Some people are hesitant to go online fearing invasion of privacy. That said, in order to blog or engage in social networking, we knowingly, willingly give up part of our privacy.

To remain semi private online can be easy to implement, however the more time we spend online, the more information we share, the easier it may be for others to put the pieces together.

Today’s Lesson

Online privacy was a topic I was well aware of when I started blogging, and even though I chose to use my real name and share some personal information, I continue to monitor what I post online.

I know others try to be careful too, but as time goes by, it’s easy to become lax. Easy to slip up.

Listed below is a sampling of information we may be trying to protect while online, but may be inadvertently disclosing .

  1. Our birth date
  2. Let’s say someone publishes their birthday is October 7th – no year. I realize for privacy reasons they don’t want others to know their complete birth date, but if they publish a blog post or share photos of themselves celebrating their 40th birthday, it doesn’t take a mathematician to figure out the birth year.

    Your birth date is a vital piece of information identity thieves look for, as is your social security number. Keep this information confidential.

  3. Medical conditions
  4. In the United States the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) was enacted to keep medical information private and protected so as not to interfere with our health care. However, some people willingly admit online to medical conditions and illnesses.

    I also see this happening when someone writes a blog post stating they have “xyz” condition. Others comment and say they have the same or something similar.

    Note: If you’re in the job market, a prospective employer could easily check your online entries and may avoid hiring you based on your past or present medical conditions.

  5. Where we live
  6. Trying to hide where we live is fruitless unless we consistently use a proxy server. Our IP address is like a fingerprint. Not only does it tell others the general vicinity we’re from, but it tells others what browser we’re using, the platform we use (i.e. Windows XP), our screen resolution, how we arrived on a page (via a search engine, direct or referral), what pages we viewed, how long we spent on a site, plus much more.

    Although using a proxy browser may protect some of our data, others may question why we feel the need to remain anonymous and what we’re trying to hide.

    For those who want more information with regard to the ownership of an IP address, Whois is a popular site used for this purpose.

    Important note: I would discourage everyone from publishing their physical address online. For mailing purposes, consider using a post office box.

  7. Where we work
  8. If we’re self employed, blogs and social networking sites are a perfect place to promote our business, however if we work for an employer, a blog or social networking site could easily become a place to vent our frustrations about our job. In most cases this doesn’t create a problem, however if our outbursts begin to border on defamation, we could get ourselves in trouble.

    It’s one thing to say “My boss made me #*$&% angry today.”, however saying (for example), “Barbara Swafford at Blogging Without A Blog is an incompetent moron who rips off her clients.” may land you in a courtroom.

    Being vague about where we work may not keep us safe from repercussions. The clues we leave online could easily pinpoint the name of our employer.

    Note: Check your company policy if you’re blogging or visiting social networking sites while at work. Many businesses state personal use of their computers is not allowed. Keep in mind, your online activity may be monitored and could be grounds for termination.

  9. Our real name
  10. Many bloggers use an alias, however if we’ve neglected to tell our real life friends we don’t want our true identity revealed online, it’s easy for friends to get carried away on sites like Facebook. They may address us by our real name or tag us in a photo, thus allowing others to easily put the pieces together.

    Another area where real names are sometimes disclosed is in our email address. Let’s say my login name is Betty Boop, but my email account is barbaraswafford@…., It’s not hard to figure out (assume), my real name is Barbara Swafford, not Betty Boop.

    Note: If the email issue is something you’re concerned with, it’s easy and free to set up an additional email account on a site like Gmail.

  11. Our financial status
  12. Showing how much money we’ve made from our blog may entice others to sign up for our affiliate program or purchase our latest ebook, however sharing information about our personal income or assets could expose us to online scammers.

    The same holds true when we share photos online. Although it may be fun to brag about our latest expensive “toy” or exotic vacation, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out (or assume) we may also be well off.

  13. Our whereabouts
  14. We all need time off. Time off from blogging, as well as time away from home or work. With blogs we can refrain from publishing, use the postdate feature and have new posts automatically published during our absence, use a blog sitter or guest posts. That said, many bloggers also admit they’ll be away, including the fact they’ll be out of town. In order to cover all bases, some will also post this information on Facebook and Twitter.

