The Power of Google/Internet & Social Media
Hello Everyone, in today's blog entry, I want to create an awareness of the power of Google/Internet and the Social Media. Henceforth, I appeal to everyone reading this blog entry to take this seriously and take some precautions to safeguard your future.
The Power of Google/Internet I am very sure many of you would have used Google at least once before. But, have you ever tried doing a Google Search on yourself? Well, if you haven't, go and do a Google Search on yourself and you might just be very surprised at the results that you might find. For instance, when I did a Google Search on myself, I found some articles that were written about me in the past, articles that I have written about something/someone in the past, and even my past blogs previously hosted on Blogspot!
Now, stop and think for a moment. What else could be found on Google? To be honest, this is a really scary thought because seriously, your contact information and personal particulars could even be found online and stored somewhere in somebody's database. And well, your prospective employers might also employ the tactic of doing a Google Search on you as a form of background check. Worst still, if you become popular overnight maybe because you invented something or did something rather extraordinary, the Paparazzi/media would pound the internet to harass you or even stalk you.
Seriously, you can just Google about anything on earth and most of the time, the results can be pretty accurate. If you type in questions in the Google Search Bar, you can expect to find the answers to the questions you have. The "search" function is becoming really smart!
So, while what we have done online in the past cannot be "erased" nor changed, I would suggest everyone to safeguard yourself by taking the following precautions [not an exhaustive list] after reading this blog entry.
1). While we have an online personality, we too have an offline personality. So, you might just want to project a consistent image of yourself, both online and offline.
2). Be careful of the photos that you upload online. Once it's online, it is easily replicated/duplicated. Personal photos should either be kept offline or if you want to put it up online, make sure that the photos you upload does not leave you in questionable circumstances. If you do not want to share any personal photos, make sure you activate your privacy settings accordingly. Sometimes, even though you have ensured that your privacy settings are in placed, be prepared for circumstances where what you put online might just somehow leak! [the "Print Screen" button is usually the main culprit!]
3). Do not absolutely display your bank account details, credit card information, and other sensitive information online. I am not sure if anyone of you have heard the latest technique employed by scammers but it goes like this, someone obtains your bank account number online, deposits money into your bank account, and then give you a threatening call, demanding you to return the sum of money plus interest fees.
While the 3 precautions as mentioned are by no means exhaustive, the rule of thumb is, whatever that is personal to you and you don't want others to know about, don't put it up online. While sometimes you just need an avenue to vent out your frustrations, think about the repercussions that it might later have on you. Be responsible for what you put online. Think about the many cases that have happened recently, especially those related to discrimination, defamation, racism, and etc.
Social Media First and foremost, I am very sure that most of you would have used applications (apps) such as Foursquare and Check-In [on Facebook]. Now, more often than not, I have seen people "checking-in" to places such as homes, bus-stops, shopping centres, and etc. Well, there is absolutely nothing wrong in telling people where you are but the fact is, by doing so very often, potential criminals could actually track your every single movement and that itself is a very scary thought. Think about it for a moment, I know of this app that can actually tracks how frequent you "check-in" to certain places and the time you "check-in". This can pose a threat as potential stalkers would be able to know where you are and at what time. Again, I am not sure if you have heard this before but someone have actually gotten their houses burgled because they posted a Facebook Status saying that they are away on a holiday.
While sharing what you are doing, where you are going, and what is happening may seem harmless, it is important to note that what you share will definitely attract the attention of potential criminals whom are just waiting for the right time/opportunity to strike. Don't give them an opportunity to do so!
I hope that through this sharing, you readers would be more aware of how modern technology has advanced so much to the extent that somehow, your privacy is actually at stake! Start taking precautions today!
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