Alexa and other such gadgets seem like a Godsend when it comes to convenience: access to information, news, music, turning on lights and even controlling your security system; but at what price? Yes, they are expensive little toys along with the subscription price of course, but that’s not actually what I was referring to. How much privacy are you giving up by installing these always on, always listening devices in your home? Do you actually believe the tech companies when they say they aren’t listening, really? Did you actually read that ‘customer agreement,’ or just click ‘yes, I agree’ in your haste to set up that cool new toy? Are you aware that prosecutors have subpoenaed records from these devices as part of criminal investigations?
In the news this morning, ” Major Cell Phone Carriers Promise To Stop Selling Your Location Data.” Yea, promises, promises. So what about all those other Apps you’ve installed on your phone? You don’t think Google, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and all the rest would really use your data for their own gain do you? Again, did you actually read that ‘Service Agreement’ that gives them access to other information on your phone? How much of your privacy have you given away willingly? If your friends can see it, then EVERYONE can see it; IRS, NSA, FBI, that creepy guy in his mom’s basement or just your friendly neighborhood stalker.
Finally, stop posting your entire life on the internet! If you’ve spent any time on social media, you’ve likely to seen your friends posting pics from some cool place they are visiting, in other words, telling the world that ‘hey, we’re out of town so our empty home is an easy target’. If you must post those vacation photos at least wait till you’re back home, ‘glad to be back home, here’s some pics from our recent vacation.’ Do you know what your kids are posting, or who they are chatting with online or what information they may be sharing with the world? Have you ever posted from a political rally or protest, or posted pics of that cool new gun you just bought – stop it! What happens on the internet stays there forever. If you wouldn’t want it plastered on a roadside billboard or noted during a job interview – don’t post it. It’s strange really, we used to value our privacy, now we willingly share with the world everything we do, everywhere we go and everything we think.
Hope for the best, prepare for the worst.