I knew it… a new study from the Worcester Polytechnic Institute has revealed that leakage of private and/or personal information from popular websites is common. This is, of course, a massive problem as more and more of our daily lives/business are taking place over the internet. Beyond staying away from any sort of service which requires personal information of any kind (beyond, say, an e-mail address), I’m not sure how to combat this.
Relatedly, a (semi-)recent SuperPunch post linked to a very helpful post from Reddit regarding companies leaking e-mails to known spammers. It reads:
“Since VERY rarely is it important for any random company to have your real name, especially lots of free things that require registration, I always make it a point to use the name of the company or product that I am registering for as my name during registration. This way, when you get emails later addressed to “Mr. rave-forums.com Stanly” you can instantly know which website is letting your email out, or selling it, and set up a spam filter accordingly.
EDIT: I’ve found an even BETTER method for gmail users that a lot of people mentioned, if you put your email in as firstname.lastname@example.org it will work as your regular email address, but when you receive email from it, it will show you the extra + part. This will allow you to see who is sending you spam AND block any messages that someone tries to send to that specific address. Basically, gmail lets you create a dynamic address based on whoever is mailing you that forwards to your regular account. This is gives you even better spam protection that gmail already has.”
Back to that story about the leakage of private information by known and popular websites… This could be a HUGE problem considering I scrolled down that same site’s (PhysOrg.com) front page and found an article titled: Internet Traffic To Quadruple By 2015. I don’t know about other countries, but in the United States we really, really need to start thinking about how to regulate the Internet. Because if it’s run in a total free-market type way corruption and abuses and illegal activity will run rampant.
(Also, by 2015, mobile data traffic will supposedly be 26 times greater than it is now. Food for thought.)