Friday, May 16, 2008

50% of the Singapore Student Population Putting Identities at Risk

Almost half of the students between the ages of 17 to 25 polled in Singapore are revealing their full contact details, such as telephone number, home address, school they attend, date of birth and other personal information on social networking websites. The poll also revealed that 30% of them were adding strangers to their network as 'friends'.

Extracted from

Click here to read more.

Without a doubt, if you search your name in the internet, you'd might just find details of yourself. Channelnewsasia did a show where Cheryl Fox (News presenter) was trying to find a long lost friend. She engaged the help of a group of polytechnic students to help her find her friend. Just by using the internet and some info of her friend, they manage to find her within a few hours. They even had her contact number along with other information about her friend.

Using the internet for such uses is a good idea, but in the wrong hands, it may be used for evil purposes.

I think our students and also the public have to start learning about keeping your personal information safe. A few suggestions I have in mind:

Do not reveal too much of yourself
Online network communities (eg: Facebook, Friendster), do not require you to have a full detail description of yourself when you sign up. Most of it is optional really. So keep personal information like contact numbers, home address, id numbers etc, to yourself.

Keep your photos, personal info private
Restrict the people who can view your online info (eg: photos, personal details). Set it in such a way that viewers require your permission to view them online.

Be aware of bogus websites

Such websites might have spyware that can retrieve info from your computers. DO not readily input your personal info unless you are sure that the website is non-bogus.

Even as you apply those suggestions, you wonder how much privacy do you have on the internet. I found a disturbing video about how Google could one day have all the information about yourself easily. If this is true, it makes you wonder what the future would be really like when there is no such thing as a private life.

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