Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Once It's Out There, You Can't Take It Back

I read a brief but useful article this morning over my morning cup of Joe (actually, it was water, I don't drink coffee). While most people are aware of these tips, I thought I'd share them anyway. I've definitely become a lot more conscious about what I put out into the universe, so I'd like to make you just as paranoid as I since the resurfacing of the government surveillance program raised concerns about privacy.

The article is titled,  "Balancing Privacy and Public Web Presence."

Recently evidence of a massive government surveillance program called PRISM has re-surfaced concerns about individual privacy. Here at GradHacker, we've blogged about the need for a public web presence in grad school, primarily in order to facilitate networking, sharing researching, and job searching. While these discussions have included ideas about what to share and what not to share, they've largely ignored (mea culpa!) the privacy discussion. While I don't have any tips for avoiding government surveillance, there are some privacy considerations that most of us should think about as we splash about in the social stream.
1) Be aware that if it went via the internet, it can be seen by anyone. This is especially true for Twitter and Facebook, but even applies to emails and now Google chat (no more off the record by default!).  Academics sometimes hold controversial opinions, as well. This is fine, but we are aware of how opinions can be taken out of context and perhaps save them for lengthier discussions rather than on twitter. And if you are saying something just plain mean about someone or a group of people, don't claim you are "just doing research."
2) Stay up-to-date on privacy settings on all your platforms: I like to follow the social media news so that I can stay up-to-date on the dizzying changes to privacy on my platforms, especially Facebook. Luckily, the internet has done most of the heavy lifting for me already. For example, has an "An Always Up-to-Date Guide to Managing Your Facebook Privacy" which is an excellent place to start. Also check out Mashable's coverage of social media sites and their extensive "How-to" Section.
3) Always think before you post: It's easy to get sucked into Twitter fights, so it's important for me to think before I post. Basically, if I am angry, I try to walk away before posting. After all, as xckd noted, there's always someone wrong on the internet.

Read more: 
Inside Higher Ed 
You can thank me later.

No comments: