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?
I woke up to the news of new duplicate fake accounts that have sprung up over the weekend and it was definitely alarming. I have deactivated my Facebook account back in April and I honestly don’t miss it. I realized that I don’t really need it. So, I am quite relieved I did that before all of these happened. I tried searching my Facebook name on my browser (but of course, I can’t see much of the details without logging in to Facebook, which I don’t really want to do.) and while I found several accounts with no photos, my name is common enough and is actually used in so many other existing accounts. I tried searching my full name as well, but there is nothing so far.
Why am I paranoid? (Well, aside from the fact that I am naturally paranoid no matter the circumstance is, LOL.) Two reasons: (1) Whenever I check my WordPress Stats, I sometimes see a referral from Facebook and I have no idea how that’s happening, since I don’t share from Facebook. I Googled this and I think it has always been a mystery, and again, I really don’t want to reactivate Facebook just to find out. (2) My university has reported that many of its students and alumni have dummy accounts under their name. While I’m not really internet famous to influence people with what I post anywhere, it is still alarming.
Honestly, I don’t think I’m doing a great job at managing my online privacy. While I have taken some steps in minimizing that by deactivating my Facebook account, I’m still public on different social media platforms such as Twitter, Tumblr, and Instagram. I also have a very public LinkedIn account with all of my professional information and affiliations. Just a quick Google search, and some exploring in my blog, it is easy to find out who I am. It’s not like I’m trying to hide anything but I have always been careful in what I post since social media can be checked when you are applying for jobs. Back when I still had Facebook, I also avoid engaging in debates on the comments section because those are public and I feel like that can easily be taken against you. There is definitely nothing wrong with expressing your opinion about stuff – I actually think that is very important, but I’d rather post it on my own page rather than argue with someone on a public post. That can literally cost you your job, depending on what your company policies are.
Just like almost everyone, I think our posts depend on where we do it. Instagram is where I post most of my travel stuff and whenever I try my hand on “photography” and that includes Instagram story where I post my everyday stuff. Twitter is where I air my grievances about the government and the shitty things that are going on in the world since I no longer have Facebook. But even when I had Facebook, I usually post on Twitter what I don’t feel like posting there. I no longer use Tumblr that religiously, unlike maybe 5 years ago. While I know that there are idiots on social media anywhere and they all have their flaws, especially privacy-wise, I need it – I’m just going to be honest. It’s a way for me to share my life and just to express myself. It helps me become feel more involved and participate in things that are happening around me and globally. I do understand its danger as well, and I just need to be careful as I navigate my online presence.
Inspired by this ebook, “365 Days of Writing Prompts” posted here.