February 13, 2012
Niles Nerd

The Internet is Becoming More Personalized and Social – But At What Cost?

- Nerds On Site A post over on the ESET Threat Blog explores what it means – the good and the bad – of having every website you visit share information with Facebook and other social networking websites. In exchange, making it very easy to share content and engage with friends and those websites – but at what cost?
“So you browse your favorite restaurant review site and settle on a great Mediterranean restaurant, and “magically” a variety of preferences get fed back to your Facebook profile, to be shared, re-shared and re-shared, ricocheting around the internet to form purportedly value-added experiences elsewhere you visit. That’s great news if you want your preferences bounced around, giving websites and apps information that could possibly provide a more personalized experience wherever you visit. It’s also bad – trying to protect maddeningly automatic Personally Identifiable Information (PII) and preference sprawl, all at the speed of light.
There is a macro trend flooding the interwebs that almost EXPECTS users’ information to be fed and cross-fed elsewhere online. When I signed up on pinterest.com, it expected (and indeed required) me to provide Facebook or Twitter logins, so the ooze of my information back and forth begins, in order to give me customized output based on it.”
Definitely something to keep in mind as we continue to immerse ourselves in an internet that is becoming more social by the day. It’s important to be aware and pay attention to how each website will use the information we have provided them, and how they will use that information. Some websites automatically post to our Facebook and Twitter profiles, so if you don’t want that to happen, carefully check your account settings on that website. If there is a website that you no longer wish to have access to your Social Media accounts, be sure to disallow them in your account preferences as well.

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