Sometime between July 28th and this morning GARD deleted the help wanted ad posted to BigHired on March 31, 2020. I couldn’t help but laugh at the effort. People just don’t understand the internet.
While raising our kids we impressed upon them that everything they post online is forever. Somewhere each comment or photo or whatever is stored on a tape or a server or other storage medium a company chooses to employ in emergency and standard backup systems.
Deleting something off of Facebook or MySpace or YouTube or any website doesn’t mean that the information actually disappears. Deleting those items means the data is no longer visible to the specified user or any other internet browser. The data remains on the servers—and it’s almost always servers plural because ISPs bounce data off multiple servers each time one goes online. Each server in the bounce chain has the data somewhere. The retention period on intermediate servers may differ from the application servers for Facebook/MySpace/YouTube/whatever but there IS a retention period.
Not even an excellent VPN can guarantee anonymity. Google and Microsoft are the worst offenders in this regard but most of the large application companies collect more than an IP address when one logs on to a service. Motherboard serial number, BIOS serial number, hard drive serial number, Windows OS authentication key, Windows user account name—all of this and more can be (and often is) requested by and communicated to websites without the human ever realizing it.
That’s what all the gobbledygook in the Terms of Service no one reads before clicking “I agree” says:
“I allow [enter company here] to collect and use my computer information for whatever reason [enter company here] chooses.”
They just say it in verbose legalese with plenty of obfuscation thrown in for those who try to read it.
GARD thinks their oopsie moment with the Help Wanted ad was solved by “deleting” the ad from BigHire/Indeed’s server. Nope. Ever notice that I always capture a full URL in screen shots? There’s a reason for that habit: the part after .com allows a network engineer or technician to find the “deleted” information on either the active server or a backup.
My kids learned well and take seriously what we repeated ad nauseum: if you don’t want everyone to know something you said/did/thought at a singular point in time for your entire life, keep it off the internet.