    Unfortunately this tactic can also be a red flag. As discussed in an article on PC World, thieves used entries (about people being away) found on Facebook to rob homes.

  15. Our personal email address
  16. This is something I questioned from the beginning. Should I share my personal email address on my blog? I chose not to, but instead use a plugin for a contact page. This not only keeps my personal email account easy to manage, but helps to keep spammers at bay.

    If you do decide to share an email address online, consider setting up a separate email account for this purpose.

    Important note: If you change the email address you use online, the next time you comment on your favorite blogs, your comments may go into moderation.

  17. Our political or religious viewpoints
  18. Some will say we shouldn’t discuss politics or religion online as it can lead to alienation, a firestorm of comments, or even bring out the trolls. Even if we do not publish our views, others can easily check who we’re following on Twitter, friending and/or “liking” on Facebook and put two and two together.

    To save you time from researching me, I’m a Christian, registered as an independent and vote for whom I feel will do the best job based on their qualifications and I do not discuss religion or politics online. 8)

  19. Our trust
  20. Bloggers are basically a good group of people, however as with any platform, we’ll find some bad eggs. It’s not uncommon for bloggers to email each other and disclose personal facts without knowing that much about the recipient.
    Emailing a fellow blogger “offline” does not guarantee what you say will be held in confidence. Although most bloggers will respect your privacy, in the event you have a falling out, the other blogger is not who they say they are, or the other blogger decides to be a jerk, what you’ve shared with them could become public knowledge.

    Be cautious when taking conversations offline.

  21. Our photo
  22. Granted, if we don’t want to share a photo of ourselves online, it’s easy not to publish one. But what happens if a friend or family member publishes photos on their Facebook page and identify or “tag” us? We can ask them to take it down, but will they?

    Prior to going online, having a conversation with friends and family with regard to not wanting our photos posted online may help. but that’s not a guarantee it won’t happen.

    On Facebook we do have the ability to “untag” a photo.

  23. Ages
  24. As adults it’s our prerogative to share our age, but what I see happening on Facebook, where the minimum age to have an account is 13, are minors who proudly disclose their age. Some of these accounts are truly minors, however online predators often pose as minors, as well.

    All the more reason to monitor the online activities of children whom we know.

  25. Our marital status
  26. I’m not sure why someone wouldn’t want to admit they’re married, however I do understand why a single woman might be hesitant to admit she lives alone.

    With online predators and scam artists not only targeting children but single women, monitoring what is said online is important.

  27. The names of our children
  28. I think it’s very important we protect the privacy of our minor children. Using pet names or aliases for children works well on blogs, however if we also have a Facebook account and disclose their real names, we’ve just revealed that which we had been trying to hide.

    If we blog AND use Facebook, being consistent in how we identify our children can help to alleviate this problem.

  29. Our reputation
  30. This one reminds me of a favorite quote of mine,

    You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all of the people all of the time. ~Abraham Lincoln

    Most of the people we meet online are genuinely nice people, however if we’re dishonest about who we are, our values, our beliefs, etc, we could easily get caught up in our lies. Since I started blogging, I’ve witnessed several people saying one thing on their blog, but something totally different on a social networking site. When I see mixed messages being posted, I not only question the person’s honesty, but their credibility.

    It’s one thing to want to protect as much of our privacy as possible, but scamming or conning others can easily catch up with us.

Although we may try to remain somewhat private online, if we’re not careful we can easily leave breadcrumbs for others to follow.

Where will the ones you leave online lead others?

Today’s Assignment

How important is online privacy to you?

What do you do to protect yourself online?

Do you see other areas where fellow bloggers, friends or family are risking their privacy?

Care to share?

P.S. When leaving a comment, do not reveal any personal information which could be detrimental to you or others, now or in the future.

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  1. oOo what a brilliant article and it’s something everyone needs to know bigtime!!

