Me and my visibility

Admittedly, if you search me under the correct nickname, you’ll find a lot about me on the internet. I was smart enough to make several nicknames from the start (this was probably influenced by my parents decision that I could not have a Facebook account in secondary due to privacy fears… so I created an alter ego).

Being very young, I had written a book that I am very glad people do not know how to find (it has cringe factor written all over it)  I have the usual social media apps like Facebook , twitter  and Instagram  and also of course, WordPress but for my own other purposes beside writing this module.

I share most of my information  with my friends but I don’t really have my family in that connection apart from a few cousins on Facebook. I prefer to talk face to face with my family and close ones (also, it’s better to avoid embarrassment when you post silly pictures).

I control everything I do on social media and avoid posting anything that could affect my future as a journalist. I learnt that you are taken more seriously with a professional  platform on all levels. You cold however create a professional  persona online but think of how many passwords you would need to remember!

As a member of a university campus that focuses on the arts, I feel it is important to own at least two forms of social media because they can lead to connections with industry professionals (think Linked-In and twitter). The downsides to owning so much online is that anybody can find you easily and use information you don’t want them knowing. For example, you can now access your medical records online that displays your whole history from the start. People can also find out your family members just through searching your surname and viewing images of you with them.

As long as we protect our data online, nothing terrible should happen but its a case of us making the first move and deciding what we post in the first place.

You can say I’m kinda guarded

All my social profiles are private. Everyone has their reason for having a private account either it is from hiding your lives away from enemies/bullies, to just wanting your account and life to be private. Personally I love sharing my life and experience with my family and friends. On the other hand, when it comes to strangers that just try to contact me through my Messenger, I think it’s weird and I feel very uncomfortable and if they had access to my account then they see part of my life that I didn’t want them to see. I mean doesn’t most people dislike creepers? But also you do have people that are friends with you over social media and you have probably met them once or twice or were friends with them in middle school. But, even when they can see all my stuff I don’t like everyone to know what I am doing or where I go to school or intimate events in my life, even some distant family. I feel like the people that are really involved in your life should know what you’re up to and that’s it. I guess you can say I have my handful of friends and family but hey that’s just me. Snapchat for an example, I post almost everything on there but only my closet friends and family can see it because I don’t like sharing it with strangers. Because once you post your username to Instagram then a whole bunch of unnecessary people can see through another window of your life. This in turn, sways most people to conform into what is acceptable in the social media world. I think snap chat is there for you to engage and be yourself and not feel like you post anything wrong and then you’re going to get judged by how “friends” view your snaps. The user knows they are exposing this event in their life on social media and it is going to stay on the internet forever, so they make that decision of how much of themselves are exposed once they press POST.

Email: The Online Database of You

 

 

Think about your presence online and ask yourself what all your most used websites have in common? Whether it be social media (Facebook, Twitter) or online marketplaces (Ebay, Amazon), they all require an email address.

Want to sign in to Facebook? Enter your email address. Want to buy something from Amazon? Enter your email address.

Looking though your inbox you might see notifications from Facebook about photos you’re tagged in or places you’ve been, you might find emails confirming items bought on Ebay and you might even find an email from a relative. All of this data that makes up your online presence is collected through data-mining software by large corporations which trade our information between themselves and sometimes to our own governments.

Google’s Gmail  is the most well-known and most used email service online therefore making it one of the largest meta-databases in the world.

So next time you think you’re safe because your privacy settings on Facebook and Instagram are set to the highest level, remember that there’s always someone silently monitoring everything you do online.

Online presence and professionalism

To guarantee privacy, I ensure that all my social media profiles are kept private. You can’t even come across my Facebook profile if you search for me on the Facebook search itself. Protective, I know.

The reason I ensure this is twofold. Firstly, there are certain people, or old ‘frenemies’, I do not want viewing my profile, photographs, contact details and personal information. Secondly, I am concerned for the future and potential employment prospects. I only accept ‘friend’, ‘connection’ and ‘follower’ requests from people I know as to retain control over content. Even on Facebook, I must approve of posts and photographs before they appear on my profile.

However I do have two exceptions.

The first exception is on LinkedIn. I use LinkedIn to network with potential future employers, get recommendations and endorsements from colleagues and to ensure my current networks are maintained. My profile has a lot of professional information on it, however still does not include any contact details. Instead, professionals may make contact via ‘connecting’ and then sending an inbox message.

The second exception is that I allow my name to appear on published articles. Prior to university, I spent some time working as a ‘Digital and Direct Marketer’ for the tech start-up ‘Shoprocket’, which is located on Google Campus. Shoprocket is a SaaS e-commerce start-up that offers an enterprise scale solution, integrating seamlessly into any existing application, all with a single line of code. During this time, I blogged on their website and on guest blogs.

