09 March 2011

To Know or Not to Know

Yesterday, here on Ancestors Within, I mentioned some of the dangers associated with online activities.  How do you find peace of mind when using the internet?

If your leisurely computer use is something you usually do after a busy day at work or in the garden, then your mind may not be as alert as it needs to be when making decisions about your privacy.  You may even be wondering if it is safe to interact here with an anonymous female blogger calling herself "Via".

The topic of internet safety is currently in the news in Australia, as I have mentioned on my Quieter Living blog.  It is, unfortunately but importantly, a topic in the news quite frequently.  Here is another recent news article you may wish to consider.

It is especially important to be skeptical about anyone who requests that you part with some money, even if it is only a small amount of money.

Any requests for details about where you keep your money should also alert you to a possible problem.  Any reputable financial institution, or person, or company, will never request you send your account details over the internet, especially by email.

To give you an example to consider, I wonder how you know that I am female and that I live in Australia.  What makes you believe that sort of information is true?  How trustworthy do you consider me to be, and why?

Family Tree - James I

My blog about identity may also be something to consider while you research your family history. 

Mentions of privacy on By Any Other Name.

Although family history is a wonderful pastime, I am growing more and more concerned about how much information people are revealing about themselves, and their living relatives, on genealogical websites, blogs, forums and social networking sites.

Older people are, statistically, more likely to be overly trusting, especially of someone they consider to be in a position of authority.  Many people take up the pursuit of family history research after retirement, often without much previous knowledge of internet safety.

But whatever your age, there is a chance that someone wants to know more about you than it is wise to tell.  Some of those people may even be your relatives!

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I especially appreciate historical insights.