Privacy on the Internet

Discussion in 'Security, Privacy & Anonymity' started by james2012, Sep 7, 2012.

  1. james2012

    james2012 Member

    I thought I would post this after working with Millard to get my screen name changed. It could very well be that someday soon I will be looking for a job. Problem: my username included enough information to potentially tie my name to a forum called "thinksteriods". Now I never actually posted anywhere except in the Men's health section and the politics section, but what if the search stopped at the point where my name and the forum name were tied together? That could be bad. So Millard asked if I would post about a company I have been working with.

    I started working with a company Reputation Defender. They have plans that start at $99 and go all the way to $5000 for executives. What I learned is rather alarming.

    Google "Wayback Machine". Sounds ominous, almost conspiratorial. But it exists and is an archive of sites. You can enter any site you wish and see what it looked like for that site, or subpage if you enter that, since the Machine began to archive webpages for the dates shown. There is a Wikipedia article that shows how much data this archive holds and how fast it is growing. You may find yourself needing to learn a new word: terabyte.

    Now the archive can be blocked by many sites in the file .htaccess which can be used to block any bot from crawling your site. Google also has a bot it used to rank your site, as do most other search engines. Because Facebook in mostly in JAVA and not HTML it is not easy to crawl. However, I still deleted by account because, and here is the kicker:

    1. Soon this archive can find pages and take snapshots of them instead of grabbing the site code itself for storage.

    2. Within five years, facial recognition will exist which will be able to crawl the database of sites and snapshots of sites and find you

    3. Employees are using these services more and more, so your personality on the net will soon be a major part in any screening process, so that night you had a few drinks and someone snapped a photo of you being indiscreet with some unknown female will be right there for them to see even if you used a different name.

    Bottom line: Never post pictures of yourself on the internet you would not want someone to see. Everyone hears about this and it has been touted for years, but with facial recognition this is very, very sound advice.

    Practice very careful username and gravitar practices and never use the same username for multiple sites if on one of those sites you may be pushing the boundaries of what you would want others to see.

    I had no idea how fast this technology was moving. With Cloud Computing and cheap data storage (you can get a 3TB drive for $70 now, or less - in the future solid state drives of 3TB will be less than $10, and within the decade expect to see costs like this for 100TB solid state storage devices) it will be faster and easier to implement these kinds of searches.

    Just thought I would give a head's up.
  2. Millard Baker

    Millard Baker Member

    Thank you for sharing. Privacy should be a major concern especially for MESO members. Given AAS stigma, it is advisable for most people to do everything to keep your AAS-related identity separate from other online activities.