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Privacy on the Internet has become a popular issue within today’s society. Online usage is growing worldwide and every day people all over the world worry about how safe the Internet really is. While some of the information we may put on the internet, via social networking sites or Blog sites, are meant to be private, not everything ends up that way. Online privacy in this day and age is almost nonexistent because every little bit of information we put online is viewable by so many and not every online user knows that filtering our information is possible.
Many people worry about their children using the Internet and the safety concerns that go with it. Many more people are also worried about if an online store is really safe to use. The continuing worry about online privacy is a problem that needs to be fixed as soon as possible. There are more reasons to want to protect your privacy online that can be named. The most important thing to remember is that every online user has right to privacy. Wanting privacy is nothing a user should feel guilty about. Online privacy should always be expected and demanded at the same time.
Companies that provide free services, i. e. search engines or social networks have to respect their customers’ privacy concerns. With all the private information and pictures put on social media sites, like Facebook or MySpace, filtering is possible. With the possibility of putting a filter on what we want the public eye to see, not every user knows about this possibility. According to various articles and authors all over the web, the most recent attention has been on how much a website shares private information on the World Wide Web.
If this is the biggest problem on the Internet right now, online users should use caution when posting anything, pictures or information, on all websites. No matter how much a user may feel that they trust a website because they’ve been using it for so many years, that extra caution should still be taken to prevent any surprises that may unfold. Vulnerability in online users makes it easy for websites to lure them in. Privacy on the Internet is becoming much like telemarketing. Telemarketers acquire a person’s number and calls.
Websites have sources that allow them to get a user’s personal information and goes from there. Internet users should be aware of what they think they are doing online. While it seems so easy to get personal information from another user on the Internet, prevention is possible. It is very easy to get tricked into clicking a malicious link. You can be taken to a site that dupes you into providing personal information. The link could also cause malware to automatically download to your computer.
Dr. Gurpreet Dhillon and Dr. Trevor T. Moores (2001) researched that there are two important reasons with the growing concern for Internet privacy. First is the ever-growing business environment that is forcing companies to get personal information. Next, the recent and ever changing advances in technology. Following a websites regulation or policy on Internet privacy, if that website has one, helps lower one of these concerns for the Internet user. Using caution when posting personal information, again, can prevent privacy from being taken. Some companies willingly share sensitive data with marketing firms.
Parents are very concerned about their children interactions online. In a recent survey conducted by PEW 49% say they are very concerned about their children’s online reputation. Another alarming statistic was that 53% say they are very concerned about their children interacting with strangers. Facebook is definitely at the forefront when it comes to only social media. The survey found 94% of teens use Facebook and the relief is 60% of those teens use the highest privacy setting. The survey also revealed 20% of teens between the ages of 12 and 17 posts their cell phone numbers on the Internet.
Teens aren’t as concerned about Internet privacy as parents are. Only 9% say they are very concerned about outside vendors collecting their information online. The disparity is 46% of parents are very concerned. Teens are caution to an extent with 61% polling they have decided not to post something because it might reflect badly on them in the future. What is also very comforting is only 14% of teens make their Facebook pages public. That number is sure to be even lower in the future with the increase of hacked accounts. Facebook is beginning to wane in the eyes of some teens.
Twitter garners 26% of teen’s usage, Instagram (11%) and Tumblir (5%). Online privacy isn’t as important to teens because they aren’t as likely to click on a marketing ad. Most don’t have credit cards and their priorities online are just to socialize. As privacy concerns increase, internet users reported that they were more likely to provide incomplete information to Web sites, to notify Internet Service Providers about unsolicited e-mail, to request removal from mailing lists, and to send a “flame” to online entities sending unsolicited e-mail (Sheehan and Hoy, 1999).
Additionally, users were less likely to register for websites asking for information. The growing concern will never cease as long as websites and users continue to do nothing about it. Again, following policies and regulations is very important to this growing concern. I use credit cards for most of my online purchases. Debit cards do not provide as much protection from fraud as credit cards. With my credit card I can see the charges before I pay them and thus giving me the opportunity to dispute them. Over the next 5 to 10 years, people’s attitudes toward privacy and their data will change.
They will be willing to share more personal information, attached to their real-world identity, in exchange for more heavily customized computing experiences. In the future online users might be able to have a balance between sharing information and cutting off all data. There is a strong possibility options and customizations to protect your online privacy will become available. It will be important for web giants like Google and Facebook to educate their customers and provide them options for all levels of privacy.