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Almost everyone in today’s generation is familiar with the internet and its use. A large number of users however are not aware of the security problems they are facing. It is important to know exactly where your information goes and who can see it. From all the evidence I’ve seen regarding internet security, my considered opinion is that it should be every users concern. Writing Facebook posts, online shopping, and pictures shared are all ways people are tracking your every move. In this essay I will talk about some concerns internet users may have and some precautions you can take.
Social Media sites give their users an easy way to share information about themselves. However, users are unaware that even the information you are not willing to share to your family and friends can fall into the hands of strangers. “Facebook sends code to your browser. That code automatically analyzes what you type into any text box and reports metadata back to Facebook.” (Golbeck 2) This should be to Facebook users concern because the unposted thoughts that you decide not to share with people that you know is not something that should be shared with strangers at Facebook. In addition, Golbeck explains that “it is not clear to the average reader how this data collection is covered by Facebook’s privacy policy.” (2) This is concerning because not only are they analyzing your personal thoughts, they are doing it secretly without any consent from you. To avoid this, users should be cautions when updating their status and think about what they are going to say instead of typing it out. To respect their user’s privacy, Facebook representatives should add information about how closely they are monitoring their activity in their privacy policy.
To make life easier, a lot of people turn to online shopping to save some time. Scientist Jennifer Golbeck explains that corporations use the internet as a useful spying and marketing tool without the shopper knowing. She uses Target in one of her examples in her TED talk’s video. She says that “Target sent a flyer to this 15-year-old girl with advertisements and coupons for baby bottles and diapers and cribs two weeks before she told her parents that she was pregnant” (2:02) and then goes on to explain that “they have the purchase history for hundreds of thousands of customers and they compute what they call a pregnancy score.” (Golbeck 2:40) This evidence shows that people can track what you order online and use that information to try and sell you more things you might need. This could be concerning to anyone who not only purchases things online, but even views items they are interested in because companies are spying on this activity and using this information for their own financial benefit without us even knowing.
When posting a photo on to any social media site, people usually don’t think too much about it. The thing people are most worried about are how many like they receive on the photos they upload. But is that the only thing they should be concerned about? Alessandro Acquisti talks about internet security in his Ted talk’s video and how advanced technology is today. He reveals that “we can start from an anonymous face… and we can use facial recognition to give a name to that anonymous face thanks to social media data.” (3:29) Knowing someone can find out what your name is from having a photo of you can be a little unsettling. But Acquisti goes on to explain that with this facial recognition technology they “ended up predicting social security numbers” (3:29) which is very sensitive information and makes this situation more concerning for social media users. This is a threat that poses a real problem because not only can someone find out who you are by simply seeing a photo of you, they can also steal your identity and access all of your personal information. People shouldn’t have to worry about someone stealing their identity while sharing memories or photos online.
The internet can be a great tool and should be used, but it is up to us to take personal responsibility to protect ourselves. More action should be taken by the government to eliminate the threats and invasion of privacy that comes with using the internet. People need to be more aware of the risk they are taking when posting, shopping, and uploading photos online. With this awareness, Internet users can be better protected.

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