Being seen unseemly

A PEW survey has revealed that self-googles are up, that is the number of people searching for a glimpse of their reflection online. Apparently earlier studies indicated a reluctance on everyone’s part to admit they googled themselves. I’d be inclined to think a narcissist’s curiosity is like nose-picking, we don’t expect our noses to rat us out.

Search engines, internet service providers and browsing software companies are of course in a position to know who searches for what. Isn’t it startling to consider they know when it’s YOU? How closely would you peer into a mirror if you knew so many internet middlemen with clipboards were staring intently back at you?

So your internet connection has a unique Internet Protocol (IP) address (here’s as far as the public can trace yours) and your computer has its own Media Access Control (MAC) address, how do they know it’s YOU?

Cookies and certificates stored by your browser facilitate tracking your online activities. They link the visits and search queries to your computer. Product registrations and credit card payment information link the computer to you.

The pattern of your browsing establishes a profile by which somebody can reliably deduce when your behavior betrays your identity. Suppose for example, atypically, you are playing at Webkins. It could be surmised that one of your cohabitants -likely already documented- was at the keyboard.

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Eric Verlo

About Eric Verlo

On sabbatical
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