Sustainability (and such)

Data and Google

How Google Uses your information:  Peter Barron of Google asks us to think of data as beneficial rather than sinister.

Google tips about keeping your data secure:  Google maintains they don’t know who you are.  It does know your IP address, which is like your computer’s mailing address as you’re accessing the Net.   If government or somebody coming via Patriot Act came to see what you’re searching for, Google would have your IP address but the govt. would go to Comcast (or whatever) to find your IP address.  Laptops can be traced via wi-fi router; if you’re using a public computer, they’d know if you were logged into Gmail account and reference your searching.  Nifty tool: Google dashboard will show you a profile of all you’ve done…blogging, email, etc.

Check out your home on Google maps.  There are Google vans taking pictures, getting data, and capturing IP addresses in homes.  Some trouble about that…tracking addresses isn’t illegal but other captures are.

Google health: Check this response to the millions of people searching Google about health topics.

What a  difference a letter makes!   Changing the HTTPS setting:  Google has introduced secure browsing.  Rather than relying on http:  go to https:   Any hacker could see your info as it travels from laptop to the local Starbucks wireless router; so, if in public hot spot, use https//.  For example, to to and you’ll see the common http:// address.  But if you log into your private account, the address changes to a https:// with a little lock icon at top (Explorer) or bottom (Firefox).  If you’re sending secure information to amazon,com, it will encrypt that information (make it gobblygook) so nobody could see info that passes from your computer to Amazon.  On its end, Amazon will decrypt it for your user name password and sensitive information.   (By the way, if you use Firefox, the Electronic Frontier Foundation will encrypt everything to https//)  Another hot spot security tool is  You’re in that pubilc airport with your laptop…anything you’re doing will be encrypted and send all that info to Anchor Free, who will contact google, amazon, yahoo, whatever website, then will retrieve info for you as well.  If you have home wireless network and haven’t done configurations, go find your manual now and use WPA or WPA2.   There are war drivers out there driving around to access free wireless!

Cookies 101  You know where you’ve been –They know where you’ve been, too.  Cookies are a little file attached when you log into a website.  E.g. Moodle can attach little file:  You’re (you) on that computer.  If I didn’t allow cookies, it would say log in again.  and again and again.  You can uncheck Accept Third Party cookies.  how often do you keep the cookies?  You could do it everytime you close your brower, etc.  To delete cookies:  CCleaner as one word.  piriform   free program and is absolutely wonderful…once a month.  will clean out recycle, most recently accessed documents, lots of stuff.  temp files, especially Internet web files.  Click analyze, then run.

Anti-Malware:Microsoft Forefront, a piece of junk, finds less than what we have.  Free:  another AVG has somewhat limited version but does a good job…you can pay for more suite packages.

Check this out:  A9 helps people find what they want on the world’s leading e-commerce sites.

Via the Onion:  Don’t like Google’s privacy policy?  You can always move to the Opt-Out Village.

Quick review of some major privacy policies:

GOOGLE privacy policy:  Five privacy principles which are somewhat vague, e.g. “sensitive personal information”, “meaningful choice” and “good faith” terms. (If you opt-out, are you sent to the Opt-Out Village?)  They’re clear that they want to improve your experience and establish trends to sell marketing space.

Facebook privacy policy:  (You have none.)  The policies mentioned in scope don’t describe apps and other integration contracts, which means difficulty in monitoring personal security.  Privacy of photos, etc. are questionable unless user chooses to opt-out.  Registering children under the age of 13, they will remove; what happens when we die?  How to establish next-of-kin?  How do they verify sources?  They don’t make any promises…there are risks and we choose to accept them.   Can you get in trouble for using FB apps, such as “poking” and such.  (You can be arrested for poking as violation of restraining order.) privacy:  Very straightforward:  This is the information we’ll share.  BUT, you can surrender all of your privacy if you do one-click shopping for purchasing.

Ebay privacy:  Once you make a purchase, you’re no longer anonymous.  It can track correspondence between users and others.  Disavow responsibility for what you share.  Also mention that they might share info with business entities they plan to merge with or plan to become acquired by.  The policy appendix has handy chart with what information they share with entities.

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