    I’ve never mentioned my kids’ names on my site nor publicized their online stuff. And I never mention when I’m on vacation – I’ll simply blog from wherever I am to make it appear that nothing has changed.

    And don’t forget about those services that tell people where you are (ie, “Checked into Someplace So You Know I’m Not Home, Come Rob Me!”) . I’ve never ever EVER used those….

    Sharing this with my network, thanks!
    Check out Barbara Ling, Virtual Coach’s awesome post.Narrowly AVOID Tomorrow’s Negative Sales by Doing This Easy Step Today – Part 1My Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you Barbara,

      That’s a good idea; to keep the blog going when we’re on vacation. Even if we want a break from technology, there are many ways we can keep publishing and make it appear like we’re “here”.

      I forgot about the services which map where we currently are. Thank you for bringing that up.

      • ConnieNo Gravatar says:

        These are all wonderful tips to know about. I’m new to blogging, haven’t started yet, just learning about it. My kids put me on Facebook and I never had time to spend on it but thought it was nice to be able to keep in contact with old friends and family. Thanks for the tips.

  2. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Gail Gardner, Barbara Ling, Barbara Swafford, RC, Stan Carter Jr. and others. Stan Carter Jr. said: Online Privacy – How We Share More Than We Realize http://bit.ly/9W2OKq […]

  3. Kelvin KaoNo Gravatar says:

    Wow, this is quite long, but also a great summary of privacy issues online! I think awareness is important. You can disclose information, but when you do, be aware of what people might do with that information.
    Check out Kelvin Kao’s awesome post.Where I Have Disappeared ToMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you Kelvin,

      I like your idea of “being aware” when we post online. I think if we stop to ask ourselves if what we’re posting could be detrimental to ourselves or our family, we might find ourselves not being quite so quick to hit publish/post.

  4. HI barbara,
    This is an amazing run down of all things important for anyone online. Which is basically everyone today.
    I personally dont dis-trust easily…but then hey spammers are smart these days. I have akismet on the blog for comments and thankfully all email accounts have junk folders so phew safe there too. The one thing i have noticed is having an online email account saves you a lot of hassle in the so called hacking/virus department. Another little thing i do is dont accept “just any” request on facebook. Unless there are freinds in common or they say they know me through the blog etc need help..only then. Even then after a while if i feel the person isnt genuine i dont hesitate to remove them from my list.
    Somehow the more time you spend online things just become easier to handle. Well atleast i hope so (fingers crossed)
    BUt you never know…hmmm ..somehow this topic gives me creeps….eww..i need to be more careful online.
    I await to read more of other peoples experiences on this post.
    Lots of love,
    Z~
    p.s. ur new site Writers BloK is looking amazing. I have to ask you to make some buttons for my site 🙂
    Check out Zeenat{Positive Provocations}’s awesome post.Healing HUGS ExperimentRAOKAMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you Zeenat,

      That’s a great idea; to not friend everyone who sends us a friend request on Facebook. Unfortunately, for some it becomes a “numbers game”. One good thing about Facebook is we can “unfriend” someone just as easy as we friended them.

      I realize this information can creep us out, however with so may unscrupulous people online, I think it’s best to err on the side of caution.

      Thank you for your kind words about Writers’ Blogk. I’m happy to hear you like it. 🙂

  5. HenwayNo Gravatar says:

    I used to not give a care about online privacy but over the years I’ve been very prudent about stuff like this. I don’t use my full name anywhere I go, I don’t leave my address in public, I make sure my WHOIS data is private, and I hardly ever use Facebook too. It’s true how much data we leave on the internet w/o knowing, very scary.
    Check out Henway’s awesome post.ColonixMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Henway,

      Thank you for bringing that up; how we have the ability to make our WHOIS data private. I don’t know about you, but I pay a few dollars a year for that service and am glad I do.

  6. When I started I was wide open about everything. Now I’m not more cautious, but I am more selectively forthright. It’s not out of any fear. I think it never works to think about what we fear.

