After reading three articles on identity, privacy and trust in the online world, my eyes were certainly opened to sharing information and could see both the pros and cons to online identity and privacy.
Careful management of your online identity is of the utmost importance. Online profiles whether through Facebook, Twitter, blogs or even comments that are made on websites can be retained and found for an indefinite period. Even surfing websites anonymously does not protect us from being tracked.
Uploading photos onto social networking sites is not without its dangers too as photos can be traced to where they were taken and also where they were uploaded. Users must be aware of this and be careful what or who they tag in their photos and be aware of the geolocation function on their phones and cameras.
While having an open online identity has many benefits not only to yourself but to the online community. Although Facebook may have taken the openness of its original design a little too far, the transparent nature of online interactions can actually make people think about what they are posting and lead to more meaningful discussion without the so called trolling of anonymous accounts that can happen when people know that their identities cannot be revealed. Perhaps one of the most beneficial social networking tools if used in a responsible manner would be LinkedIn. LinkedIn gives the ability to present oneself in a professional manner that allows users to connect professionally and can even lead toward advancing careers.
It is important to remember that all online companies whether social networking sites, email or search engines are, after all advertising companies after revenue and can track your every move and interest in order to profit from you. A simple internet search or even the subject lines for emails are enough for these companies to target advertising to you and to know about your online activities.
The old adage of not posting anything online you wouldn’t say to your grandmother is a wise one. By being aware of how easy it is for third parties to track our moves and to find what we may have posted online will ensure that we remain responsible online citizens.
Davis, L. (2009). 8 tools to track your footprints on the web. Readwrite. Retrieved from: http://readwrite.com/2009/02/01/8_tools_to_track_your_footprin
Pearson, J. (2009). Life as a dog: Personal identity and the internet. Meanjin, 68(2), 67-77. Retrieved from: http://search.informit.com.au/fullText;dn=200906244;res=APAFT
Raynes-Goldie, K. (2010). Aliases, creeping, and wall cleaning: understanding privacy in the age of Facebook. First Monday, 15(1). Retrieved from: http://firstmonday.org/ojs/index.php/fm/article/view/2775/2432