Privacy? What Privacy?

I had a meeting with the speakers for next week’s breakfast and the topic of privacy came up. In this content creating internet world we live in – how much of our lives are even private anymore? How much should be private?

Do you know what information about you is online? Something as simple as a Google search could stand in between you and your next job, project or relationship. With all this information ‘out there’ people are going to use it to help them make decisions. Take some time (regularly) to search for your name, your company, maybe even your phone number. Whatever is important to you, you should know what information is out there.

Using public websites for private information – Just because the internet is huge, doesn’t mean it is anonymous (ahem Weiner). What you may consider a private message, post, email, check-in – could be seen by someone else as something to share. How many accidental public DMs have you seen on Twitter? A lot, I have even sent a few. It happens. What you decide is private can easily become public online.

Also, last week at Abstract Maine, one of the speakers said that he didn’t have to ask permission to use someone’s photo if they were using it for a ‘news’ story. That made my ears perk up… because what is even considered ‘news’ anymore? Who knows. I have also heard if you are in a public place people can use your photo. Weird!

I don’t really have answers to a lot of these questions but I do have more questions. We had a good talk about this at an event I spoke at last week. Some of the best things you can do to protect yourself is to know what your personal sharing rules are. Think about it, know what you want people to find about you online and what you don’t – then set up your accounts to reflect your goals. You also should have these conversations at work, with your friends and your family.

As I was writing this I just heard about Me on the Web which was released by Google as a way to keep track of your online identity. Although there doesn’t seem to be a lot of new information here it is packaged up quite nicely. They ask you to have a Google account, create a Google Profile, search for yourself online and set up alerts so you get notified if someone posts information about you. Again, nothing totally new but not a bad idea and they have some ideas on how to get rid of content you don’t want about yourself online.

Scared yet? Me too. Bring your tin foil hat and join me at next week’s Social Media Breakfast where we are talking all about Social Media in Highly Regulated Industries and learn about some more information you can use to protect yourself and your business online.

Photo credit: Holster®

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