How does this scenario make you feel? Imagine that you go to your favorite shopping mall quite often, and unbeknownst to you, Mr. Snooper, the owner, is watching you the entire time you wander around. You don’t realize it, but it seems that every time you go, you wear your favorite red shirt, so Mr. Snooper knows it’s you. He has cameras everywhere, and he tracks your every move. Mr. Snooper collects information about all your shopping habits and shares it with any of the tenants in his mall that will pay for it. When you buy a book about gluten-free cooking, the grocery store makes sure to put all their similar products in direct site for you to see. The perfume pedlar that sprays you as you walk by makes a point to say their product is cruelty free (making an assumption that anyone interested in gluten-free cooking would care about such a thing). All the while you shop at this mall, every thing is “pushed” to you for what the seller thinks you might like.
Now the Secret National Agency (SNA) also has approached Mr. Snooper and asked for access to everything he has on you. Even if he doesn’t turn it over, the SNA has ways of sneaking into his video archives, notes, and other storage so they can get the information anyway if they really wanted to. So after you buy a pressure cooker for the upcoming family dinner, a book on bombs for your nephew who is writing a paper on the evolution of warfare for school, a package of ball bearings for your Pachinko machine (a type of Japanese pinball game), and a copy of the Quran for your niece studying world religions, the SNA comes crashing through your door!
Reading the first paragraph, you know that goes on every day as you surf the Internet, and given the news of late revealing programs the government has undertaken in the past, the second paragraph doesn’t seem too far fetched. So if either of those scenarios make you feel that your privacy is somewhat violated, just what exactly can you do? In the class “Maintaining Electronic Privacy in the Modern Age,” (10/1/15) methods will be taught on how to change your “red shirt” and other tracking tricks that the Mr. Snoopers of the world use, as well as how to conduct legitimate personal and/or professional business without having to worry about buying a new door for when the SNA comes knocking. You’ll learn about how your lack of privacy is actually creating a “bubble” for your world, artificially hiding things from you that others don’t believe you want to see. You’ll explore other problems created by a growing lack of privacy in the electronic era we live in. This sister class to “Safe Computing in the Unsafe Age of Hackers,” (9/24/15) instructed by Chris Murphy, a certified computer security professional, will supply tools and techniques to assist in maintaining the privacy many expect. Until then, be sure to wave to Mr. Snooper.