Creeped Out by “The Circle”? We Can Help.

That’s messed up, right? If the premise of “The Circle” — the movie based on Dave Egger’s book by the same name — feels a bit too close to home, that’s probably because it is.

The fact that our privacy and security online is under constant threat isn’t even some wild dystopic fiction. That part is straight-up reality. Luckily, it’s a reality we can all do something about by getting informed, protecting ourselves, and making our voices heard. Our nonprofit makers, Mozilla, have been saying this for ages: the internet only stays healthy if we trust it as a safe place — to explore, transact, connect, and create.

So what better time to reclaim some online privacy than after watching Emma Watson lose hers scene by scene for an hour and fifty minutes (which seems like it should have made for a better movie than it did . . .)? Last Friday we went to a theater to find out.

We chatted with folks coming out the theater about the themes in the movie and handed out some tip sheets with super simple ways to up one’s privacy game immediately.

Here’s what we learned: a few people thought the only way to stay private and protected is to go offline (it’s not!), there’s a good amount of suspicion around big data out, the movie wasn’t a big hit with most (oops), and a lot of people — regardless of age — believe there’s still hope for a healthy internet if enough people take action (there is!).

For some straight-up wisdom on that last bit, please bask in what this woman has to say on the subject:

So whether you saw the movie, read the book, or have just watched this GIF of Emma Watson on loop and know deep in your heart that it’s time to take stock of your own digital footprint: we can help.

Follow the steps below, then check out this full 8-day Data Detox from Tactical Tech and Mozilla to take your personal privacy to the max.

  1. To see all the data Google has archived on you, go to https://www.google.com/takeout. This doesn’t delete the info, but knowledge is power!
  2. Log into Facebook and go to Settings > Privacy
  • Select Friends for Who can look you up using the email/phone number you provided?
  • Select No for Do you want search engines outside of Facebook to link to your profile?

3. Log into Twitter and go to Settings > Privacy and safety

  • Tweet Location > uncheck Add a location to my tweets
  • Discoverability > uncheck Let others find me by my email

4. Use Firefox. Hey, we’re the only non-profit, non-corporate, non-omniscient browser out there.