You might see ads starting today in places like USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, and The New Yorker, all around the theme of “Good to Know”. The ads are from Google and outline steps you could take to better protect your privacy online. Google offers tips on establishing a good password system and also tries to make the case that sharing more information on your past searching history will allow the search engine to bring you more relevant results. So that’s a tricky high wire act: “You should protect your privacy AND have less privacy around us!”, the company seems to be saying. Not sure how that will go over, especially in light of its reputation for snoopiness and for automatically opting users in to products like Google Buzz.
On the other hand, it’s kind of a welcome message that, yes, companies like Google and Facebook aren’t perfect on privacy but users aren’t perfect either. If you use lazy passwords or the same passwords on every site, you’re WAY more likely to lose data to hackers.