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Thursday, February 9, 2012

The Stupid Things You Do Online (and How to Fix Them)


The Stupid Things You Do Online (and How to Fix Them)
The internet can bring you a lot of joy, but it can also turn into a world of pain the moment you make one stupid mistake. Perhaps you've been feeding the trolls, using "password" as your password, or selling your soul for access to a "free" web app. Your dumb mistakes can come back to bite you in the ass if you aren't careful. Here's how you can save yourself from yourself online.
Title image remixed from an original by Konstantin Maslak (Shutterstock).

Stupid Thing #1: You Undervalue Your Personal Data

Most of the web has the appearance of being free, but when you sign up for Google services or a Facebook account you're potentially handing over a much more valuable commodity: your personal information. Companies want this information because it can be used to target more relevant ads to you. The more relevant the ads, the more likely you're going to buy. Although advertisements aren't necessarily all bad, because it's often preferable to see ads for things we actually want, it can be a little disconcerting and embarrassing when you do a search for herpes treatments and see nothing but Valtrex ads for a week. You shouldn't stop using the services you love just because they have a hidden cost, but it's important to understand that free services aren't really free. You are paying with your right to privacy, and that can feel a little invasive.

Full report :