Transparency of The Web

After this post, I got an email from a friend asking my opinion on how much information is “safe to reveal” on the Internet.

In the above referenced post, I write about how a website is becoming a must-have. But how far is too far? You’ll find that I’m a pretty transparent web-body. Maybe that’s a bad thing. I’ve had my identity stolen once, in early 2002. That’s pretty early when you think about it. That was before the blogosphere was much more than a flame-war over comments by Senator Trent Lott. I’m pretty sure some of my info was lifted out of a compromised e-commerce database. Very little is safe.

You probably want to stay away from loosely mentioning home addresses phone numbers, though the information is easy enough to find if you’re looking. I try to draw the line at extremely personal information about my children. If you look at the world through “they’re all out to get me” filters life won’t be too much fun. If you play fast and loose with all aspects of your life, they’ll all be out to get you.

Anonymity is possible on the web, but I think it makes you less real. Sometimes it’s hard to give a stranger the benefit of the doubt. Sometimes they deserve it, though. Be careful, but please have fun.