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Common Sense Key to Protecting Your Privacy

David Mittleman

In this day and age of instantaneous communication, a little bit of discretion can go a long way in protecting your privacy. The recent case of a gentleman from Arkansas is an important reminder of how easily your information can end up in the hands of others. He accidentally left his cell phone – which contained racy photographs of his wife – at a popular local restaurant. Those photos were subsequently posted on the internet. The man and his wife are suing the restaurant and its manager. The restaurant happens to be McDonald’s. The key lesson should be clear to all of us; be extremely careful with your personal information.

Social networking sites such as MySpace and Facebook are incredibly popular ways of sharing stories, photos, and videos with friends. Despite certain security features, information posted to the website is vulnerable. Your friends might not be as careful as you would like them to be, and your pictures could end up in the wrong hands. By now, we’ve all heard stories about people being disciplined for information on their personal websites.

The consequences of being careless can go beyond mere embarrassment. As increasing numbers of people do their holiday shopping online, identity theft has become more prevalent. About 9 million Americans fall prey to identity theft every year.

A little bit of common sense can go a long way in protecting your privacy. Ask yourself if you would be comfortable with your personal information showing up on the front page of a major newspaper. If the answer is no, you should think twice about posting it on social networking sites or storing it in an item you are likely to lose. Some circumspection can save you from emotional and financial distress.


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