Maintaining Privacy In A Digital World

Categories: Tips & Tricks

The tremendous appeal of the topic:  "Living off the Grid" comes with a number of sideline connotations.  In movies we watch Jason Bourne stay hidden from being found digitally by using a burner phone, not using credit cards, and staying off the "surveillance grid."  It is also often considered a way for "bad guys" to keep out of sight.  But today, more and more, a majority of population wants to be off of a number of grids.  

Just a few years ago, nearly everyone in the U.S. could be found in a phone book.  Today, the telephone marketing industry is disjointed and disconnected with no common phone book where everyone can be found because people were tired of being found.  It has become a mainstream ideal to get off the radar so to speak from the wiles of aggressive marketeers, advertisers, survey calls, collections persuits, etc.  

Later email boxes filled with the same junk x100, and spam filters learned what was junk and what we want to read with an ever improving certain rate of failure, and ever so often, we discovered important messages lost somewhere in our boxes.  


Facebook provided a gateway where friends must be approved to reach us, and the junkmail remained outside the gate, and once again, the communication platform has shifted as email is nearly obsolete, and phone apps take the main stage.

Even in this world of connectivity and finding ones lifelong-lost friends, there is often a desire and a need to get off the grid either for a vacation, for a prolonged exit, or as a newly discovered old way of life.  The stress that comes with all the buzz of communication is somehow released and relieved by the subtle sound of waves crashing on the beach, the wind through the trees, fresh brisk mountain air, or whatever your wild nature pleasures might be.  

The Daily Dot suggests we should create alias online accounts in order to be free of marketing tactics:

"If the ongoing revelations of the massive Target data breach prove anything, it’s the necessity of being tightfisted and tightlipped with your data. What you do on your smartphone can haunt you at the checkout counter. Whenever you use services you don’t trust, are asked to fill out questionnaires, or participate in competitions, you should consider not using your real identity.

Instead, you should have two or more spare identities that you’ve made up to protect your real digital identity and to confuse the algorithms in this Big Data era.

We’re not saying you should trick your friends, or what passes as a “friend” online. There are people using alter egos and even taking over others’ abandoned fake identities to push the envelope. And we’ll soon see a market for fake and real identities.

We know from Facebook that up to one-fifth of its users don’t use their real names. We simply don’t trust Facebook, and we’re not alone, according to a recent poll by ad agency McCann. It revealed that 59 percent of U.S. users consider Facebook the biggest threat to privacy, followed by Twitter (40 percent) and Google (32 percent)."

If you read into more of their article, it discusses six steps for setting up an alias.  

Clark Howard suggests that we avoid using our social security number except where it's absolutely necessary, and the places he suggests we stop using it are:

  1. College
  2. Banks
  3. Hospitals
  4. Medical Businesses
  5. Health Insurers
  6. Medical Offices
  7. Government at all levels
  8. Charity Organizations

He then goes on to mention how to handle various types of inquiries in this article.

So we find ourselves creating various types of shields from intrusive practices in order to provide our families a peaceful environment where we can live out our lives.  And we try to do it in a way that's legal yet less complex.  

I had a music lesson studio in a town that had no sales tax on services.  That was one way I kept life simple, and I avoided selling products and opening up another can of paperwork.  The 20 teachers that worked in the facility kicked my butt with paperwork.  In future business models, I avoided anything that lead to having employees.  

We are in a world overburdened by paperwork (or datawork) to the point it keeps people from doing things they would otherwise love to do, and those issues curb our decisions into simpler ones.  We are a society that has been so curbed by red tape that we wander into the cracks of loopholes and solutions that eliminate stresses and create a simpler life.  We await the fast coming new technologies that avoid power companies, water companies, bills with line-item taxation.  Note how land-line phones were heavily taxed.  Cell phones dodged taxes for a while.  Now they're taxed.  Facebook offers us free phone service.  Can't tax free, right?  And so it goes... the avoidance of complication for a better simpler life.  

Now tell us, what is your personal solution for a happy simple life?

Here's mine....

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