With all of the perks and benefits that have the Web – the effortless networking skill, the accessibility to real time information from each of the world, the social media phenomenon, the way we could plan an whole day without leaving our desks – with all of these wonderfully convenient and appealing aspects of the internet world, there’s still that dark cloud that seems forever to be hanging over the heads of web-users. The issue of online privacy – or more specifically, the lack thereof, seems to constantly be popping up in the evening news, in the office, also in millions of blogs all over the world.
Do we care?
Many believe that the younger generation, or the digital natives, hold a blasé approach to online privacy, not worrying about what or who can get their home town, phone numbers, or overall demographical information. Yet interestingly, a recent poll found that it’s in fact that the 18-35 year olds which are more inclined to be tread the internet privacy waters more carefully than their older peers. It appears that even though the younger demographic might be more easygoing about submitting private information across their social networking pages, they are also more likely to use the privacy settings in place to specifically dictate just who can access those private details. Maybe this is because most are simply utilizing social networking to stay in contact with existing friends – and privacy preferences are accommodated so that no other people outside their ‘friend’ lists can access their information.Before you do any online activity make sure that your online privacy is not being compromised.
The Facebook fear factor
Viruses are making the rounds of Facebook webpages, posing as ‘humorous’ video hyperlinks that look to be posted in your own wall by your buddies, simply to infect your computer and slip your log in details if you click them. Facebook recently introduced new privacy settings to enable users to better control their internet privacy, simply to get a backlash of complaints that the new settings were overly complicated, with users perplexed and worried over how exactly their personal information was being used. Together with ‘privacy controls that are much simpler to use’ and ‘a simple way to turn off all third party providers’, ‘ Facebook are attempting to soothe their disgruntled users and put a stop to the privacy violation rumours. A huge issue that remains is that although the privacy settings are easier to use, they are not set as default – Put simply, until you actively seek out the privacy preferences and alter them your profile, information and photographs are also available to the general public. This implies that if we want be private, we will need to learn how to perform it.
Holding us back
Social networking sites have also come under fire of late because of a number of horrible abductions and other crimes that have resulted from users falling for disguises online. Chat rooms have been a worry for parents, providing anybody from anywhere in the world an outlet for immediate communication with under-age net users. Since e-commerce continues to boom, unfortunately, so also do the cases of identity theft, financial theft and fraud. In reality, many believe that the one thing holding back the e-commerce market is the lack of customer privacy protection on the internet.
Education Is Essential
Does all this mean that we should shut down our social media webpages and refuse to purchase online? Interestingly, governments often respond to public concerns over the risks of the online world by advising users to simply hide any information and any personal details, or simply not use certain websites. However perhaps it is more realistic and practical to advise Internet consumers to educate themselves on the privacy preferences of the sites they frequent and use, and to be responsible and accountable as they engage in sharing online. Users can do this without privacy fears if they take it upon themselves to be informed and to use the Internet responsibly. The online world has started up incredible opportunities in the way of communicating and worldwide sharing, and even though with most things, this comes with its dangers, we can use social networking sites and e-commerce without fear if we’re accountable, clued-up and Web savvy.
IQuantum has developed a proprietary evaluation process to internet benchmark client websites against the sites of market-leading competitors and contrary to best practice. We are marketers at the origins, so we are aware of the importance of laying-out strategy in a bang-for-buck manner, and so we always present the business case for or against any online initiative using a quantifiable justification.
After our investigation and plan workshop your internet benchmark is created and you’ll know just how far behind or ahead of the competition you are. With this information we can then work together with you to ascertain what to do on your market position and site strategies. Although we have experienced some useful tools designed to assist in the analysis procedure, iQuantum is not a web development company. We don’t employ programmers or designers. Our range is wider than that. We site between our customers and internet vendors and ensure the client gets value from their internet marketing investment.