Book Review: Computer Privacy Annoyances: How to Avoid the Most Annoying Invasions of Your Personal and Online Privacy

Publisher O’Reilly writes No one needs to tell you that personal privacy is an increasingly rare commodity. Identity theft has become the fastest growing crime on the Internet. Spammers fill our inboxes while scammers threaten to drain our bank accounts. Left unprotected, a home PC can be turned into a hacker’s plaything in less time than it takes to reboot. And that doesn’t begin to include threats to our privacy from agencies with hidden agendas, eavesdropping employers, and an increasingly intrusive federal government.
But it doesn’t have to be that way, “Computer Privacy Annoyances: How to Avoid the Most Annoying Invasions of Your Personal and Online Privacy” (Tynan, O’Reilly, US $19.95), provides advice with attitude on what consumers can do to protect the privacy they’ve got left, and to take back what they’ve lost. Served up with liberal doses of wit and backed by rock-solid research, Computer Privacy Annoyances offers step-by-step instructions for combating the worst privacy and security threats.
“History shows time and again that data collected for a helpful purpose invariably ends up being used for another, less benign one,” says author Dan Tynan. “But it also shows that when citizens raise hell and actively fight back, intruders will back down often enough to make it a battle worth waging.”
“Nobody knows more about privacy in the Internet age than Dan Tynan. This book explains exactly why the dangers are so real–and provides step-by-step instructions for defending yourself, your information, and your money.” — Harry McCracken, Editor in Chief, PC World
“Computer Privacy Annoyances” provides a wealth of information for protecting privacy, complete with a few lessons in hell-raising. The book is organized around the five areas where privacy is most at risk:
–Privacy at Home–Reveals exactly how vulnerable your personal data is on your home computer, and shows you how to lock down your system
–Privacy on the Net–The inside skinny on erasing your browser footprints, rooting out spyware, winning the war on spam, shopping securely online and keeping your kids safe on the Net
–Privacy at Work–How to figure out if your boss is spying on you, handle background checks, keep an eye on your personnel records, deal with surveillance cameras and desk searches, and avoid other on-the-job privacy intrusions–Privacy in Public–Unveils what happens to your personal information when you shop, use public libraries, enroll in school, travel by air or car, visit the doctor, go to the bank, or even eat out in restaurants
–Privacy and Uncle Sam–Exposes what kind of personal information local, state and federal agencies collect, who they share that information with, and what you can do to seal records, access your files, detect wiretaps and cope with the IRS and other scary bureaucracies
“All the tools you need to take back your privacy rights, delivered with snappy wit. Who knew Fighting the Man could be so much fun?” — Dan Miller, executive editor, MacWorld
It’s definitely a brave new world. “Computer Privacy Annoyances” is for anyone not quite ready to surrender their personal information in the name of convenience, technology, or homeland security.