A little experiment on privacy in the Internet

By Agnieszka Miziolek

I remember when a few years ago some of my friends were playing in an online game. It was a kind of so called Browser Based Game, where many people log in every day, build some constructions, speed up production, fight each other, etc. But they also cooperate with each other by creating groups and talk (or rather usually write) with others via different sorts of instant messengers, like Skype or different chats. Up till now you may think it is not related to the topic of privacy, but wait a moment. I just want to provide a good example of how easy it is to infringe someone’s privacy, or rather, to illustrate people’s lack of knowledge about protecting their privacy.

So, after some time of playing in a certain organized group of gamers, some of the players started to talk with each other about other (more personal) stuff as well. Then, at school we had classes about privacy in the Internet. So my friends decided to carry out a small private research to check whether people obey the Internet security rules. In order to do it they were trying to find their fellow gamers on different social networking services, e.g. Facebook, NaszaKlasa (OurClass, Polish portal similar to Facebook). The results were really surprising- they found many of them in half an hour! They even did not need any private information about them, sometimes even name, city and age was enough. And, what is more, many important information, photos and other details were visible to everyone on these portals. Adding to it all the private things they were talking about on their chat, someone could be really in possession of a huge repository of details that strangers should not have.

The conclusion is that people really do not care, or rather, do not realize the threats connected with the Internet. There is no need of special techniques of spying as some people provide all necessary “weapons” against them by themselves. P.S. Of course my friends kept all “gained” information to themselves and didn’t use it in any way. They just decided to suggest some people that they put to many personal data on their Skype account.

Something about cyber crimes: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GU7ho1E7yPI

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One Response to A little experiment on privacy in the Internet

  1. Hey! I have to say I don’t really agree with you on your blog. People who choose to communicate with other gamers on the internet, have to take the responsibility for their own privacy. Usually you don’t know the people you are talking to on the internet, so why complain about the same information other persons who you don’t know either, can find on the internet? For myself I hid all my personal information on Facebook, so people that don’t know me can only see my avatar. This photo is a bit blurry and small, so I don’t really think I’m recognizable that well. What do you think that is a suitable solution of this problem? I can imagine that talking to other players gives the gaming a new dimension, but it brings a lot of risks with it.

    Emma Priem, s4073606

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