Monday, January 14, 2008

2. Online Privacy

Social networks like MySpace or Facebook or the thousands of other networks that are out there are fun! They let you connect with people from all over the world who have the same interests, hobbies or job that you do, but they also encourage you to provide a lot of information about yourself so that those people can find you. The good news is that you can give out the information you need to find people with your interests without giving out too much information in the process.
The first line of defense in keeping your online privacy is to think about what information you are giving out about yourself. Would you want your parents to see it? Your boss? Your girlfriend or boyfriend? Your college admissions officer? All of these people have the ability to search for your name on the Internet and find your social networking page(s) - do you want them to see the information you've posted there?
A recent study done in the UK (and reported on in PC World) said:
In a survey of people aged 14 to 21, the group found that more than 70 percent of young people would not want a university or potential employer to see the information they post about themselves, yet 60 percent don't consider that the information could turn up in online searches for years to come.
Once you post something on the Internet it's really hard to get it off! Fortunately, there are a lot of resources out there to help people decide what is, and isn't, safe to put on any social networking site. Some of the most important tips are: (see the resources section below for links to documents with even more tips!)
  • Keep your information to yourself. Don’t post your full name, Social Security number, address, phone number, or bank and credit card account numbers — and don’t post other people’s information, either. Be cautious about posting information that could be used to identify you or locate you offline. This could include the name of your school, sports team, clubs, and where you work or hang out. (FTC)

  • Remember that once you post information online, you can’t take it back. Even if you delete the information from a site, older versions exist on other people’s computers. (FTC)

  • Trust your gut if you have suspicions. If you feel threatened by someone or uncomfortable because of something online, tell someone you trust and report it to the police and the social networking site. You could end up preventing someone else from becoming a victim. (FTC)

  • Use privacy settings to restrict who can access and post on your child's website. (OnGuard Online)

  • For Parents: Create your own account on MySpace or another social network. Spend some time browsing the network's site. This will give you familiarity with the world that is so essential to your teen(s) and their friends and will facilitate future conversations. (Safe Families)

  • For Kids: Never meet with anyone you first “met” online and tell your parent if anyone requests a meeting. (Safe Families)

Resources

25 comments:

absinthekid said...

A chilling film, to be sure, and an important point for us all to remember.

HOWEVER: I was offended by the fact that the film implied that the janitor was a bad guy. Why not the school principal? Why not a teacher, or security guard, or anybody wearing a tie? Class discrimination like this is a lot like racism.

Now, flame away.

Anonymous said...

It really makes you think about what you do and its consequences.

moonbeam said...

Definitely something to remember!!

eyeoh said...

As a father with two net-savvy teen girls, I'm constantly preaching the need for common sense and security when posting and chatting online. I'm not over their shoulders during every conversation, but for the most part, the lessons seem to be working.

I have to agree with absinthekid on this one, though. A leering janitor characterizing a predator is stereotypical at best. Teens need to realize that the creep could just as easily wear a suit. If the cast of characters trolling the net were placed in plain view, there would be plenty of amazed parents and teens.

Francesca said...

Wish I'd been this savvy 15 years ago when I first started posting to email lists.
AbsinthetheKid like your perceptive coment on classism!

Nikki said...

Good to know. I have plenty of brochures I got from a Morenet class I took last year that I have around the library about internet safety for kids. If anybody is interested in them I know there are still some left at the PCC desk or I have more at my desk if anybody is interested.

Age is only a # said...

Not to beat the point that absinthekid is making, but parents and teens need to realize that anyone can be the bad guy, which is why it's such a fine line teens walk between trust and terror. I wish there was a way to show this to all of the teens that I work with, but too often the ones that need to see it, don't necessarily believe the warning.

sexybeast said...

You would think it would be obvious what not to post on the internet. However, since many government agencies have records posted on the web which includes your vital information, it makes me wonder, how naive we all are to the dangers.

