How do you manage your online privacy? Are there certain things you won’t post in certain places? Information you’ll never share online? Or do you assume information about you is accessible anyway?
It’s been a learning process for me. I really didn’t think much about security when I first started using the internet, but it didn’t take long to realize that it’s wise to be careful.
I have a family member who works in computer security. He clued me in about some dangers, and about how to protect myself.
Here are some things I don’t do:
Give the year of my birth in my Facebook profile.
Post pictures of my grandkids. Wait.WHAT?? Well, I found out that predators can see the origin of the picture, and with very little difficulty they can locate the general neighborhood, sometimes the specific address. Has to do with a feature on your iPhone. You can turn it off, but I still don’t trust it. I would love to put my gk’s on my Facebook, and I did for a while. Not any more.
I do not–repeat, do not–have my location for every minute of every day available online. It’s an open invitation to thieves. If they watch your sites, they can establish patterns, knowing when you’re not home.
I do not post ahead of time when I’m going out of town. I’ll discuss it freely when i get home, but not before.
Because I blog, there’s a lot of “me” out there. I do try to keep important personal information out of my blogs. Sometimes, in the throes of a creative urge, I forget to be careful.
And here are some things I don’t do just because I think it’s distasteful
I do not write gushy mushy love letters to my husband. He’d be mortified. That’s private. I might say I’m proud of him, or comment on his incredible abilities, but he never reads my stuff anyway, and if he did he might blush but I don’t think he’d be upset. Gushy mushy goo? No. Not happening.
I try to always be positive. I promised God, when I opened my FB account, that I would always try to use it to honor Him.
I usually steer clear of political stuff. Not always, but usually. Sometimes my holding-back strap breaks and I’ll dip my toe in that murky pool. Typically, though, I don’t say a lot. I want no part of the vitriol that seems to follow any political post. I hate the hatred. The awful language, the insults to the intelligence of those we may disagree with. I don’t understand the filth that spews out of the mouths of the commenters, and I’ve stopped reading comments. I may read an article, but not the comments. God forgive us.
I think I’ve finally learned to be extremely cautious about reposting certain kinds of things. Often, they are sensationalistic in nature. Quotes attributed to people who never said that—this particular kind of post is done by putting a picture of some celebrity next to a quote. The assumption is that the celebrity said it. Be careful. Also, I look carefully at the source of funny posts that make me smile. Sometimes they came from sites that are inappropriately named, and I don’t want anyone to think i use those sites.
By the way, please don’t post off-color stories to me, on my profile. I hate that. It happens rarely, but now and then someone posts a picture or a joke that offends me. I delete them. I don’t want anyone thinking I approve. Yes, I’m a prude, and proud of it. A proud prude. Maybe I should start a website.
Recently I broke my own hard-and-fast rule, an accepted a friend request from a young man who seemed harmless. Within a few days, he was “friending” my whole friend list! I didn’t know he could access my friend list. I deleted and blocked him, and learned how to make my friend list inaccessible to anyone but me. You live and learn. I won’t do that again.
Look, this is just common sense.
Of course, I’m noticing a great lack of common sense in our benighted world these days.