Protecting Your Personal Privacy - Both On-line and Off-line.

Protecting our personal privacy is becoming more important by the day, week, and month. Despite the warnings so clearly evident in human history we seem doomed to repeat past mistakes:. There seem to be more and more horror stories emerging in recent years about on-line and off-line invasions to personal privacy. As well, science fiction books have warned us repeatedly about the risks and costs of giving up our privacy, through such famous books as "1984" by George Orwell and "Brave New World" by Aldus Huxley.

"Why the big deal? I have nothing to hide!"

Yes you do! Privacy is a basic and core human right, like the right to live. It is a powerful psychological need that is a cornerstone to sanity. Privacy means that you have the freedom and power to be an individual, and the responsibility to act like one. Without privacy we live mentally ill lives leading to terrible behavioral outcomes. Some effects of loss of privacy:

"It is the common fate of the indolent to see their rights become a prey to the active. The condition upon which God hath given liberty to man is eternal vigilance; which condition if he break, servitude is at once the consequence of his crime and the punishment of his guilt." John Philpot Curran: Speech upon the Right of Election, 1790. (From: Bartleby.com quotations)

While all this is well known and documented, the activities and status of our personal lives are increasingly treated like a commercial commodities by businesses, like open report cards by our governments and as plunderable "booty" by unscrupulous individuals.

Realities:

Reality #1: There will be more pressure to invade your privacy in the coming years by commercial interests and governments.

Reality #2: The pressure of power hungry people who wish to use power to control your lives will mean that your privacy will not be protected by law.

Reality #3: Anonymity in financial transactions, one of the cornerstones of how money works, is disappearing. Debit cards and credit cards open your life to continual tracking. (Cash is anonymous: Use it!)

Reality #4: You are the only person who can protect your own privacy best.

How to protect your privacy, both on-line and off-line:

1. Never give out full, true and factual information about yourself to anyone or any organization that doesn't need it.

2. Live a low profile life.

3. Keep the public view of your life bland and detail-less.

Sound like too much work?

It is effort. True. But ask those millions of people world wide who have been persecuted for being too public. Ask the tens or hundreds of thousands of North Americans who have had their identity stolen and have gone through the nightmare of regaining their credibility and privacy. Ask those people who have been swindled, defrauded, or been victims of abuse at the hands of power-hungry individuals in positions of authority.

Protecting your privacy is not about living in fear.

Protecting your privacy is about living without fear by taking precautions to protect your individuality and freedoms.


Questions, comments, or things to add to this list? Please me and help improve this primer on personal privacy.

© 2003-2005 by Paul Kurucz. Any information may be copied from this page for your personal use, but please reference this page as your source in any publication, either off-line or on-line. Thanks!

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