Most of the people are just instantly sharing everything, sometimes without considering the consequences of what they are posting. Maybe the post is just that, a simple thing with no meaning or significance. But, other posts could cost your job, an employment opportunity, your marriage, your relationship, a friendship, and even your life, if you are publishing exactly where and who you are with.
You could say it is just for fun, but did you know that by sharing a lot of information, you are losing your privacy and even compromising your identity? Let me illustrate how serious is this.
Let’s say you are applying for a new job, and you are almost in the third phase of the interview. Now the hiring manager or human resource person let you know that they will be conducting a background check, and here is where it becomes interesting. They know that nowadays almost everyone has at least one or two social profiles. They will do some scrutiny through search engines, to see what they can find about you. Ding-dong! Surprise! The search engine found some pictures and messages of you in Facebook and on Instagram. But, the thing is that those pictures and messages are so crazy that, they will think twice before hire you. And you just were having some fun posting and interacting with your communities and friends, but you forgot to setup the privacy and security settings of those two social platforms. Because of that, anyone with a simple search can find you, share and download any of your content without permission, and even without you ever notice.
Another scenario could be that you are posting negative messages about your boss, your work, or a situation at your office, and you have some of your colleagues in your network. Imagine one of them has professional envy because of your success at work, and he or she wants to compromise or ruins you. He or she just need to take a screenshot of your message or post and show it to your boss. Are you getting the message?
Let’s put it a little scary. You are traveling to another town or country, and you want everyone in your network to know that you arrived safely, so you make a check-in in your Facebook profile or share your geolocation indicating where exactly you are right now. Cool, ah? But, did you know that there are thieves outside looking opportunities like that? Now they know, because you shared it in your social network, that there is no one in your home, and that they can do anything without being seen or noticed.
There is one last topic I would like you to think of. What about ethics and empathy? There are lots of people sharing posts that could be offensive or delicate to other people. At present, it is common to see pictures of accidents, dismembered or mutilated persons or animals, surgical procedures, and so on. Have you ever considered what would you feel if some of those dismembered persons is a loved one to you? Would you like to see his/her privacy or memory violated? Think twice before you share this kind of content, because people seeing them could be hurt, or consider it gross.
I don’t want you to panic. I just want you to take care and seriously think again what you are sharing on the Internet, and to be more conscious about your information and privacy. It just takes a few clicks on your social media platform to setup your privacy settings. And remember, even doing that, it does not mean all your information and shared content will be safe and secure, so, discretion with what you share.
Author: Gilberto Crespo, MSCE, CDIA+, CIP, ITILv3
Computer Engineer & Entrepreneur