If you got to this post by reading the description, you’re already nervous about what’s to come. Strap in.

I’ve mentioned before how little Google cares about your data security, and while you could read some of this as a “the sky is falling” rant, it’s nothing of the sort. Fact is, there’s no real security on the Internet, and the issue isn’t that you’re being watched so much as it is that you need to understand how, and have some idea what that means to you so you might protect yourself as best you can.

This week, a new browser plug-in that will keep you up to date on just how often you’re transmitting personal information to Google became available. It’s available here, and works with both Firefox and Chrome.

If you install this software, you’re going to spend an awful lot of time being jarred by flashing and noisy alarms. I suspect that very few people will use it for more than a few hours before they uninstall it, stop browsing the Internet, and hide underneath their beds.

OK, so you’ll just uninstall the software, but you’ll still be horrified. Allow me to repeat: there is no data security on the internet (and) Google is the prime perpetrator of that truth.

So What?

Actually, you can read the “so what?” a couple of different ways:

Say it like a child and it means “this has nothing to do with me; it’s beyond my control, it is what it is“. Fair enough, and ultimately correct; you aren’t going to stop using the Internet, so get used to and accept that information is being gathered about you and your habits.

Or, make a plan. A dear friend recently bought a paper shredder to make sure that her bills and other documents didn’t get used against her when she threw them out, and weeks later she’s still talking about how good using it makes her feel. She happens to be quite old and doesn’t use the Internet, so imagine what she’d think if she read this!

The Computer Answer Guy can help you with your data security. So can PC-VIP and any number of other technology consultants. Or you can do it yourself. But if your meaning for “so what?” isn’t the childish one, you need to do something.

Right Now.

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