    But it is about keeping dear what I hold dear. For example, when I changed my facebook status to “in relationship” I got all kinds of congrats like I had offered a ring. Dating exclusively is just one step on the journey to long term commitment, so I felt like too many well meaning folks were in my business. So I’ve learned to selectively share from that experience.
    Check out Tom Volkar / Delightful Work’s awesome post.Why Ask WhyMy Profile

    • I understand what you are saying now, Tom. It’s interesting you felt that way, because you blogged quite openly about how much energy you were putting into your quest to find a relationship. When I saw your Facebook notice about being “in relationship” I was genuinely happy for you. It seems natural that people would want to congratulate you.
      Check out Davina Haisell’s awesome post.A Book Review Beyond “Be Love Now”My Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Tom,

      I remember that; when you changed your Facebook status. I commented since I was/am genuinely happy for you. Now, reading your explanation, I see where you’re coming from and I’m sure others can learn from your experience, as well.

  7. Jay SchryerNo Gravatar says:

    I have mixed feelings about online privacy. When I first started going online, I was ultra careful about it, because in my “real life”, I’m an extremely private person. However, when I started to blog, I realized that I wanted to make an effort to be more open and forthcoming, so I decided to start using my real name. From that, I decided that I wanted to form genuine connections with the people I was meeting online, and so I became more and more open with my personal details and events of my life.

    These days, I sometimes feel like I’ve gone “too far”, because it sometimes seems like everyone knows me. Even in real life, I have been approached by strangers who call me by name and tell me that they “love my blog”. It can be a little disconcerting at times. On the other hand, well, I *am* a Leo, and we’re the attention whores of the zodiac…so I don’t complain too much 🙂

    Ultimately, I think it’s a balancing act that we must all play out. You want to be seen as open and honest and forthcoming…but you don’t want strangers calling you at 4 in the morning, either.
    Check out Jay Schryer’s awesome post.Easy Like Sunday MorningMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Jay,

      For some reason, your comment ended up in my spam folder.

      I know where you’re coming from, but I’d be taken aback if a stranger walked up to me and said they “loved my blog”. I’d be like, “Who are you?”

      Like you said, it can be an ego boost to have that type of recognition, but yet we don’t want others to cross the line, either.

  8. Miss BeckyNo Gravatar says:

    Barbara this is an excellent list of privacy concerns. At one time I had a Facebook page and a LinkedIn account. Then I discovered that Facebook had shared my profile information with complete disregard for my privacy, as I had set the privacy level as strict as it could be. Then I was spammed, and all my friends received unsavory emails, supposedly from me. That was enough. I closed my Facebook account and only my cat Daisey has one which she seems to enjoy very much. I understand that Facebook now has a stricter privacy policy but it still doesn’t satisfy me enough to re-open my account. I’ve tried to be very careful about the personal information I share, and it is a serious concern. I’m a private person, and even sharing on my blog is difficult for me to do. thanks for the thoughtful questions Barbara!

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you Miss Becky,

      That’s tough, isn’t it? – When we’re private people in real life but go online to share via blog posts or social networking sites. Although we do walk a thin line, I feel what I’ve gained by being online has outweighed what I lost in terms of privacy.

      That said, I do think it’s important we continually self monitor what we share online.

  9. Chase MarchNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara,

    Great post! Thanks for these gentle reminders.

    Here’s some advice for those who want to share

    1) Birthdays – Make up an online birthday that is several days removed from your real birthday. Pretend online that your real birthday is today and then post the pictures from last week.

    4) Be vague. I never post the name of the school I teach at.

    12) Age – Same thing as number 1 – add or subtract a year from your actual birthday for your fake one.

    14) Kids – I think online and family life should remain separate for the most part.

    Thanks for these great reminders! Hope these tips help.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      You’re welcome Chase, and thank you for the great tips you’ve shared, as well.

      You’re right. Online we can have whatever birth date we choose. Just because a form asks for the information doesn’t mean we should disclose it. Plus, when I hear stories of how security is breached at different companies, who’s to say it can’t happen at Facebook or another place?

  10. Hi Barbara.
    All excellent things to consider — great work. Because the subject matter was so engaging, this post didn’t seem that long at all.

