Protect yourself online
by Jeff Latcham
Sep 17, 2010 | 1039 views | 0 0 comments | 12 12 recommendations | email to a friend | print
You too may be a publisher and not even realize it. And that could be a problem.

In our new mega-connected world of Twitter, Facebook and all the other social media now commonplace in so many folks’ lives, too few realize the pitfalls of being a publisher.

Certainly we’ve all heard or read about the problems with “sexting” among teenagers and adults. Often what is thought to be a private message can go global in a matter of minutes.

Then there’s the issue of folks airing their private lives out on Facebook where employers and future employers run across it, making hiring and firing decisions much easier.

Events last week in Nashua, N.H., highlight yet another pitfall of personal digital publishing. There police arrested three young men who had been burglarizing dozens of households selected through social networking sites.

As one who occasionally visits Facebook, we’ve often been surprised at how many folks are all too ready to declare they’re going on vacation, or looking forward to a weekend trip away.

We’ve always made it a point in this newspaper to try not to publicize when folks were going to be away from home for just that reason. Once they return, we’re happy to report on events but there’s no reason to give criminals a clue that the home will be vacated.

It’s expected to be excited about a coming trip and while we might think we’re only sharing with friends, it often gets out way beyond that, particularly if privacy settings aren’t set up correctly.

The fact of the matter is that whenever you post things on social networks you technically are publishing. So it’s best to approach it with the idea that whatever you put up there could very well go public.

Bottom line: If you’re uncomfortable proclaiming it on a street corner, you might want to give it a second thought.
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