Privacy Concern: Web 'Sharing' Shares Too Much
Over the past year, a new phenomenon has popped up on the Internet you can share almost everything you read. That's in addition to the Facebook-generated Like button, where you can like your friends' status update or let the world know you like anything from a particular TV show to a laundry detergent. There are even sites set up to help you pick things to like.
Social networking has changed the way we do things on line. Consumers no longer have a passive role in what they read online. Instead, they can make their voices heard through comments, sharing and liking. But is the ability to let your opinions known relinquishing too much privacy?
Yes, says Christopher Burgess, senior security adviser at Cisco. By hitting the like button, you are giving demographic information about yourself to the site, Burgess said.
While the information provided is fairly low level, it provides enough information for websites to personalize the ads that appear. For example, like a particular sports team on Facebook? You'll likely get ads related to that team and that sport on your home page. Does CNN know your location? That would explain the state-specific political ads popping up.
Perhaps more alarming is the trend that connects the public with the personal. Many websites now link their comments area with Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites. If you choose to make a comment on the site, your name, as it appears on the social media site, is available to all readers, and in some circumstances, links to your personal site as well.
Also, some sites allow you to see how your friend network has responded to articles and products.
To preserve your privacy, Burgess recommended always logging out of social media sites before moving on to another website. This not only prevents the website from ((CONLINK|63521|â??readingâ?