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First Post - About Us

What is

Trying to minimize your online presence can be a daunting task. Online services such as facebook collect a lot of information about you whether you're willing or not. deletop was created to help those of you who want to learn how to protect your online privacy. Key to mitigating your exposure is understanding how those services work and the different methods you need to employ in order to keep your privacy.

Why would I want to keep my privacy?

Privacy allows people the freedom to choose what to share with other people. One key point which many who argue "why should I care? I don't have anything to hide" don't understand is that you do have some things to hide. Simple examples could be not wanting your parents to know you went to the party they told you not to, or a former love interest which you keep in touch with no ill-conceived intentions, or that time you did something embarrassing you don't want your friends to know about. Privacy is a key concept in human interactions and it defines much of what we think about when we think about humans.

How do online services violate my privacy?

Much of the modern web is based around user information. Social networking sites for example encourage users to upload images and tag the people in those photos. Any sentence, word and letter you type in any text box on the web is saved forever in a database. Online services create the very misleading feeling that certain aspects of the service are "private" because other people don't have access to them. But that separation between private and public data is virtually non existent as facebook demonstrated just a few years back when they changed their sharing settings and made what previousely was "private data" into public data.

The service as you know it now can change, but the data will be there forever. If 15 years ago you could be a certain person and than change, today your previous self will haunt you until your eventual death. There's little you can do after the information is out there.

The hidden side of the web

Up until now we talked about information you willingly give to websites. But the web has an invisible layer to it which most users are unaware of. That layer is made of a myriad of technologies which are used by some web services to track user activity across the web. Every site with a like button for instance will tell facebook the exact site and page you visited (that includes naughty sites as well). That information can map a person to a very high detail and tell almost everything about that person. Starting from his or hers location, to friends, interests, religious believes and even sexual preferences. That information is not information which is shared with those services by the user, but a passive surveillance.

Does every site track me?

Not every site tracks its users but most sites do. All sites with "social" functions most definitely track their users. deletop as well employs statistical analysis of its page views using google analytics and displays google adsense ads. We also have a facebook like button and a twitter share button. We made the decision to use those services because they allow us to better reach the part of our audience which currently uses those services. It's also important to understand that it is possible to use all of those services and still keep your privacy. The important thing is to be aware of what information is shared and how you can control the information you share.

Deletion guides

Many sites make it hard for you to delete your presence inside their service. If you want to delete an account on a web service and all its associated data one possible step (which sometimes isn't very effective) is to delete that account which will render that account inactive. Some services will delete the data associated with that account after a certain period of time. But some will keep the information indefinitely. For cases like this deletop blog will have useful advice on how to deep delete your accounts.