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What is Privacy? 5 Common Sense Tips While Social Networking….

social media five-o

What exactly is considered private when it comes to social media and social networking? Since becoming involved in social media about a year and a half ago I have been a little astonished at what people share about themselves. MySpace has been the social networking website where both men and woman pushed the limits on how much skin is showed in uploaded pic’s. Seems like Facebook has surpassed MySpace with lack of clothing pic’s due to the shear number of users 465,564,340 (via http://www.checkfacebook.com/) and the numerous men and women in their undies, bikinis, or less.

I am not a prude and am not against girl’s in bikinis (not into guys in underwear), but there seems to be a lack of modesty and forethought when it comes to information (pics, videos, crazy status updates) being placed on social networking sites. Once information is placed on the web, you should assume it will live on the web forever, yes forever. People can save any images or text with a simple right click of a mouse and don’t assume because your privacy settings are set on Facebook or other social networking sites that any of your risque information won’t show up on the web (so called friends can share your information).

Another security/privacy issue to be considered while participating in social media/social networking is GPS location services. Foursquare, Twitter, Facebook, and most other social networking sites allow you to provide your GPS location. As a retired police officer I do not think this is the best of ideas for personal security reasons. There are websites like pleaserobme.com that are placing your GPS locations on their website once caught off the web from status updates along with the fact that you are not home encouraging criminal activity or at your residence i.e: burglary because you are most likely not at home.

Below are 5 common sense tips on how to prevent from unwanted privacy intrusions:

1) Don’t share naked pictures of yourself unless you are ready for the consequences – Hmm, what will my parents or kids think?
2) Don’t put anything into a status update you don’t want recirculated on the web – My boss John Doe is a #$%^.
3) Ladies turn off your GPS notifications from all social networking sites so you are not advertising that you are alone at a bar at 2am – There are creepers on the web you know.
4) Don’t always trust a picture of an individual on a social networking site because they are attractive – Things are not always as they appear.
5) Don’t list your cell phone number on Twitter, Facebook, or any other social networking website if you don’t want your privacy invaded – Ladies really, weirdos will call you.

As social media continues to change our culture our definition of privacy seems to also be changing. What was private 5 years ago is now a profile picture on Facebook or a status update on Twitter that potentially millions of people can see. I am not throwing rocks from my glass house as I have violated my own common sense rules a time or two, but consider your privacy current or future when participating in social media and social networking sites. Mike Vallez, http://www.michaelvallez.com

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Henry Brown

The only other thing that I might add to the list is only visit sites/user accounts which you have at least some degree of familiarity with. DON’T automatically “add” friends/followers

My approach to “sharing” on the social networking sites have/has always been DON’T share anything you wouldn’t share with your worst enemy or would have any problem with it being posted in the local newspaper on the front page…

Has fairly well kept me out of trouble since I started using social networking sites (Bulletin Board Systems) in the mid 80’s

Michael Vallez

Henry, so true, kind of like having a regular conversation as a rational human being. If you would not say it to someone then don’t broadcast it on the web, unless you stand behind it.

thanks Nichole me too 🙂

Adriel Hampton

The socnets – and personalized search services, anything you log into – are becoming the most aggressive data aggregators the world has ever seen. Once you log in, every click, every key entry, every social relationship, becomes part of your profile. That’s the privacy concern I see.

Arvind Nigam

+1 Adriel infact the human<–>tech-id integrations coming the way they are gonna do in next 10 years is something that we can neither fathom, nor evaluate on grounds of concerns like privacy, security, product bombardment, or betterment and likewise. Back in India those guys are looking at biometric id authentication for citizen enrollment.

The next level is to integrate the UID to link up other Gov/private services to the biometric identity. #phew



Totally agree! Especially about not using the “GPS feature”- to me that was a big “Put your social security number on your Facebook account” flag for me. I rarely use pictures of myself as you can see :-)…..