20/12/2017

My Private Public Life

We live in a digital jungle. We share where we can find the best cocktails in town, how we dress or what we might wear for parties, and when and where we are going for our holidays. Although it might appear that Internet privacy only affects digital creators or bloggers the most, it is actually something that affects all online users. Does Internet privacy really exist anymore?

Before I started IgaBerry.com I knew that there would be things I would not share online. It is my choice to keep some things separate from the digital activity. However, after a few years of being active online, especially on social media, I have noticed that I have started to share more and more private information without realising. I think we all do it on a bigger or smaller scale.

I have said before that I set the boundaries. However, the more popular social media becomes and the more active I am the boundaries change and start to be more fluid with many grey areas. For example, a few years back no one from work would know that I am active online. I would make sure not to be connected on social media with anyone who is part of my professional network, so Instagram or Twitter were only for IgaBerry.com. This changed over time. Today I am connected with multiple people that I also work with. 

Why would I not want to connect online? I am happy with what I am doing online and there is nothing to hide or to be ashamed of. However, by showing other people my profile I again enter the grey area of their right to privacy. Also I tend not to share group photos from events other than blogging. This is also a way of protecting them from unwanted attention.

This leads to not only online safety but also day to day safety. Wherever I live I actively avoid showing images taken near my home, from the windows in my flat, or sharing Strava Maps. I realise how easy it is to locate the properties, especially if you know the city, but it helps to protects me from unwanted visitors and makes it more difficult to locate me. It also worries me how easy it would be to locate me if I shared maps from my runs, assuming that the starting and ending point would usually be around my house/work. I would go for runs regularly around the same location at similar time, and if someone would really want to scare me I would have given them the information they need on a plate.

Restricting information also helps to protect the property. Why would I want to make a robbery easy by sharing my home location and then sharing it on Insta Stories that I am away and the flat is empty just waiting for someone to come? For the same reason I will not share images that help to easily identify my home, and definitely not add location tags. I will not do it also in my friends homes unless I ask and receive permission. I want to believe that they would do the same. 

Internet privacy is understood in many ways, what are your thoughts about it?
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