Sunday, 27 May 2012


Lets quickly do a count (with your fingers:)
Are you on any of these social platforms (Facebook, Twitter, 2go, Whatsapp, Linkedln, Skype, Gtalk, Y!Msgr, Meebo, Google+, MySpace, hi5, Lagbook, Blogspot, Wordpress, etc)
How many mail address have you got?
How many phones and SIMs have you?
Are you on Bbm?
Enough! A modern day proverb says if you are not on at least three of the aforementioned platforms, you are not fit to be in this modern age. I tell you, if a random sample is taken, over 60% of the world population belong to at least one of these.
Question now suffice, do we still think we have our privacy? My answer is an emphatic NO. Virtually ALL of these social platforms require that you upload recent pictures of you into the application and then when your parent knocks on your door, you seat in the corner of your room and claim “...I dont wana see anyone today, I want my privacy...”. Your picture and indeed your profile is travelling across borders, countries and indeed continents. What then is the privacy you claim you desire?
I have seen several inconsistencies on these social platforms we sign up with where pictures can be uploaded and downloaded without restrictions. A scenario once occurred where a lady saw her picture as the profile picture of a guy she claims she doesnt even know at all. Which court is she gonna charge the culprit to, I ask myself. I once checked a lady's profile on FB and was amazed at the number of albums she uploaded to her profile each with over a hundred  pictures in them. Relationships have been shattered, marriages broken and several other engagements wavering due to inferences from these Social platforms.
Even the so-called secure platforms arent that secured cos they are vulnerable to what we Computer geeks call “Cross-Site Scripting” attacks. This is a situation where the Javascript of your browser is invoked when you click on external links on your profile exposing your login details to the hacker...and GBAM...they are into your account. Did I hear you say “I cant fall for that...”? Well the good news is as much as I know about XSS attacks, I fell for it on my Twitter account a couple of days back. If not for timely discovery and immediate change of password, God knows what would have happened.
The truth is we have lost our doubt about it. There was an argument at my IT office a couple of months back where a client was bragging he could do something awful and get away with it. Immediately, I googled his name and guess what? His full profile was online, including his picture, residential address and phone numbers. He left our office that day with his tail between his legs.
Are you still in doubt you lost your privacy? Well, that you aint a victim yet doesnt mean you are not vulnerable to attacks.
Also, dont forget that we are in an era of Photoshop experts, where Mr A's head can suddenly be found on Mr B's body and vice versa.
Days after days we keep signing up on different other social platforms some of which even award you imaginary stars for uploading several pictures. In no time, you become “Masters” and “Generals” in the platform and you smile forgetting that all these pictures you upload are being sent to a central server million of miles away. I said it jokingly a couple of years back that a time will come when we will have to pay to download  our very own pictures from these social platforms. I still see that happening in the nearest future.
Did you just say NEVER? Well, how about this, Did you read/go through the Terms and Conditions before you clicked “I Agree” when you were registering or downloading those applications?
Just admit it, we have lost our privacy and thousands keep selling off day after day. Don’t get me wrong, these applications have their advantages but when you weigh them against the disadvantages, you'll know better.
Although technology is not yet as sophisticated as the developed countries, believe me we are fast losing our privacy.
I was watching a Nollywood movie where a fetish man told a client of his to bring a picture of a certain rich man he wanted to harm. The client had to go to the man's house in pretense to get the rich man's picture. I laughed and felt Nollywood has not improved, all the client had to do was go online to the rich man's website or FB profile, download the picture that suits his purpose and print it, then give to the fetish man to use for whatever he desires it for.
Take a break and ask yourself where all your pictures are at this very moment. Can you account for them all? Well then, I think the Holy Book is right afterall. “...if it had not been the Lord on our side...”

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