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WARNING: Change Your Computer Settings Now!

I tweeted this today after reading an interesting headline from the Blog Herald:

SURPRISE: Facebook Is Tracking You Through The ‘Like’ Button. All the more reason to de-personalize your desktop. Source

Why did I say that?

To most of us it’s no surprise a company that prides itself on compromising our privacy is tracking us. Of course this is talking about tracking us on the web, but it reminds me of a much broader issue.

The point I am trying to make is .. there is no longer a blurring of the line between our desktop and the web. The two have now merged, so I make certain there is nothing personally identifiable on my desktop, including (but not limited to) registering my Windows copy with a pseudonym.

Am I doing this because I have something to hide? No, of course not. I do it because it’s NONE of their business. That’s why.

So how do you know if your computer is not leaking your personally identifiable information? Well I’m glad that you asked, so I’ll tell you:

Right-click the  MyComputer icon and click on ‘properties’. Look for the computer name, description, work group etc. If there is anything that can identify YOU personally, then I recommend changing it forthwith. You do that with ‘change settings’.

Now don’t you feel better? I know that I do.

UPDATE: Facebook Likes Where You’ve Been!

This Tweetcast is brought to you by BLOGBloke: Veteran Blog Pioneer, Tech Author/Editor, and Social Media Tips (with just a little attitude). Read even more BLOGBloke @ Twitter.

Written May 19th, 2011 by | 21 Comments | Filed under: Featured Tips, Internet Tips, Privacy Tips, Security Tips, Social Media Tips

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There are 21 Comments so far to “WARNING: Change Your Computer Settings Now!”

  1. Ya know I never thought about making up some name, etc every time I buy a new pc.I do now.

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    Reply by: BLOGBloke at 6:01 pm said...

    @Curtis, I’ve always done this and it’s more important now than ever before.

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    Reply by: Curtis at 3:08 pm said...

    @BLOGBloke,Well next time then I buy a pc

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    Reply by: BLOGBloke at 1:11 pm said...

    @Curtis .. why wait till spring. Do it now.

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    Reply by: Curtis at 6:24 pm said...

    @BLOGBloke, Well guess I was a smart cookie when I set up our pc’s because out of the 3 pc’s we have. None had person ids on them.

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  2. Hi BLOGBloke,
    I knew about google having the ability of tracking your website searches when you are logged into your google account but I didnt know about your computer name being something that can be used for tracking purposes by social media groups like facebook. Thanks for the tip!
    cheers,
    fake tan girl

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  3. Let’s keep our eyes open. Free to use, free to abuse. We must have control.
    Thanks for the info, blogbloke!
    Cheers,
    Lyn from classic books

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    Reply by: BLOGBloke at 1:57 pm said...

    @Lyn, @tan girl … keep the faith.

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  4. Oh my! this is creepy! just followed your instructions and found out that i have no computer description and the name is just ‘PC’. :D I guess i am safe!
    But, it is just sad to know that when facebook promises to keep user’s privacy, they are instead tracking us.
    Who do I trust ?

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    Reply by: BLOGBloke at 1:56 pm said...

    @Mushfique, only trust yourself my friend (and your mom of course). :-)

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    Reply by: Mushfique at 8:49 pm said...

    @BLOGBloke, rite you are brother :)

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    Reply by: teri at 5:49 am said...

    @Mushfique, user privacy and tracking are different (in their eyes)

    when you connect to the Internet, you are opening yourself up to another world. You have no idea if video’s you open, or powerpoint crap, etc. have things attached to them.
    I live in Costa Rica and I equate it with leaving my gate open to the Costanera, you just never know what could enter!!

    HEY BLOKE, long time no see. Because I boycott my computer sometimes (or at least the Internet).

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    Reply by: BLOGBloke at 11:57 am said...

    @teri, I left a comment on your blog but it didn’t show up.

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  5. Out of personal experience, if you are worried about facebook tracking on you, you should delete it and don’t use it. Facebook is nothing but a gossip house.

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  6. Hello Mr. Blog Bloke (I think you are a male…. not sure)

    Anywho… I’m new to the twitter scene but it is kind of creepy for people to be using facebook and this google plus site when they want privacy. Those places really just aren’t private. Even twitter is able to track information if one is not careful. At the same time, the governments know everything about us… and that includes those who work for them. So, I’m kinda wondering why someone with your blog experience and tremendous knowledge would have registered at Google plus and expected to be left alone as anonymous. Just wondering.

    Maybe it was to create some controversy and then hit back at them as part of the process. Good idea maybe. But it will be hard to win even with privacy commission involved. They won’t take one person seriously because it’s like TV… if you don’t like the program… you can turn it off or switch channels.

    Ok… thanks for including me in your list of followers.
    Cheers…. Katriana (Toronto) Have we met somewhere???You look familiar in your old blog picture. Are you a mediation specialist??

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    Reply by: BLOGBloke at 11:02 am said...

    @Katriana Caseman, hi there. Sorry for responding so late but I was away on holiday. I assume you are referring to another rant that I made about Google+.

    Nothing online is safe which is why all of us need to be constantly vigilant. Not just for privacy conscious people such as myself, and it seems to me all of us should be able to use social media and retain a certain amount of anonymity if we so choose.

    With respect to your allegations of seeking “controversy” I can assure I did not intentionally seek it. I did not expect to be kicked off Google+ and was just as surprised as anybody else who received similar treatment. Then again I never was one to shy away from a little controversy ;-)

    I’m not holding my breath for the bureaucrats do to do anything about it, and the more awareness we can raise about it the better as far as I’m concerned. But I do believe sooner or later this will be dealt with either by the politicians or in the courts because it’s too important an issue to ignore.

    Thanks so much for dropping by Katriana and your comments, and I look forward to hearing from you again.

    Cheers .. BB

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  7. WARNING: Change Your Computer Settings Now! http://bit.ly/mxMP1m

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  9. via @blogbloke WARNING: Change Your Computer Settings Now!: I tweeted this today after reading an inte… http://mkt.gs/k5LRhM #blogging

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