We here at The White Hatter are privacy hawks, especially when it comes to the use of technology. Just recently we read a great academic book “Datafied Childhood” written by Giovanna Masheroni and Andra Siibak. In this book the authors stated:
“Datafication can be defined as the massive and systemic monitoring, recording, and transformation of social actor’s everyday practices online and offline – including aspects of the world not previously datafied and measured, such as friendship ties and emotions” (1)
When you are online or signing up for a new app or social network, your information is being harvested, analyzed, manipulated, and commodified. Given that more and more youth are going online, this datafication and commodification of our kids have become a real privacy concern. Remember, we are not a social media vendor’s customer – we are their inventory!
With the convenience of technology comes vulnerability to our safety, security, and privacy. One of the ways that apps and social networks will harvest, analyze, manipulate, and commodified our online activities – they will lure you to utilize a third-party account to quickly and more efficiently create a new user account or as a sign-in option once the account has been created.
Do not fall for this datafication ploy – instead, when signing up for a new account or logging into an existing account, here’s what we suggest to help anonymize and de-commodify your personal and private information:
- Always use a Virtual Privacy Network (VPN) we here at The White Hatter use Private Internet Access (2)
- Instead of using Google Chrome as your primary browser to create a new account, think about using Firefox (3) or the Brave Browser (4). Both of these browsers are built upon a privacy by design philosophy.
- DO NOT use another social media account to create a new account on a different platform
- DO NOT sign into an account using a third- party login (image #2 above)
- When creating a new account, it may prompt you to sign-up with your cellphone number – DO NOT DO THIS! We recommend you utilize the “sign up with an email” only
- When signing up for a new social media account, we recommend that you do not use your own personal email, but rather create a new email address that you will use to sign up for any new social media account, app, or gaming platform. We would recommend something other than a Gmail account to do this. GMX email is one of several options to consider (4)
- Only fill in “required” information boxes (usually marked with an *) do not provide any other information that is not required
Will the above-noted steps protect your privacy 100% – “NO”! However, will the process help to anonymize and de-commodify your personal and private information and online activities when signing up for a new account, or logging into an existing account – “YES”!
Digital Food For Thought
The White Hatter
1. Datafied Childhoods https://amzn.to/3orWikr
2. Firefox https://www.privateinternetaccess.com
3. Brave Browser https://brave.com