Facebook and privacy: The power is YOURS!

I am sure it has happened to everyone. You find that embarassing picture, that status update you regretted, that comment about a friend that was mean spirited. Everyone has those social networking horror stories. My question is why?

I consider myself fairly active when it comes to social networking stuff. I update my Twitter account regularly as well as the whole Facebook thing, and recently I have started playing around with Foursquare with some of my office co-workers ( I WILL GET THAT MAYORSHIP BACK!!!). I am constantly bombarded with people complaining about FB invading their privacy, people commenting on their photos that they shouldn’t see, FB giving out their information.

First of all if you are worried about what information is out there take it back down! You are in charge of your Facebook page!!! Stop just blindly posting. Think before you click! And there is a settings tab in Facebook that you can control what people see and cannot see. With the advent of the FB Places option (where you can check into locations a la Foursquare) you can even turn that off, and it isn’t even fully released yet. If you don’t want that information out there then take it down! Why on earth would you think that placing your phone number ont he internet for all to see is a good idea?

Moreover, if you are worried about those ever embarrassing pictures how about you avoid the situation! Maybe your fear about your privacy is just a manifestation of the shame you had for acting like that and having someone document it. If you have a FB maybe it is a good idea not to post about how much you hate your boss/co-worker when there is a high chance they will see it. Maybe if you are in college those totally rad keg-stand pics (Bros for life!) might not need to be blasted across the internet to all of those possible employers.

Apologies for the parent like rant, but as an IT professional it really confuses me and irritates me that people don’t spend more time thinking about how THEY can effect their privacy, and less on how the mean company that you used willingly is exploiting you.

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