    It’s pretty easy to get carried away, chattering online. I recently had a new Facebook friend get personal with me and had begun to email me at my home after only two days.

    Even though my email on Facebook is only visible to friends I had to remove it for that reason and all my Fb posts are only visible to friends. If a “friend” wants to communicate off of Fb they can message me. What’s great about Fb is that you can customize who gets to see each post, even among your friends list.

    As for blogging, I use different email addresses for business and blogging. Only a few have my personal address.
    Check out Davina Haisell’s awesome post.A Book Review Beyond “Be Love Now”My Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you Davina,

      I remember reading on Facebook about the situation you encountered with a new “friend” emailing you. I found that quite presumptuous on their part, but online not everyone is playing by the same “rules”.

      Hopefully your problem has been resolved.

      • Yes, it was resolved, Barbara. Thanks. When I didn’t reply to their initial message on Facebook (it was late and I was about to log off), that’s when they chose to email me at my home address to ask if I’d been offended.

        It’s hard to know how to handle these situations. In this case they weren’t hostile but I could tell by the urgency of their emails that they were getting edgy. I think if I’d ignored them, things could have escalated and the entire process would have been drawn out longer than it needed to be. They appear to have been satisfied by having “closure”.
        Check out Davina Haisell’s awesome post.A Book Review Beyond “Be Love Now”My Profile

  11. When Mark Zuckerberg said a few months ago that “There’s no more privacy” in this era, it sounded cocky and reckless and made a lot of people (myself included) mad. But it was partly true. The Internet is so amazing – I would never want to go back – but it pretty much killed privacy, even for those of us who try really hard to keep it.

    I do have several fiends who don’t use social media (except for LinkedIn for professional networking). I understand and respect their choice, but I also think that for the next generation – our kids – this won’t really be an option.
    Check out vered | blogger for hire’s awesome post.Small Town America- Could You Live ThereMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Vered,

      I remember reading that too and thought the same. It was like, how can he say “there is not more privacy”?

      But if we look at the activities of “some” of the younger generation, it’s evident some of them throw caution to the wind, publish compromising photos on a whim and voice opinions with no regard to future implications.

  12. Finding the balance between embracing the new technology and the changes in the world in which we live and maintaining privacy and security is challenging. My daughter’s name is not online unless in other situations. Her name and image do not appear together. I have talked with friends and family about her image not being allowed online. Her computer use is watched (as is mine). I live my life with the understanding that everything I type or put on the internet is seen by anyone and everyone from future employers to family to potential love interests. It is a bit of a “check” to keep that in mind.
    A company didn’t hire a very qualified individual as a result of pictures on Face book – It is the way it is.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi The Exception,

      Balance? That’s can be difficult, hey? If we don’t embrace new technology we risk being left behind, however with technology moving so fast, I think we also need to evaluate where we want our profiles/information published and not jump on the latest craze the minute it’s aired.

      That’s interesting how someone missed out on a job, based on the photos they shared on Facebook. We never know, do we?

  13. Very important post, Barbara.

    I learned a lot. FB does reveal a lot, I will go back and rethink mine, and some other points in other areas you address here. Caution is never a bad thing.

    Good politics too, Barbara! Sounds like a reasonable plan.

    xo
    Check out Jannie Funster’s awesome post.My Only Regret With The Sidebar Buttons Is…My Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you Jannie,

      Yes. On Facebook, a lot can be revealed. One thing I’ve found is we do not have to fill in each blank they provide. For example, if we don’t want to share employer information or education, by leaving it blank, it doesn’t appear.

      And…we can change our profile at anytime.

  14. Thanks for this article Barbara. You highlight some really good points. I am always fascinated by people who have a high level of paranoia about their privacy on their blogs and go to great lengths to make sure they disguise personal information. And then they go chatting on Facebook as though they are with family. I know that you get to pick your friends on Facebook, but do any of us really know much about many of our online Facebook friends? Understanding what your own personal privacy boundaries are and then maintaining them across all channels is the only way to make it work.
    Check out Karen (from Scraps of Mind)’s awesome post.Scrapbook Organization – Ribbon Storage IdeasMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you Karen,

      I know exactly what you mean and I’ve even seen the same with real life friends and family. It’s like Facebook becomes a confessional.

