Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Too much exposed too less to expect

When an individual gets a virtual  home through his/her profile in the social networking sites it is most expected that he/she will open the windows to showcase his/her own self. While this can be an extremely positive gesture to let people know about oneself and market oneself to be one of the potentials, this can be extremely dangerous as well. As the US report on the internet and computing trend suggests, Indians are the second largest sharers of personal information after Saudi Arabians( See http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/tech/social-media/Indians-second-most-likely-to-share-everything-online-Study/articleshow/20376051.cms), I partly justify it with my own observations in the internet. Many women in India tend to reveal personal information in online pockets including social networking sites, groups, news forums etc. I was one such exposure when I first entered this big (bad) World Wide Web. The typical ways may include revealing residential address, phone numbers, school names, pet names to even secret bashes. Not to mention, the regular updates themselves may make private life revealed for many women. I had this chat friend couple of year’s back, who insisted to know what I eat in the breakfast, what I wear for formal gatherings and why do I wear them. Slowly, I understood that I was feeding this particular individual more than what is needed. Well, I had sensed danger. But not many can really sense it. At the best, many women protect their information by making their profiles open for ‘friends’. But what these women may not understand is, these ‘friends’ are neither ‘anti-chambers’ from where information can not be leaked.
        Similarly, this sharing tendency can prove beneficial for online phishing teams who can easily track out the potential victim. It needs to be remembered that women are equally becoming victims of phishing as men and may be this may be one of the reasons. Off course, how can one forget about other typical online crimes which happen mostly to women like stalking, creation of defamatory profiles etc ? All of these may be results of too much sharing.
        But then what can be the solution? While opening the windows, you can not close your doors and expect the ‘unwanted’ to show up any-time. Only thing is, you need to be prepared to face the unwanted and learn from your mistakes. I have some wonderful friends who had learnt from their past experiences due to too much sharing; some have stopped frequent updating, some preferred to maintain offline connections than carrying on virtual connections. What I have learnt from them is, the more you expose yourself, the less you should expect from privacy shields; for nothing can protect your privacy when you yourself have opened doors to let the world know what they should not have known about you.
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, 5th June,2013, published in http://debaraticyberspace.blogspot.com/