Don’t Drop Your Drawers on the Web

social media

The title “Don’t Drop Your Drawers on the Web” may seem harsh at first; the provoking title is really meant to get your attention. This post talks about not trusting every community site blindly with your personal information just because it’s popular or used by almost everyone you know. A little vigilance is in order. Keep in mind, telling someone or a community of people, your location also lets them know where you are not.

Just because a community site profile asks for 10 or 15 pieces of information does not mean every instance on the form has to be filled in. For example:

On Twitter

Twitter wants to know your Full Name, Username, Password and Email Address. There are other profile decisions which are optional; Time Zone, URL, One Line Bio, Geographic Location, Language and Geotagging. A mug shot or favorite image can also be uploaded.

On Facebook

Facebook asks for First Name, Last Name, Email Address, Password, Sex and Birthday. Once the account is created a person can add a Photo, their Religious and Political Views, Education and Work Information along with what Groups they belong to.

Think about what the community members need to know about you. When joining a business community think about giving pertinent information that relates to business experience, past performance, successes, or challenges.

Some people see letting strangers view their personal information as a privacy issue or security risk. Having a few pieces of personal information on someone can aid in the search for more facts on that specific individual. Sad to say there are most likely charlatans in every community and forum on the Web looking to misrepresent themselves or to rip off some unsuspecting mark.

Most members assume whatever community they belong to that the community builders such as Facebook or Twitter have taken every step possible to secure their account; sorry to say that’s not true. They are making improvement in security but at the same time, the criminals are finding other ways to take advantage of community members.

Based on a recent study, 13% of Facebook members befriend people they don’t even know. 92% of Twitter users connect with complete strangers. Some members are discussing sensitive business plans and strategies in communities as well as announcing they will be away from their office or home office for extended periods of time not thinking that everyone that is listening is a not a friend or business colleague.

Businesses are naïve to think their competitors are not among their fans on Facebook or their followers on Twitter.

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It always makes sense not to leave yourself or your business vulnerable to high-risk exposure.

 Be Strategic:

  • Would you just hand your wallet to a stranger on the street? Those are the people that might be following you on LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter. Keep as much information private as you can.
  • Organizations should develop a social media privacy policy before letting their employees jump into the “potentially” deep end of the pool.

By John Leavy

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