Threats posed by the internet to personal privacy

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Privacy is a very important issue to Internet users. Fear of disclosure of personal information about an individual has prevented many from using the Internet. According to a 2000 U.S. News & World Report survey, 86% of Internet users fear that continued use of the Web threatens their privacy. Private information, in the wrong hands, can cause a great deal of harm to the individuals concerned. There are several issues related to the Internet and privacy that raise concerns for many users. The users of the Internet should understand the ways that their personal information is obtained and some ways to prevent, at least some of, their information from being divulged when using the Internet Information is readily available on the Internet…show more content…
Data-mining technology is defined by Cavoukian (1998) as a "set of automated techniques used to extract buried or previously unknown pieces of information from large databases." Using these techniques, it is possible to find patterns and relationships and to use this to make decisions and forecasts. As a result of data-mining applications, an individual might find that they now belong to a group that they are unaware of and did not sign up or register for. The threat to having our information exposed is very real. From having our bank accounts hacked and identities stolen to our credit card numbers being stolen and credit being ruined. However, I feel that keeping all of a person 's information off of the Internet is impossible. We have advanced to a level of information gathering that is impossible to control. The only thing that can be done is to harshly punish those that abuse the information that is out there. And to protect our computers by staying up to date on the types of protection available, such as a number of privacy-enhancing tools. One such product from Pretty Good Privacy (PGP) is pgpcookie.cutter, which enables users to identify and block cookies on a selective basis. This greatly reduces information being obtained from your computer that you may not want released. These types of protection are out there but as with technology, there is new stuff everyday to defeat yesterdays technology.
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