Isn’t it time you had that talk with your children? They are 8 years old after all
For those thinking that 8 is far to young to have THAT talk, I’m not talking about THAT one. I am talking about something that Eric Shmidt and Jared Cohen, of Google talk about in their latest blog post on Wired – Data Permanence
And what data permanence refers to is your digital footprint or online reputation. What you put out there on the internet is out there with no expiration date.
It’s not that it’s difficult to remove. It’s near impossible.
Therefore, Online Reputation, which is everything you put out there on your social media channels, your blog, your website or your tumble, is serious, and it needs your attention RIGHT NOW
Scaremongering I hear you shout! How could a simple tweet or a Facebook post get me in trouble? Well it can, it does and it may cost you. Just ask Paris Brown, who at 17 was appointed the first youth police commissioner in the UK and had to resign from the 90,000AED a year post 3 days later after her Twitter account allegedly contained racist and homophobic tweets from her between the ages of 14-16.
Or ask the young man that was expelled from school due a picture of him being snapped and tagged at the Sandance festival, holding a drink he shouldn’t have been holding at age 16, and his resultant expulsion. His school was on his profile and the school couldn’t have that kind of thing online associated with their online reputation!
CAUTION – Be careful what you post and say online. The thing is platforms such as Twitter and Facebook have amazing reach, which is always public and sometimes global. Defamatory comments made on Social media can spread very fast by simply retweeting something on twitter. If found to be untrue, or defamatory this can land you in seriously hot water. “It was just a joke and I didn’t mean it” you say. Pity you retweeted it and republished the comment on YOUR channels, as now you’re liable.
How can I protect myself?
The thing is, if you don’t want your message appearing on a global billboard, don’t post it online. Many people still don’t think they have a problem with their Online Reputation when in fact they do – many of us have no idea of the content which is out in the Interwebs about us or content which others have created about us which we have no idea about. This is the worrying part.
So here’s what you can do
- Set up a Google Alert or Talk Walker Alerts to monitor the Interwebs for any new content about your name.
- Be careful what you say on Twitter, Facebook, your blog, comments sections, forums and any online platform. Remember the STOP|THINK|POST approach.
- Get familiar with YOUR Privacy settings – Tweak and check these on a regular basis. Remember they differ from platform to platform. Make sure you update these on Smartphones and Tablet devices.
- Be careful with Apps which claim to offer texts and images which vanish. Once you click Send you lose control of this information and where your information can end up.
- Create positive content to counteract any negative results which may be floating about.
Now think about this. What we do today and everyday is recorded and stored. Something posted as a Teen online or via social networks may still be still kicking around and accessible and may come back to haunt you when applying for your first job or perhaps getting into University. This is the first generation of young people to have to think about this. And the first generation of parents to worry about it too.
Now is the time to start thinking about your Online Reputation and managing your digital footprint. Don’t let it limit your opportunities or land you on the wrong side of the law as a result of some foolish thing you’ve said online.
Online Reputation Matters…. Look after yours.