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Duffbert's Random Musings is a blog where I talk about whatever happens to be running through my head at any given moment... I'm Thomas Duff, and you can find out more about me here...

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Co-author of the book IBM Lotus Sametime 8 Essentials: A User's Guide

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Book Review - Computer Privacy Annoyances by Dan Tynan

Category Book Reviews

Privacy?  Good luck!  Even the slightest misstep on line (or anywhere else, for that matter) can open you up to privacy intrusions that you may not know about.  Dan Tynan does a really good job in outlining these areas in Computer Privacy Annoyances.  This is pretty much required reading for living in our heavily computerized society.

Contents:  Privacy At Risk; Privacy At Home; Privacy On The Net; Privacy At Work; Privacy In Public; Privacy And Uncle Sam; Privacy In The Future; Index

In this Annoyances title, Tynan looks at a wide range of activities and situations that involve a potential unwanted loss of privacy.  Using a question and answer format, he effectively shows how seemingly innocent activities (like booking a hotel room or ordering a kosher meal on a flight) can be logged and combined to build a profile of your activities that may not present a very flattering picture of who you are and what you do (and with whom).  While there's the obligatory chapters on spam, online registration sites, and the like, there are also excellent chapters that cover privacy at work (what your employers can and can not do) as well as health record concerns.  Things may not be as secure and private as you think they are...

Realistically, there's already more information out there to be gleaned than you'd probably expect and be comfortable with.  But by reading and digesting the contents of this book, you can start to reduce your exposure going forward.  Even just the awareness of privacy concerns will start to cause you to question *why* a merchant might want certain information.  They may *want* your zip code or phone number, but that doesn't mean you *have* to give it to them.  Even if this book keeps you from making just one mistake that would lead to identity theft, then it's more than paid for itself.  A recommended read...

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Thomas "Duffbert" Duff

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