Various sites have openly stood up against the NSA's continuous requests to disclose private data. LinkedIn is one of the latest to challenge the government. The social network created a filing in Federal Court to challenge the government requests.
LinkedIn is not the only company that has stood up against the government, the social network joins in with Facebook, Microsoft, Apple, Yahoo, and a number of other companies saying no to government requests.
The Argument Explained
The U.S. government wants companies like LinkedIn to disclose private data when prompted. This puts those companies in a tough position, since users trust these companies to remain secure, safe, and secretive. When you log into a site like LinkedIn, you should be able to assume that your details are private. But, that's not the case with the government.
Until now, when the government asked various companies for private data information, those companies had to give up details. Now, companies are trying to fight back. Is there anything that you can do to ensure that your data is actually safe when you use a site like LinkedIn?
The Tor Road
Until sites like LinkedIn make headway with the government, there's not a lot that you can do to make sure your data is safe. One thing that you can do, though, is use a browser like Tor to keep your files secret. Still, you should be aware that posting information on any social site means that your details could become public.
Even though social sites are fighting against the government, your details are still available to those companies. So many people leave information trails on the Internet, and never really think about where those trails are heading or who can see what information has been left behind. But, this has to change if you want to keep your information private.
Are Any Networks Safe?
The quick answer here is: no. But, you can change your Facebook, LinkedIn, and other network information, so that your details are not available to the public. Right now, these sites still have to give the government what they ask for whether or not they want to. Soon, though, sites like LinkedIn might stand a fighting chance when it comes to declining the request to divulge private details.
For now, make sure that your LinkedIn details are as private as possible by following these steps:
1. Change your settings, so that only your contacts can access your profile.
2. Don't accept friend requests from people you don't know.
3. Keep personal information to yourself by simply not posting those details on any social network.
4. Be careful when it comes to posting things about your company or yourself.
5. Always keep in mind that social networks are public.
Do you have any other security tricks? LinkedIn isn't alone in this fight, but it won't be an easy one either. With the government requesting data and looming over private business, it's a tough thing to keep client information truly a secret.
Photo from teamstickergiant via Flickr Creative Commons