Online Identities

by Erin on March 10th, 2008 in Industry and Security News.

These days, it seems there's a social networking site for anyone and everyone - from small niche followings to the larger, ever-growing online communities.

This open environment for sharing information, the foundation of web-based networks, is the perfect backdrop for all kinds of online threats.

But it's not just malware, adware and spam that we need to be aware of. On top of that, there are other heavy privacy concerns; being able to communicate to millions with a few clicks of a mouse in turn means that we leave a digital footprint behind, for all to see. Users are faced with finding a balance between the openness of the Web and protecting their privacy and security.

Forbes.com recently published an article, How to Disappear Online, which analyzes how much control users actually have over their web identities. From the article:

"In fact, Friendster is a ghost town of detailed personal information: The site received only 2.4 million unique visitors in the U.S. in January, but has more than 10 million American profiles, many of which publicly display information that users would probably prefer to keep private."

Take a look at the full article. Reading about cleaning up your digital trail may make you think twice about the private information you're willing to make visible online.