      As for the “friends” we have on Facebook, often all we know about them is they’re a friend of a friend. I’m guessing that can be good, or bad.

  15. KrisNo Gravatar says:

    Good food for thought. My wife has a family blog and I know she’s exposed 3 or 4 of these with realizing it. I think location is really important especially on vacation. She posted that we were on the west coast! It’s like hanging a sign out for robbers!
    Check out Kris’s awesome post.Organic Hair ShampooMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you Kris,

      Unfortunately it’s easy to slip up; not only on our blogs, but on social networking sites. And…once we hit “post/publish”, in some cases we can’t undo it. 🙁

      I know in the past I’ve posted that I would be gone, however I also mentioned it was an all girl trip and my husband would be home dog sitting.

  16. J.D. MeierNo Gravatar says:

    I think you did a great job enumerating the many ways we leak our privacy. Now I’m going to have to go Google me and see what I can find out about me 😉
    Check out J.D. Meier’s awesome post.Success 20My Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you J.D.,

      That’s true. We can easily leak privacy without realizing it.

      I like the idea of Googling ourselves. That’s another great way to find out if there’s anything “out there” than can harm our reputation.

  17. Barbara:

    Honestly, I don’t think much of all these things. But after reading your post, I am beginning to wonder. I don’t give much information about me in FB or in my blog but still I had to ponder over the questions you have raised here.

    Thanks again.

    Joy always,
    Susan
    Check out Susan Deborah’s awesome post.Picking up bits without knowing where to place themMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      You’re welcome Susan,

      Your comment reminds me of how it could be beneficial to assess what we’re sharing on Facebook or our blogs on a regular basis. I know I’ve read many about pages which reveal more about a person than I would reveal, however they don’t appear to be concerned.

      I also think having a friend or trusted fellow blogger review the information we’re sharing online could be very helpful.

  18. LindaNo Gravatar says:

    I wish that every newbie could read this article before starting out….
    excellent information and certainly thought provoking!

    thank you. 😀
    Check out Linda’s awesome post.The Disappearing WatersMy Profile

  19. suzenNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barb! This was sooo informative – thank you! I think I’ve been cautious not revealing too much that could ever be used against me! 🙂 OR have me targeted for some slasher. Having said that, there is always always something that the devious evil mind can manufacture from almost anything anywhere – I just refuse to live in fear or paranoia about that. I do worry about a few bloggers who fill their blogs with kids pictures, or do discuss their medical history. Not a good idea!

    I absolutely cringe on some blogs, and wow, especially FB which I’m rarely on! The personal info, the pictures – OMG. And since writing health topics I’ve invited people to email with comments/concerns rather than blurt medical stuff out but so far that hasn’t worked too well. Thanks for the info on doing that tho – the email address thing. In the future I will just TELL readers to email without putting the address right on the blog. They can find it on my profile if they want it.

    Hugs
    suZen

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      You’re welcome Suzen,

      That’s true. With you changing your topic to health, that does open the door for others to share their medical information online. I’m sure a “note” at the end of the post might help to remind some not to get too personal on the blog, however if they’re skimming the post, that could be overlooked.

  20. JumokeNo Gravatar says:

    I really do agree with you. i didnt even know previously that someone who wasnt even your friend on fb could see your whole profile details. its so scary. i keep saying that once i get married i am deleting my facebook profile or worst case, erase my pictures and all my old posts. We really need to be careful about what we spill online. the day i googled my full name i was in shock
    Check out Jumoke’s awesome post.Job opportunities in Friesland Foods November 5 2010-My Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Jumoke,

      On Facebook we can set the privacy settings pretty tight, but still, others can see a little about us.

      Yes. We do need to be careful what we spill or share online (photos) since we never know who might be Googling us in order to gain more information.

