Protecting privacy in the digital age - Tucson News Now

Protecting privacy in the digital age

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TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

The scandal surrounding General David Petraeus is raising questions about e-mail security, and how private your private messages really are.

The FBI says it learned about the affair while monitoring e-mails, this after getting a report of threatening messages from his suspected girlfriend.

We check our email, pay our bills, and many of us spend hours scrolling through and sharing personal information on Facebook.

Kelley Bogart is an Information Security Analyst at the University of Arizona and she says what happens online doesn't have to stay online. Bogart suggests people think of e-mail like you would a postcard. She says all your accounts should have unique passwords, but even that doesn't guarantee what's personal will stay private.

"We always claim it's 90 percent people and process and 10 percent technology," Bogart said. A lot of our privacy is up to us.

That's why she and others urge online users to always be aware. Take notice if your computer is running abnormally slow or if you're getting more spam mail than usual. Take caution whether you're logging on at home, or at someplace like a public library.

"If you see something you might think, 'Ah ,should I click on this?' I don't," Anthony Lovio, a student who says he uses the computer constantly said. "I'm not going to risk my computer's safety, and I'm not going to risk my safety."

Bogart says the message is to think before you click.

"Your computers can be equated to your home you have to think twice about what you're allowing in or what you're saying no to," she said.

Even when you delete something, in the digital age, it's never really gone.

"The chance is pretty good that there's a snapshot of it somewhere," Bogart said.

Eve Davis says she's a very cautious Internet user. On social media she shares only what she wouldn't mind the whole world knowing.

"I think there's way too much information," Davis said. "I won't order anything, I won't pay my bills online. If it's not by mail, I don't pay it."

Chances are we'll only become more connected overtime, which is being aware is key.


The University of Arizona has a list of "10 Keys to Internet security." To read the full list, click on the following link: 

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