Privacy On The Internet and Common Sense

Image: Public Domain, Morguefile
Image: Public Domain, Morguefile

I know a lot of people are super paranoid about all the spying and invasion that happens on the internet. They’re either deleting themselves and their data (if they can) from many sites, or trying to lock everything down. Interaction has lessened due to people’s fear of saying anything that another might find out about later.

I used to be paranoid all the time about these things, then I developed a new way of thinking about it. Privacy, in large part, is an illusion in this day and age. Even if you’re careful as can be online, there are still Google satellites and people with camera and video phones. There are nosy neighbors and gossiping librarians. Unless you live off the grid in the back woods, someone knows things about you that you’d rather not have them know.

Yes, we should fight for our rights and our privacy, but using some simple common sense can make things a lot easier. The basic rule: Don’t do things you don’t want people knowing about. Are you worried that your drunken rants and half-naked photos might get you in trouble at work? Stop getting drunk and taking your clothes off. Afraid your wife is going to find out about your mistress? Stop cheating on her. Think your penchant for furries might not go over well with your family? Stop downloading perverted pornography and get some therapy.

Of course, while not doing stupid, dangerous or illegal things would likely be the best course of action, you can also take the alternate route and live an open-book life. Do whatever you do and completely own it. Post whatever you please with the knowledge that everyone is going to see it, and be willing to accept what people will think about you and the consequences that will come from your actions.

And you notice I’m not talking about things like the safety of your social security number or other personal data. That’s a completely different subject. I’m talking about people who have fits because they got fired after they shared a video of themselves urinating in the manager’s coffee cup or faced divorce after someone photographed them on the town with their lover. The simple fact is you can’t get caught or get in trouble for things if you have the sense to not do them in the first place.

Common sense and reasonable thinking shouldn’t be something people need to be taught. Everyone should have it. Don’t be stupid and your life will usually be a whole lot easier.


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