  21. SimonNo Gravatar says:

    I agree with you. But i think that youths aren’t avere of the troubles they might have latter in life with exposing so much over the internet. I’ve read somewhere that by the age of 2, 95% of the kids already left some mark on the web. Whether by their parents, freinds, ect.
    Check out Simon’s awesome post.Igranje pokra na internetuMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Simon,

      I agree. Many of the youth are unaware of how what they’re sharing now can/will affect them in the future.

      Thank you for sharing those stats – but from what I’ve seen, I’m not surprises. It’s kind of sad, isn’t it?

  22. It was a very interesting subject everyone should really consider. These thoughts are common when we are using Facebook. It is best to keep other info privately to depart virtual to your real world. It is best to be safe than be sorry later.

  23. HilaryNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara .. I thought I’d been .. but maybe not!

    I have always been careful with my persona .. blog, F etc .. and will continue to do so ..

    You’ve written some really good information above and the comments will have added to it ..

    Essential reading for anyone at any time in their online life ..

    Thanks – Hilary
    Check out Hilary’s awesome post.A letter character- to words- to language to fonts ABCs again! to Stephen Fry and Kinetic TypographyMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      You’re welcome Hilary,

      It’s not always easy, is it? It’s like we have to continually monitor what we say. Plus, when we feel we’re friends with fellow bloggers, we often forget we’re online, and not communicating on a secure site.

  24. […] Online Privacy – How We Share More Than We Realize (bloggingwithoutablog.com) […]

  25. […] Online Privacy – How We Share More Than We Realize (bloggingwithoutablog.com) […]

  26. Hi,

    One of the things that I often think about on Facebook, is that there will likely be a tool that will enable my children (currently in elementary school) to download and read ALL OF MY STATUSES AND COMMENTS at some point in the future.

    How embarrassing would it be for my children (or grandchildren) to read certain things that I’ve written — I try to keep that in mind as I interact with others online.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Ellen,

      Excellent point. Although most of us don’t think that far into the future, maybe we should. Like you said, it could be VERY embarrassing for future generations.

  27. Online Privacy Tip: It’s a good idea to avoid using the same web site for both your web-based email and as your search engine.

  28. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Employee Verification,

    Thank you for the tip. That’s another great way to add a layer of protection.

  29. Barbara,
    You raise a lot of very good points here. One I haven’t been very careful with is health issues. I have been very open about having Fibro, back issues and ADHD on line and I can just imagine a recruiter running away from me as if I was on fire! Not to mention being dyslexic! The thing is that none of these issues have ever held me back, so it never really occurs to me to think that anyone else would think of them as a handicap either. I guess it’s a good thing I’ve always owned my own companies!! Another point about this though, that I have never taken into consideration until you mentioned it, is that other people besides recruiters can also be viewing that info as well. I wouldn’t want others to get some impression that I am some kind of frail, helpless person when nothing could be farther from the truth.
    Check out Wendi Kelly-Life’s Little Inspirations’s awesome post.The Creative CaveMy Profile

  30. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Thank you Wendi,

    That’s true. What others might see as a detriment to hiring us (i.e. health issues), oftentimes becomes what drives us. Unfortunately some may never take the time to get to know us and only use what they’ve read about us to make a determination.

  31. Hi Barbara! This post made me realized I have been overly open in my Facebook & Twitter accounts. I love photoediting so my photos even have captions of where we live, birthdays, etc. My tweeting also has always been openly carefree. Just glad I came across your blog. I learned a lot. Many thanks!

  32. QROPSNo Gravatar says:

    Good issues?I would word that as anyone who truly doesn’t write on blogs so much (in reality, this may be my first submit), I don’t think the term ‘lurker’ may be very turning into to a non-posting reader. It’s not your fault the least bit , but perhaps the blogosphere may get a hold of a greater, non-creepy title for the ninety% folks that enjoy reading the content .

  33. neon srt4No Gravatar says:

    Great Post. I really love the way you shared about e-mail address tip.

    Before, i used to add e-mail address in the website page, but that makes me get spam e-mail address daily.

    So, adding contact page is a best way to avoid spam. I love to follow your post.
    Check out neon srt4’s awesome post.2011 Dodge DakotaMy Profile