Everyone is out to get you on the web

January 20, 2011

(This is the Online column, written for The Southland Times)

They say that it’s not paranoia if they really are out to get you (they being those who are out to get you), and that’s never more true than on the web.

It seems like everywhere you turn, there’s some lousy bugger wanting to break into your computer, wipe your hard drive and steal your collection of porn and/or pirated music.

Facebook, never far from controversy, is back in the spotlight with the news that it has allowed developers of apps access to sensitive information including telephone numbers and addresses.

I suppose it should come as no surprise: the social networking site hasn’t exactly got a fantastic track record when it comes to protecting our privacy.

According to a story on the Mail news site, internet security analysts and privacy experts are now advising people to remove their phone numbers and addresses from the site, so check your privacy settings people.

However, there is some good news on the social networking front: German company X-Pire has come up with software that will automatically put an expiration date on your online photos.

The digital eraser software will delete personal photos uploaded to websites such as Facebook and MySpace.
Just the ticket to protect the unwary from the dangers of posting too much of their lives online.

Now we just need something to stop people uploading a gazillion photos of themselves taken while gazing into their webcams or cellphones while performing the infamous duckface pose.

Finally, one more safety warning but this time it doesn’t involve Facebook. If you must text, make sure you are in a safe place: don’t text and walk, people have been known to fall into fountains.


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Jillian "George" Allison-Aitken

I live in the deep south of New Zealand, where smelly dairy cows are taking over from sheep in the livestock stakes. My hometown is the small but perfectly formed city of Invercargill, which is also the hometown of the original boy racer, Burt Munro. Find out more about me here.


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