free. Keep this in mind:
If you’re not paying for a product, then you may become the product being sold.
We’re not trying to scare you; we’re trying our best to keep you informed. And we want you to keep in mind that when you use the Internet you do not have much expectation of privacy anymore. Your ISP, possibly your government, and many of the free services, like those mentioned above, may be keeping a lot of information about you of which you are not aware.
One way you can stay on top of things is by staying informed. So, here is “The Lesson” from the Time/Money article we referenced above.
If you really want to dig deep, Popular Science recommends using a third-party program that will locate your data. Try Stalkscan, which promises to show you “all ‘public’ info Facebook doesn’t let you see,” or check out Data Selfie, a browser add-on that follows your Web activity and “reveal[s] what machine learning algorithms could predict about your personality based on that data.”
But before you get mad, remember that in most cases you gave these apps access. You were complicit every time you quickly clicked “OK” when asked for access to your smartphone’s microphone just so you could play Angry Birds faster, Rice said.
“We gave up all this data willingly not really knowing what the impact is,” he added. “We should take more control of our data and be curious as to how it’s going to be used.”
So, if you’re not paying for a product, you may indeed become the product being sold. Be careful what you post on social media.