Who is watching you?

PRIVACY: Our information just a click of a mouse away in today’s society.


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The Internet has always been a fascinating place for people to look things up, reconnect with people, receive information, listen to music, watch movies and much more.

It also is something that is ever-changing and morphing.

One of the biggest problems people face with the Internet today is privacy.

Over the summer, it was discovered that National Security Administration was looking into people’s private information, causing many people to go into a big frenzy regarding how private information on the Internet is.

But what if I were to tell you the NSA aren’t the only ones who can view your private information.

In a recent class discussion, we talked about how private the Internet really is. The truth is, it isn’t really private at all. Especially when it comes to connecting to the Internet on college campuses.

Every time you connect to UND’s Wi-Fi, you are giving people access to see all information on your computer. This is how most people get caught downloading illegal music or pirating movies at UND.

When monitoring is used to catch these crimes, I believe it is OK because on top of the student getting in trouble, the university can be fined for the fact that it was its Internet was used.

However, this is not the problem many people face nowadays. Not only are universities able to see your Internet activity, but also any place with free Wi-Fi and your Internet providers can access this information.

The problem this causes for students of our generation is our information ending up in the wrong hands.

For years political leaders, celebrities and other people of importance have been the target of scandal. Anything anyone can find on them can be used against them or used as blackmail.

With the Internet, this has become more of a problem.

The perfect example of this is the ongoing battle between former congressman Anthony Weiner and the media. All because of a few “accidental” picture leaks, his career has been ruined.

I believe things like this are more of a problem for our generation because we have grown up with the Internet. Every stupid little thing we have Googled or put up online could someday be discovered the way things are kept on the Internet.

Unless you put your computer in the oven — or something drastic like that — all the information you have on your computer is accessible.

Internet providers and people who have access to see what is in your browser history should have to delete that information after a certain period of time. Not only will this help keep the information from falling into the wrong hands, it also will protect people’s privacy.

Another problem with Internet access today is that when you connect to free Wi-Fi at certain places, it shows up on Facebook or other social media sites saying where you are. I don’t believe social media sites should be able to reveal that information to the public. Who knows who could end up seeing it?

Not long ago, I saw a post on Facebook saying to be very careful about where you check in and what you post when you are using free Wi-Fi. There is now a very simple method of finding persons location by what they post. This is because social media sites track where you are when you post things, allowing others to see your location.

Instead of focusing on faster and higher quality Internet, providers and social media sites should be working together to protect privacy.

As I stated earlier, this information falling into the wrong hands could be very dangerous.

As a college student, be careful what you post and where you post it because you never know when it could turn up again.

Sam Gaspardo is a staff writer for The Dakota Student. She can be reached at [email protected]