I assume what I post or send will show up years from now and I'm not ashamed of what I do. If you wouldn't do it normally, do not do it on the web. The web also lets people become braver and meaner. No matter what you do, on the web or off, your actions will come back to haunted or embrace you.

Marion said...

The SSN article was interesting too. I'm going to see what happens when I open new accounts from now on.

I agree with sexybeast that it's important to remember that what you say and post can come back to haunt you. As the old saying goes, May my words be soft and sweet as tomorrow I may have to eat them!

Cap'njs said...

In labs there is the additional danger of "over the shoulder trolling". A name, plus one more salient fact[school,street#,age,ssn] canlead to pics of the home, person/child etc.

Racism? Classism? More like "The Library Policeman"?
Cap'njs

Bobbi said...

I think the important thing we see in this lesson is that it isn't always the "obvious" that can get people in to trouble. An innocent picture can be used and accessed by the wrong people. Because we aren't predators it's hard to know how they think and act. The internet is a still a fairly new place and we all are still finding our way. One of the things I'll be stressing my class for the public later this year is that I am not an expert, I'm a guide. I'll give them some tips and suggestions and hopefully give them a great foundation for internet safety. Unfortunately I can't say if you do x & y, you'll never have a problem.

Crow's nest said...

Very good information to share when working on the internet. The video was excellent. I thought the SS information was very interesting too.

dukeblue1212 said...

The video was interesting, makes you think twice before posting "unflattering" pictures. :)

CROA said...

Warnings like this have been issued ever since I have used the internet, whether for chatting, emailing, social networking with MySpace, or whatever. Gut instinct as what to post or tell in those arenas is probably easiest to realize for adults. Teens and some early-twenties may need lessons and reminders on "gut instinct" to keep them safe and from posting potentially dangerous information about themselves.
The thing I found most disturbing about this lesson is that even if you remove a picture from a social networking system the image may remain on the internet in older formats. That's scary because I'm sure most people assume that if they remove a picture from their website or MySpace page that it is gone. That may not be the case according to this LL2.1 lesson. That should really make a person think about what they want to post in the first place so they don't have to worry about it floating around in cyberspace even if they remove it at a later date.

skoone said...

I thought this was a good reminder for all of us. I felt pretty confident that I knew a lot about online safety, but turns out I was unaware of the fact that once you delete something it's not completely gone. That was news to me. Thank you Library 2.1!

Mike said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
justme said...

The info is good. But the video is gone.

justme said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
betterlate said...

I watch my kids all the time when they are on the internet. This really makes a person think.

Leslie said...

Having helped put on an Internet safety night for parents at Wood Place library in California(MO), it came as quite a shock how many parents don't care. Not a single person showed up, but those of us there listened to what can happen and the examples our speaker gave were chilling. With everything so out there on the Internet, it is much easier to find someone, especially a child, than one would think!

Courtney said...

Unfortunately, the video is no longer available, so I have no idea what it was about...I personally have a Facebook page and my band has a MySpace page. I've witnessed many of my friends posting stuff that will surely come back to haunt them in the future (though they may not actually care for all I know). I am personally very careful about what I post, though it never occurred to me to be cautious of releasing information that could make it easier to find me offline (like my full name and work info). I guess nothing is sacred in the social networking world.

heather said...

After reading all the comments on the video clip, I am sorely dissapointed that I will not get a chance to view it. However I think the point has been well made, one ought to always be careful about giving personal information.

newbie said...

I have been trying to find some of my college classmates and for $5.00 a month I can get their addresses, phone numbers, and crimal records. And for the same $5.00, someone can find me. It is both exciting and fringhtening how small the internet makes the world. I am also disappointed about not getting to see the video, it got everyone so exited.

madmusing said...

Good to know about this stuff. It's easy to see how these services can be abused. I've had some experiences with "unfortunate" postings, so it pays to be careful out there.

Melody said...

Well the video is no longer available, but the written part was good information, I'll keep them in mind!