WASHINGTON -- Lynn Boyden, a college professor in Los Angeles who teaches website design, says she has developed two identities online: a public one for her professional life and a private one that only a few close friends can access. She tries to block advertising trackers when she can and limits what personal data might wind up on public sites.
It's an approach that she says works, although it takes time and attention.
"It's a sliding scale," said Boyden of what information she chooses to share. "Some things are and should be private."
Americans might be sharing more personal information online than ever through social networking sites and email. But they also want to better control who can see it, according to a study released today by the Pew Research Center's Internet and American Life Project.
The study reported that privacy concerns among Americans are on the rise, with 50 percent of Internet users saying they are worried about the information available about them online, up from 33 percent in 2009. Meanwhile, 86 percent of people surveyed have tried at least one technique to hide their activity online or avoid being tracked, such as clearing cookies or their browser history or using encryption.
While trying to avoid snooping -- at least in some circumstances -- is now commonplace, people cite varying reasons for doing so. About one-third said they had tried to conceal their activity from hackers or criminals, while 28 percent have tried to block advertisers. Others said they wanted to keep information private from family members or spouses, employers or the government.
MF approves $6.7B loan for Pakistan: The International Monetary Fund approved a $6.7 billion loan for Pakistan on Wednesday in an effort to help the strategic country stave off an economic crisis. The nuclear-armed nation of 180 million, which maintains a rocky alliance with the U.S., is seen as a key player in Washington's efforts to bring peace to neighboring Afghanistan after more than a decade of war. Pakistan has been grappling for years with rampant violence by Islamic militants.
Obama weighs Egypt aid suspension: President Barack Obama's top national security aides have recommended that the U.S. suspend hundreds of millions of dollars in military and economic assistance to Egypt in response to the Egyptian military's ouster of the country's first democratically elected leader, U.S. officials said Wednesday. Such a step would be a dramatic shift for an administration that has declined to label Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi's July 3 ouster a coup and has argued that it is in U.S. national security interests to keep the aid flowing.