Shopping for padlocks

I think I’m done with blogging and social media. Spam and spies are making me feel vulnerable and invaded.

Spam

I am so sick of my url being linked to Malaysian and other countries’ bogus crap sites that I am seriously considering logging off the internet completely. I am always finding my blog is being used to grab readers and direct them to bogus sites. I don’t know what is gained by doing that? The site is obviously fake and has a string of incomprehensible garbage text and some unrelated comments. What in the world do they want with my url? I have found links to my artwork on sites that I don’t have access to. Are they selling my artwork without my knowledge, or just using the titles provocatively? There’s no way for me to know, because the url, when approached, says forbidden.

I am also sick of porn spam masquerading as flattering comments about my posts, until you look at their link and find out “Pamela” or whatever her name is today, just wants you to pay her to #$@! off to, except that I am not a man. If she only knew that my audience is a small group of highly educated women over 50! You’d think she’d leave me alone, LOL. And yes, I have my spam filters on, but I still see what tried to get through.

I don’t think that blogging has the sanctity that published writing does. I feel debased when I come here in the morning and find my blog used by all sorts of tasteless individuals. It’s tantamount to having someone put an ad for their porn site in your book-for-sale at Barnes and Noble. The unsuspecting customer, on getting to chapter 5, now knows where to find a peep show and worse. How would you like it? I wouldn’t like it—as the author or the reader. So how are we to cope with all this unsolicited advertising, the banal and the blunt?

Spies

How does it make you feel that every detail of our personal lives can (already) be sorted and filtered and analyzed on Facebook and Myspace and Twitter by who knows who?

I am feeling squeamish about being so open about myself on the web in general, not just here. At first I felt like I was talking to someone like myself. The blogging world felt smaller and safer. But now I think I’ve been naive. I’m thinking about removing every trace possible. There will be a gazillion comments I can never remove from other sites, but there’s nothing I can do about that.

Try this site for some illuminating, but not surprising, info on the latest and greatest innovations in the invasion of privacy. I found the link through The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF, www.eff.org) article “Intellectual Freedom and Privacy in an Electronic Society.” You might want to cruise around these sites a bit.

“One of the most interesting files is a 2009 training course that describes how IRS employees may use various Internet tools — including social networking sites and Google Street View — to investigate taxpayers.  EFF Posts Documents Detailing Law Enforcement Collection of Data From Social Media Sites

Here’s another good article by EFF… “Your Web searches about sensitive medical information might seem secret, known only to you and search engines like Google. But by logging your online activities, these companies are creating a honeypot of personal information, potentially available to any party wielding a subpoena.” Privacy.

It’s not that I’ve never thought about it before. I have gone round and round in my head from the beginning about it. Do I use my real name? Will someone steal my art? I’m just feeling overexposed right now. If you can offer any good reason not to extricate myself permanently from this morass of spam and spies, now would be the time to tell me. Thanks in advance.

Oh! By the way, have you checked your name on http://www.123people.com? I am amazed at what the public can find out about me in two seconds. Scary! And I can’t remove any of it!

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2 thoughts on “Shopping for padlocks

  1. When I had a personal blog online in 2004, I had these problems too. It was why I switched to another site where the security measures were stronger. It IS possible to be more secure online, but one has to read a lot and choose carefully and then be careful about what to ‘let out there’ and when. These days I only blog very very personal stuff on a secure site, not on Facebook or even here on WordPress. I’ll say more about this to you somewhere else. But yes – I do understand.

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