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Customer Review

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Forget the "Computer" bit... *everyone* should read this book., November 2, 2005
This review is from: Computer Privacy Annoyances (Paperback)
Computer Privacy Annoyances

O'Reilly

By Dan Tynan

ISBN 0596007752

As someone who gets asked questions about Internet use and safety all the time, a book I had been itching to read was "Computer Privacy Annoyances", by Dan Tynan. According to the cover, the book covers "How to avoid the most annoying invasions of your personal and online privacy."

The quick and dirty? The book gives very practical, real-world examples of how your data can be used, yet the author manages to avoid sounding like a doomsayer... even some of the more scary scenarios don't come off sounding like sensationalism, just honest (and sometimes even apologetic) examples of what could very realistically happen. (I thank you, Mr. Tynan.)

I'll take bets on anyone that doesn't learn at least ten new things they didn't know about their privacy rights. Mr. Tynan has taken the proverbial "They" and reduced it to the very organizations that "they" really are. Did you know you can request a copy of your FBI files? Do you know who has the power view it? Do you know who is collecting data on you at this very moment and what they are doing with it?

The book's format allows for a surprisingly fast read. Well organized sections such as privacy at home, on the Internet, in public, at work, and even on a federal level allow for quick chapter absorption. In each chapter, the author states the annoyance, and then the fix. This allows for quick skipping over an 'annoyance' that might not annoy you that much.

I did notice that the author made no mention of the everyday information users give out about themselves without even realizing it, such as usernames that contain birthdates and such. But the Internet privacy chapter is only a small portion of the topics covered in this book. In fact, if I had to find one fault with this book, however, I'd say they lost a much larger audience that could have easily benefited from the book by calling it *Computer* Privacy Annoyances.

As a tech professional, if I could get all my clients, users, friends, family and complete strangers to read this book, I strongly believe identify theft could become a thing of the past. And it might even reduce global blood pressure, too. Bonus!
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