Your online footprint

This post is going to probably be quite contradictory, as I have posted online about my life for the last 15 years, but ya know…

Be careful what you post online.

I know that’s an obvious statement really, but I am blown away daily at how blind some people seem to be in regards to their online privacy. Posting about their every movement, checking-in to every place they visit and generally documenting their entire existence to the public. If you remove the internet from the mix and just wandered about phoning your mates up saying “Hey I just walked into the doctors” and then 30 mins later rang the same mate up and ask them for their opinions about your recent visit to the doctors – you would soon lose friends and get locked in the looney bin. Yet add the internet back into the mix and this is now considered perfectly normal behaviour.

We all start off life way more trusting than we should be, when we are younger we go through life without thinking about privacy and what people may be able to find out about us online when we’re older – I mean you’ve only got to look in the press to see how an individuals online past can destroy their future. James Gunn is a recent victim of this, and a day doesn’t go by where at least one news outlet is dragging up old Tweets from Donald Trump’s past.

So what should you do to keep yourself safe?

Thankfully, most social networks now have half decent privacy controls, mainly due to how much this has all been in the news – but regardless of that, most of them make it fairly easy to review and modify your settings, so follow the steps below and hopefully they will help you stay on top of your online privacy.

  1. Don’t sign up to every social network in the world. Many people have an account on everything, and this is a very easy way to forget what you have and leave huge piles of sensitive data littered all over the internet. If you stop using something, close your account.
  2. Don’t allow anyone and everyone to connect to you. With Facebook you can set it so only friends fo friends can find and add you. Twitter lets you lock down your profile and other networks have similar controls. Be mindful of how you have these settings configured.
  3. Continually review your settings. Make a point of going in once a month to check your settings, as app updates, policy changes and reinstallation of certain apps can wipe these settings and before you realise it, every post you make is publicly searchable again.
  4. THINK before you POST. Why are you posting that image? What is the actual reason? Does the world need to know you visit Costa coffee every morning at 8:37am? The answer is probably “I dunno” or “No”.
  5. Try and think ahead. Some of the stuff Ben Bradley MP posted about may years ago came to bite him on the ass recently, also as I stated earlier – many people are constantly in the news due to things they said a lifetime ago – so when you’re posting your next status update, think “Will this come back to haunt me?” and if the answer is “Yes” or “Maybe” – then walk away from the computer.

To conclude, dont be a dingbat & think before you post.

Konichiwa.

PS I posted this article using Gutenburg, I only actually posted this so I could try it out but I think the article came out ok anyway 🙂

PPS Gutenburg is pretty cool 🙂

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