Ken's Korner Newsletter Logo
February 2018
Privacy Post Mortem

Is there any such thing as privacy in the modern world?

The short answer is NO! The average person is on camera over one hundred times per day. If you are worried about your loss of privacy in the digital age, get over it. Microsoft monitors the performance of your computer. Oh they give you a few choices to “opt out” but if you think that keeps your information private, think again. Apple is even more intrusive about monitoring your computer and it doesn't end there.

Worried about your privacy? Get over it.

Amazon keeps track of what you purchase and when, and Google tracks your searches, preferences and where you drive just to name a few of the parameters. Verizon and AT&T track your phone usage and location, (sometimes within a few meters). The credit card company tracks your purchases as does the grocery store, the liquor store and just about anything that you buy on line. The list of organizations that are collecting information about you is almost endless. From your DNA to your favorite snacks your personal information is in a database and in many cases for sale to anyone who is willing to pay the price.

Hackers can exploit a host of devices to invade your home or business. Camera systems, TV sets, “smart home” devices even children's toys can be compromised. And there is more! Believe it or not people are willingly paying upwards of $350.00 to place an Internet connected open mike in their living room, kitchen or bed room. These days it is almost impossible to get away from “Big Brother” no matter who you are or what you are doing. Do a search for yourself on or and see how much of your info is already out there.

Does this sound a little “Orwellian” to you? Maybe so but there is one thing that “Ole George” got wrong. It wasn't some oppressive government that imposed this oversight on us. We did it to ourselves! In fact we couldn't wait to sign up. Some people actually “camped out” on the sidewalk so they could be at the front of the line. We just had to be the first one on the block to get the cool new devices as soon as they came out. The warnings of security experts fell on deaf ears.

Now that we are in this era of 24-7 connected reality is our whole life to be spent in the public arena? Is there any hope of maintaining some vestigial remains confidentiality? What, (if anything) can we do to secure at least some measure of space to yourself?

Is someone watching? Probably!
  • Change the default password. Many devices come with a default password that a hacker can find with a simple Internet search. Some more sophisticated devices have a unique password assigned to them by the manufacture. That makes it much harder for the hacker.
  • Be careful what you share on social media. Don't give out specific dates and times. Don't fill out your social media profile. Try to be as generic as possible.
  • Be careful sharing your social security number, even the last four digits.
  • Lie when setting up password security questions.

You can't be too careful these days. A little paranoia can go a long way towards keeping your private life private. Remember that once your information is out there, it's out there and there is no bringing it back.

And remember always back it up!

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