I’ve realized lately that what is stopping or at least slowing down many women particularly, from climbing on the social networks and jumping aboard the social media bandwagon is fear of remaining secure. It is wise to note that anything you say online is permanent and forever out there in the universe. Essentially when you wouldn’t share it from a bullhorn in Times Square, don’t share it there.
There is a wonderful bit in a brilliant video by Eric Qualman of Socialnomics that turns that old phrase “what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas” on its ear. What happens in Vegas today stays on Facebook, Twitter, Orkut, Digg, Jaiku, Plurk and many more.
Keeping yourself and your family safe, while still taking advantage of the many benefits that social media and the social networks offer, isn’t rocket science. Here are 5 simple tips:
1) Don’t share your home address ever! Get a suite numbered box at a private mailbox facility like a UPS location or a post office box from your local Post Office.
2) Control your profile viewing with settings. Every site has a settings tab you have total control of what you let others see. (Personally I let them see it all, because I am careful about the all that I show.)
3) Don’t dish dirt or participate in gossip. It’s an old rule our mothers taught us. Don’t speak ill of your boss, your spouse, or anyone else easily identified through your remarks. I am always amazed at the level of stupidity in young employees badmouthing the companies they work for or their boss or coworkers and they don’t expect to be found out.
4) Be smart in how much you share about your children, their names, ages and all. Yes, in a sense it is common knowledge, but on the other hand, would you really shout it to strangers in Times Square? I see many who use their kid’s picture instead of their own, this isn’t smart to me.
5) Don’t share your vacation itinerary or time frame carelessly. There was a real spike in crime in the last two years due to everyone sharing online their latest travel plans to visit mom, or head out on the family vacation. Coupled with sharing their address, this added up to a real bonanza for thieves, con artists, and break-in specialists.
Basically that age old rule of “think before you speak” will keep you safe online and offline. If in doubt, just remember if you wouldn’t shout it to strangers from a bullhorn in Times Square, don’t share it online.
Your comments are invited and appreciated!