Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Why do people think they are anonymous on the internet?

Some people think that they can hide themselves under a pyseudonym or write something and call themselves 'anonymous'. It doesn't work that way on the internet. Not only can you be traced back to your IP Address and internet service provider (ISP) but you can be tracked back to your suburb and with a bit of googling based on the various handles (nick names you use), your address can be located. It may take a bit of work, but it's possible. Even if you signed off on a comment as 'anonymous' or something innocuous.

The SMH had an interesting article about twitter and the many victims of twitter. Namely those who think they are tweeting something witty and interesting, only to find themselves being lambasted in reality over their inappropriate tweets (Stephanie Rice, Courtney Love, Shane Warne, Catherine Deveny etc).

Before you post to the internet, consider that the world is your audience

If you use Facebook or you blog and decide to post an article that is criticising someone or some company, you never know when you may one day find yourself at a promising interview but fail because after they google your name, they pull up your negative rants against their company or one of their staff member. Although if that company doesn't read your rant, learn and try to modify their ways, then they may never know why sales and revenue is dropping, staff are leaving or why people are dissatisfied. It works two ways. Most of the time, they'll probably read the comment or rant and see red. So sometimes it's better off to hold back rather than publicly rant.

What about the 'friends' on your Facebook social network who can betray you. There have been a few cases of those last year where someone has called their work to say they are 'sick' but then they post a status update on Facebook stating how much they've enjoyed a concert or a football match. Now that 3G phones with data plans are ubiquitous, people are constantly posting comments on Facebook and twitter regardless of their workplace trying to 'ban' these social media and sites. Whitelists and blacklists and proxy servers can be useless when staff have data plans on their phones.

However, having 24/7 access to the internet doesn't always lead to happy results. You can find yourself facebooking or tweeting something that you shouldn't have if you had a bit more time to mull over your comments.

The interesting, weird and wacky things that people google to stumble upon my blog

I thought this would be an interesting way to cap this post. You should be self conscious that somewhere out there, websites are busy gathering statistics on how you got there, entry links, exit links, stuff downloaded, pages visited, length of visit, IP address, suburb and state that you're from, type of browser you used, type of computer that you used and that's just scraping the surface of how website statistical counters collect information about you.

Here's a list of random stuff that people have been googling to end up at this SMG blog (and yes I also collect statistics about you, so if you're visiting my blog for honest, intellectual, random or nefarious means, don't think that you're 100% anonymous!):

The various and the wacky google queries(I haven't corrected the typos, it's quoted verbatim with incorrect spelling and grammar as queried):

*"To cut all the many answers short and relieve your worries, keep this in mind: Children are not lega" - hmm... maybe their google query was too long...this is wacky to end up with my blog as a search result. I can guess what the query would be if it was completed. Children are not usually legally liable for your debts unless their names/signatures were on the loan documents.

*"BC Housing and bed bug,..do tenant can have help with prepared place for spray for bug" - How on earth did they end up on this blog? If you're a tenant, and you have bugs like termites and millions of cockroaches, get your land lord to organise a pest inspection and request them to treat the place. If it's a unit block, advise your landlord and the strata managing agent and they should organise a pest/treatment solution at their own cost. If it's your bed that has the bed bug, good luck because that's your own personal problem.

*"HOW MUCH PER HOUR DOES A WAITER GET PAID AT MC DONALDS SOUTH AFRICA PE" - Using all caps lock doesn't mean you'll get a better search result. This person would have been better off checking Mc Donald's South African website if there's such thing as that. Would it be too much to expect South Africa to have minimum wage protection or award rates? That googler would be better off sending an email enquiry to Mc Donalds to ask. Better yet, stroll into one of the stores and ask one of the store managers how much does an average waiter get paid.

*"marine groom cakes" - The googler would have found the wedding cake photo that I took complete with fishes and turtles. Can't help that one.

*"siantar golf club" - ho ho ho...since when have I blogged about golfing?! Maybe I may have mentioned Tiger Woods and his wondering ways at some stage but then so has the entire world.

*"half the world will be flooded" - This googler probably has a predilection towards doomsday scenarios or something. Sure, there's been awful flooding in a lot of countries lately that have been terrible disasters(Queensland-Australia, Pakistan, Brazil) but that doesn't mean our world's going to end tomorrow or someday soon unless the crazy nuclear bombs are set off. Yes North Korea, I'm talking about you.

* "Gina Rinehart, gina rinehart husband, older richest women in Australia, gina rinehart who is she and what is she like her personality, where does gina rinehart live" - There have been so many people who visited this blog to view the Gina Rinehart page. From all over the world and countries I've never heard of. Goes to show that when you're a powerful women in mining and the richest women in Australia, people are interested in your life and your businesses. Several of them were googling about her husband as well. Maybe the one googling about her husband wanted to marry her?! Sorry, I think she's happily married.

*"how to melt down 9 carat gold" - This one should have visited a jewellery site or a jewellery store.

*"how to gift money to the y generation" - You can gift the money to me, I'll send you my bank details!

*"what the average australian spends money on" - Outrageous living costs of course. All bills have been increasing-electricity/energy, water, gas, insurances, food, groceries, rent, mortgage interest rates, fuel, restaurants and takeaway foods, alcohol, mobile phone plans that includes a data plan so they can Facebook, Twitter and use the satellite navigation at every single spare moment, overpriced coffees and sugary drinks from Chatime, Easyway and Boost Juice and their ilks.

*"15/hour for 40 hours means" - $600, there I've done the maths for you so next time you google that, you will see the results.

*"2207 elizabath drive luddengham, penrith cit council views on cemetery in luddenham, cemetery development luddnaham, luddenham memorial park, protest of crematoriums and cemeteries in australia" and other different variations. I'm aware that a lot of people can't spell and the suburb "Luddenham" isn't really the easiest word to spell but it's not as difficult as the suburb Woolloomooloo. Woolloomooloo encourages people to remember the following sequence in trying to get the spelling right - sheep, toilet, cow, toilet. Seriously.

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