Why are we providing our info and data to companies who not only poorly protect it but also profit from it without providing us a share?
Think of this. It makes no sense. These companies profit entirely from our data. They pay us nothing. What do they give us in return? Their apps give us an easier way to do everything our cellphone, computer, or tablet can do for us with WiFi or a cell connection. Literally, everything. Their platforms just simplified the process. Now, we have become enslaved by the simplicity. Get off Instagram. But, I can’t stay in touch with everyone. You can, but you don’t want to add that inconvenience to your life. But, is the convenience you get worth them knowing all of this about you, and then in turn selling all of this data they willingly take from you to other companies so they can in turn solicit you. Is that acceptable? If so, you’re an easy sell.
Also, they have done a poor job adhering to their responsibility of protecting this info. Think of this. It’s one thing to share your info with a company, but it’s another to watch the company mismanage it time and time again. Why do we stand for it? You’d never allow a bank to send out your info, and there’s a reason you don’t see the big banks being hacked or having data breaches, and that’s because they take this seriously. They earned your trust, and they do not expect to lose it. Social media platforms seem to care less.
Why do we allow this? We wouldn’t let another company do this in another industry.
It’s not that hard. Let me break it down for you. We’ll start with Facebook. By now, if you haven’t caught up, and subsequently figured out who you can and should remain in touch with going forward, then I don’t know how to help you. You should have a short list of people on Facebook that know you well, have your number, address, and email. You can explain to these folks that moving forward you are to be contacted there. If the person doesn’t have enough time to send you a text, drop you an email, or call you once in a while then I don’t think all those ‘Likes’ were meaningful anyway.
Next, Instagram. Do you really need to show hundreds of people out there your kid? I mean think of it. What do you gain? You love your kid and you’ll always love this child. You don’t need likes to validate it. OK, next step. You want everyone to see your child. Well, good for you. Not everyone else wants to. Sorry, but no one really cares except your truly close friends, and family. That takes you back to sending photos via text/email, or checking in once in a while.
OK, social media is taken care of. Now, the big one. GOOGLE. The biggest collector and abuser of your data out there. What on earth do you do? Your precious Gmail account, Chrome, and your seeming irreplaceable search engine. Here’s what you do. One day, you take about an hour and login to the important stuff and switch your email. It’s easy. Next, you delete Chrome and switch to Firefox. This is a browser that doesn’t track all your cookies and profit extensively off you, plus one that works fine and values your privacy. Finally, your search engine. Trust me. A week off of Google and you will never care again. You aren’t searching for things that important. Using Duck Duck Go is ideal. They provide everyone the exact same results. Google won’t. Google collects data on you and provides you info they feel you would like to know. Thanks Google, but you aren’t God, and you aren’t my parents or spouse. I’m happy to find out for myself and make my own choices.
It is your data. Take it seriously, and take it back. You can rip the band aids off and take these steps to protecting your information and privacy. Go back to making your own decisions, and stop letting a search engine decide for you. Go back to managing a few intimate and valuable relationships, versus the alternative of juggling far too many surface level friendships. Your life won’t miss a beat, and over time you’ll come to appreciate your newfound independence.