GRAND Magazine - January/February 2019 - 14
In the meantime, what can
you do? Here are for four
actions to help protect your
Accept that nothing online
was considered private
Assume anything you post, even
anything you email, will be visible to
everyone. Period. No matter how often
you change your privacy settings, different platforms change them more
And, there's no such thing as two
audiences-one "public" and one for
"family and friends-curate what you
posted knowing there's only one internet. In the olden days the warning in
Public Relations was "don't put anything
in writing that you don't want on the
front page of the New York Times. Same adage. New media.
That friend who swore they wouldn't repeat your secret in
second grade? Now they can do a screen shot and share anything
you've shared with them.
Nothing you post online
Give out only information required.
Lie about your age (aren't you doing that anyway?). No
one is verifying your birthday; they just need to know you're old
enough to use the site. Give a fake zip code, too.
And don't give more information than is absolutely required to
JANUARY FEBRUARY 2019
do this is with Google's Gmail) to use
when you are making online purchases
or filling out forms. And don't let Google
force you to consolidate all of your Gmail
accounts into one inbox (They will try.
Say no!). Use a different password for
your critical sites, like banking, than you
would for other more informational sites.
Beware anytime a website says "in
order to better serve you..." or "for your
convenience..." before they ask for information about you. It's never actually a
benefit for you. Yes, it probably will be
easier, but it is designed to gather more
information about your habits.
For example, you can use your
Facebook login to log into all kinds of
sites now. Convenient, right? Wrong!
Facebook pixels allow websites to track
your behavior on their website and
back on Facebook after you leave their
site. Any site you sign into with your
get or do what you need. Most often a cell phone is optional, as is
Facebook login will now track you as well. Sign in to any site you
home address, gender and all kinds of information requested.
use separately, with your burner email address and a different passWhen you are at a retail store making a cash purchase, don't
word. Can't remember your passwords? No worries. That's what the
be afraid to let the clerk know they have absolutely no need for
your phone number or email address. Yes, everyone behind you in "Forgot Password" function is for.
And (duh?) Don't get microchipped!
line with think you are paranoid. You are paranoid, but with supporting evidence that you should be.
Avoid giving out your phone number.
Create a burner email account to use just for signing up
Sternberg warns that experts have told him your phone number
is now more closely attached to your bank, finances and health
insurance than even your Social Security number. He also recommends creating a burner email address (shoot...the easiest way to
Deanna Shoss is a marketer, writer, interculturalist in
Chicago. As President and CEO of Intercultural Talk, Inc.
she provides digital, intercultural and real life marketing
for entrepreneurs and people following their passions post
age 50, who need strategy and know-how to adapt to new
GRAND Magazine - January/February 2019
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