In the meantime, press approached us as to write about the product. For example, Superbcrew, an online technological news site, interviewed me for the content of an article. The published article includes my name and a photograph.

Therefore I am concerned for my privacy online and limit information found online about me. When I worked in the press team of a council, we used to get calls such as when an underage student from a school is of interest to a journalist in a negative story. We would have to ensure that the student makes their social media profiles private quickly as to help protect them.

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Do you believe I am being overprotective? I am very particular about my online presence due to having my entire career ahead of me, since I am 21 years old. Do you think in 10 years, when hopefully I am in a stable job, I will still need to be as cautious? Why?

IF YOUR LOOKING FOR ME ADD MY SNAPCHAT

How visible am i online? Well lets just say if you  needed to find me just add me on snapchat (whitsxox). I feel like in today’s generation we put ourselves at risk due to the things we post online. Whilst doing the regular readings a few weeks back i came across a text by Papacharissi (2010), according to him he discusses that ‘our privacy is becoming a luxury commodity’ which simply means that we basically put our information out there in exchange to be social with others, so really isn’t privacy in our own hands?

 bet you thought id show the video lol

For instance once i made a YouTube video of me singing, i thought i was the next Beyonce so i posted it but after coming to my senses i realised i was actually more of a Rebecca Black. I managed to deleted the video but somehow my friends had fund a way to access the video and re-share it. So i guess the question is once you’ve posted something online do you still consider it to be yours or the Internets? Personally, i think its no longer under your control, whether your account is on private or not people will still somehow have access to your account. In another reading i did it also mentions that privacy is a dynamic process of optimisation, which is influenced by two psychological needs- ‘The need to preserve privacy but also the need to interact socially and therefore has to disclose personal information’. Again proving my point about privacy and what we post online is in your own hands.

Visibility Online

With the rise of social media, now being more apart of our lives than ever before it is pretty difficult to remain private all the time – use of personal photos, email addresses and of course your name. Even when your privacy settings are on its highest, someone, somewhere can see who you are and exactly what you are getting up too.

First of all to make a Twitter, Facebook or Instagram account you must cough up some of your personal information such as an email address, your name and date of birth, this is obvious because you are making an online persona. However you may set privacy settings high, which means not anyone will be able to check you out online BUT these social media platforms now have your personal information so are you really that private? The most used information social media platforms will use if the email you have given, either they will email you a notification like Twitter or simply try advertise or promote a new service they are offering.

In the modern world people even use others personal information such as photos and the name to come across as you – this is sometimes known as Cat-fishing and often used by those who are not happy with their own identity. In some cases this can have serious consequences on you and those who are committing what might be fraud.

Mostly the internet and social media is used safely and for only good reasons.

However what I find worrying some respects is how future employees may look through your old Facebook status or tweet which wasn’t particularly appropriate and judge your outside persona as being unprofessional in some manner. I personally believe that your personal life should not interfere with professional life but I do agree that this is a good way to completely make sure the candidate is right for the job. A wise alternative to offer an employer would be LinkedIn account, so your private life can stay private and you can concentrate on a professional persona.

I don’t know why googling myself is such an uncomfortable thing to do – almost like you get irrational premonitions of something unfortunate coming up in the results. Luckily, I made sure this wouldn’t actually happen to me long ago, because I was aware of the embarrassing and concerning outcomes disclosing too much about yourself could have, be it purposely or unintentionally.

It might be due to having lived in various countries, where my surname was always butchered somehow, but surprisingly there is nothing to find about my sports rankings and achievements at school – which in retrospect is a good thing, because that sort of information can still reveal your whereabouts. When my then-underage classmate’s (absurdly famous) grandfather died a few years ago, Spanish gossip magazines managed to draw up profiles of her and her siblings without them ever having said anything, just based on Google search results and their activities at school, as well as Facebook pictures, which scared them out of their minds and ended in a lost lawsuit since the information belonged to the domains it was on.

Luckily Facebook now gives you the option of making your account untraceable on search machines, as well as regulate people being able to find you through other information (like your phone number, which is now mandatory to use the messenger), which I’ve definitely made use of. My Instagram and other social profiles don’t have my full name on them – except for LinkedIn.

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I guess we’ve all heard stories about people being denied jobs they were set for after getting their ‘background check’ done – because of “unprofessional” tagged pictures on Facebook or ever so slightly offensive tweets. Obviously I try for (the little) content I post to be unproblematic in the first place, but it’s always best to make sure and not mix private affairs and business to ensure our road to professionalism and security otherwise will go without bumps.

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