Privacy – Why should relatively public personal information be kept secret online, if at all?

I do not want to get involved in technical terms, but just lay the groundwork for this question: I understand Personal Identification Information (PII) as the information that is invisible to people who intersect daily with you and that it might be used to To prove your identity. For example, my name and face are not really private because anyone I happen to do business with could get that information. My date of birth and address are much less obvious and are considered PII. My social security number is a very different level of private, sensitive personal information (SPI).

I grew up in the wild west of the Internet (there is Rand-PII – approximate age) and I was advised never to divulge information about PII types. Basically hide your true identity as much as possible for the sake of safety.

Now, if I know more, I wonder if this precaution is justified, especially in relation to the persistence of the person between platforms where some PII could leak out. For most internet users, I certainly do not want my name tied to it, but I do not feel like I generally have to cover my tracks. Conversely, I see some advantage in having my actual or pseudonymous identities persist online and I would not object if easily checked or simply certain users connect points between people, ie friends or acquaintances who know two different profiles, me represent, including a PII-filled as LinkedIn. I ask if my intuition is right or riskier here than I think.

The risks of uncovering PII are in my opinion:

  • identity theft
  • stalking
  • Plan crime
  • Doxxing / Defamation / Harassment

For these reasons, I can see reason to publicly use a pseudonym posting. But I generally do not consider these threats to be particularly worrying when I meet someone on a message board or a stranger on Facebook or LinkedIn. Someone who finds my profile on LinkedIn already has a lot of information that could bother me, just as it is useful for potential employers to review me. It has to do with target incentive: why me among many others? And even if someone was pursuing one of these malicious acts online, how would it be otherwise or more likely to encounter that malice in a completely offline relationship? Is it that the Internet is bigger (the likelihood of me coming across bad apples is greater) and may have a deeper insight into my life (the vulnerability of bumping into bad apples is greater)? An online criminal can choose from any number of other profiles from which he can retrieve information. Unless I reveal SPI, this seems to be a basic PII, and my online activity is no worse than exposing my PII and & # 39; in real life "day to day activity.

Why should relatively public personal identification information be kept online, if at all?