[ISN] Are You Naked Online? How to Protect Your E-Privacy

From: mea culpa (jerichoat_private)
Date: Wed Feb 17 1999 - 13:52:47 PST

  • Next message: mea culpa: "[ISN] MCI Worldcom joins security force"

      This message is in MIME format.  The first part should be readable text,
      while the remaining parts are likely unreadable without MIME-aware tools.
      Send mail to mimeat_private for more info.
    Content-Type: TEXT/PLAIN; CHARSET=us-ascii
    Content-ID: <Pine.SUN.3.96.990217145150.13923Zat_private>
    Forwarded From: darek milewski <darekmat_private>
    Are You Naked Online? How to Protect Your E-Privacy
    Jesse Berst, Editorial Director
    Wednesday, February 17, 1999
    Remember streakers? Those nutty nudes of the seventies who darted across
    college campuses? 
    I was always too uptight to join their au naturel jaunts.  Now, more than
    20 years later, every Netizen risks total exposure. Of email messages. Of
    medical records. Of places surfed. 
    I still don't want to bare all. While most Internet businesses work hard
    to protect your privacy, human screw-ups still happen. That's why these
    recent headlines worry me: 
    Patient Records on Web: Patient records -- containing names, phone and
    Social Security numbers, and medical treatments -- at the University of
    Michigan Medical Center inadvertently lingered on public Web sites for two
    months.  Click for more. 
    Valentine's Day Cards Not Private: A programming glitch at the Hallmark
    Cards Web site enabled curious folks to read other people's love notes --
    and names, home and email addresses and places of employment. (Does Ken
    Starr know about this site?) Click for more. 
    FreePCs Raise Privacy Concerns: More than 500,000 people submitted
    personal information in a bid to win one of only 10,000 free PCs, which
    will record user behavior.  In other words, 490,000 people gave away their
    privacy to enter a contest.  In this case the stupidity was on the part of
    the user. Click for more. 
    Prodded by paranoia, I investigated ways to protect me and my data from
    prying eyes. Good news: There are ways to prevent online exposure. 
    Abstinence: The safest way to avoid unplanned privacy invasions is to
    control yourself. 
    Don't send super-personal information via email. (That's what FedEx is
    for.)  Don't offer unnecessary info. Bigbookstore.com doesn't need your
    height and weight.  Restrict access to your files. Insist on it with your
    doctor, banker and broker. 
    Privacy Policies: Scroll down to the bottom of any reputable Web site,
    including this one, and you'll notice a link to the privacy statement. It
    will tell you: 
    What info the site gathers about you What it does with the data With whom
    it shares the data
    If that policy's cool with you, browse freely. If not, surf elsewhere. 
    An independent consortium called TRUSTe verifies privacy statements and
    "stamps" its seal of approval on sites that abide by its standards. TRUSTe
    also oversees a site of its own where you can report privacy offenders.
    Click for more. 
    Encryption: Think of email notes as postcards -- anyone can read 'em. Many
    people rely on "security by obscurity"  to protect their email secrets. As
    in, "there's so much email zipping around no one's going to notice mine."
    Encryption is a better method. 
    Encryption Primer: Click for more.  Encryption Survival Guide: Encryption
    expert Robert Gelman discusses how to encrypt your email. Click for more. 
    Online Transactions: ZDTV reveals how encryption protects online shoppers.
    Click for more. 
    Be Vigilant: Despite my berst, er ... burst, of paranoia, there's no need
    to worry constantly about electronic privacy.  Let the professionals fret
    for you. An occasional glance at one of their sites will keep you
    Electronic Frontier Foundation: Non-profit organization that lobbies for,
    among other things, online privacy.  Click for more.  Electronic Privacy
    Information Center: Excellent EPIC features news, tool and resources.
    Click for more.  FreeCrypto: Encryption site with political bent. Click
    for more. 
    Unlike streaking, online privacy is not a passing fad. 
    Subscribe: mail majordomoat_private with "subscribe isn".
    Today's ISN Sponsor: Internet Security Institute [www.isi-sec.com]

    This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Fri Apr 13 2001 - 13:19:15 PDT