Please take a moment to watch this clever video about internet safety. It’s a wakeup call and a reminder to be cautious about what we share online and to be aware of the security settings on all your accounts.
Is your full date of birth visible on Facebook and LinkedIn? That could be an invitation for identity fraud. What about ‘checking in’ places every time you buy a coffee, or arrive at work or the gym? Is posting online your day to day movements a risk to personal safety?
There’s also the career aspect. A girl on twitter 'checks in' from her office each day then proceeds to tweet about her boss, who talks with his mouth full and needs to buy deodorant, apparently. What are her chances of promotion when he finds out?
Do your settings on Facebook allow ‘Friends of friends’ access to your profile? Remember that guy you accepted as a friend after T in the Park two years ago? He's got 459 friends who can all see your photos. They love rifling through your private life, your holiday snaps, the photo of you doing the splits at Jenny's wedding. Hmm, are you comfortable with that?
The majority of twitter accounts are open, the idea being to connect with strangers and share information. Ever posted a photo of your new car, with visible registration plate ? What about those pictures of the view from your house? What's that... your dog's at the kennels and you're off on holiday for a fortnight? Great news for local burglars!
Too harsh or just a big dose of reality?
There are LOTS of positives from engaging online with people that you don’t know, sharing stories and experiences and learning new things. I work in social media and I’m a big fan but I'm also cautious. It's essential to understand the tools and be confident of who can see what! Check the settings on your Facebook page. Think about who you are willing to share personal information with and consider the privacy of others. Is it fair to post photos or video of others without their consent?
Thanks to both Paul (@fellfromatree) and Linda (@misslapere) who tweeted this video and brought it to my attention, a plus side of sharing content! We're all aware of the risk to kids online but it doesn't hurt for the rest of us, myself included, to have a reminder now and then.