'Is Facebook a virtual tattoo?' blog discussion

edited 15 February 2010 at 7:01PM in Martin's Blogs & Appearances & MoneySavingExpert in the News
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  • I have to admit that a certain amount of discretion should be shown if using the social networking sites as you never know when it could come back to bite you on the !!!! Apparently 80% of employers "Google" an applicants name when assessing their job application so getting legless and having the pictures put up on line whilst boasting about "pulling a sickie" the day after may be the only reason they need to discount you from the whole process.
    I know I've left an indelible mark on the internet by posting this (I googled myself and found my two previous posts but nothing else...phew :D) hopefully I can make my teenage kids see how the concept of privacy can be an aid to their future employment prospects.
  • wildthing01wildthing01 Forumite
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    JDPower wrote: »
    Then don't do things you'll be ashamed of, generally a good rule to live by ;)


    yes, but not one that many teens/twenty-somethings understand - that comes with life experience - you have to make the mistakes to find that out. that's the whole point of growing older and wiser.
  • The recent fuss over Google Buzz where address books and contacts are amalgamated and connected means that even if u didn't choose to connect the person who did will be linked and therefore tagged/hashed. It only takes someone to tag your face on (for instance) a wedding group shot for the software to be able to link all the photos and pages / mentions with that name.
    Twitter & Iphone apps do this already!
    It was all sold on the back of "security" and face recognition software is nearly good enough to connect the tagged photos to the ones that aren't.
    Big Brother, Auntie and Uncle are already watching you anyway!
    Martin's reference to the Virtual Revolution programme where developers demonstrate their ability to track everything you do online has to be seen to be believed. Retailers value being able to predict what you want and being first to tell you!
    We really are creatures of habit and if one of those habits is buying the "next big thing/gadget/toy they will already have you off the various sites.
    Just because you are paranoid doesn't mean they aren't out to get you!
  • ThinkingOfLinkingThinkingOfLinking Forumite
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    I think there are some really good points there; I just deleted most of my Facebook; it's already got maximised privacy settings, and my Twitter account is on the way out too. The internet is a dangerous place; a playground for the mentally unstable and I don't like having my personal photos and anecdotes etc out there.
  • Remember one day sooner than you think, some little dude will be calling you Grandma and Grandpa,
    how do you want them to picture you....
  • JDPowerJDPower Forumite
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    Remember one day sooner than you think, some little dude will be calling you Grandma and Grandpa,
    how do you want them to picture you....
    As exactly the person I am, mistakes and weaknesses included.
  • irrelevantirrelevant Forumite
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    I've already aware of it. There are examples of public forums I was a part of republished online that originate from over 20 years ago, and even parts of much older conversations... (I never did go for the stockings, in the end..) I should point out, perhaps, that it's me that has put those back up!

    As far as the Internet goes, Google seems to have trimmed some old stuff out - It only shows 239 results for my email address these days, oldest being 1998. It used to be much more... Thankfully there's a sportsman with my name, which pollutes the results searching for me by name. Serves me right for participating in mailing lists which got archived on multiple websites though. You should see my SPAM folder!!
  • I have some friends that I am scared to go out with now...as there always seems to be a camera somewhere! My facebook settings are set so that things can only be viewed by friends, but unfortunately as long as there are 'friends' with cameras 'tagging' things don't remain as private as you'd like them to! I think that its probably better to be there and see whats being posted. I should probably point out that me and my social circle are all late thirties/early forties so its not a problem that is unique to the young!
  • I have some friends that I am scared to go out with now...as there always seems to be a camera somewhere! My facebook settings are set so that things can only be viewed by friends, but unfortunately as long as there are 'friends' with cameras 'tagging' things don't remain as private as you'd like them to! I think that its probably better to be there and see whats being posted. I should probably point out that me and my social circle are all late thirties/early forties so its not a problem that is unique to the young!

    The camera bit isn't just the younger generation. Thank goodness my MIL is well into her 80's and doesn't have facebook. There is nothing she loves more than taking photos and out comes the camera at every available opportunity. It reached the point where it was impossible to relax and enjoy any party or family do without a camera pointed in your face. OH had to have a word with her in the end because it got so out of hand and photos were being shown to all and sundry regardless of how good or bad they were.

    My son has gone to university this year after a summer really ill with depression. Facebook has been a godsend and I wouldn't be without it. I have watched through his and his friends pictures, him settle down, get more sure of himself and get so much more confident. A day or so ago I watched one of his friends bungy jump in a video she posted. Perhaps a future employer seeing that will think she has courage and is prepared to try new things and will employ her because of it. Who knows?

    I do think you have to be sensible what you post on facebook and the internet though and be aware that it can be seen by a great many people and is practically impossible to delete.
  • EssexHebrideanEssexHebridean Forumite
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    I think what many forget is that a degree of common sense should be exercised when doing anything on any form of publicly shared forum etc. I do "do" Facebook, I occasionally Twitter. I don't use my full name on either. I post on forums such as this one - I don't use my real name, not, as I have been accused of previously so that I can hide behind some form of alias, but because I may sometimes say things and share information on them that I don't particularly want traced back to "me" as that could leave me vulnerable from a security point of view.

    Some suggestions: On Facebook - work out a name you can use which will still tell those you want to be abl to find you who you are, but without leaving the world and his uncle able to find out more about you that you feel comfortable with them knowing. Consider whether you either want, or need to have your full date of birth available. Do you need to share details like past schools and workplaces? Remember, a common security question these days is "First School?". If you're a mum, be cautious about putting up your Maiden name - chances are your grown up kids will be using this as a password for bank accounts etc and if you have them listed as your kids on your Facebook page as well, well done, you've probably just helped a bank account hacker along his path to their savings! Never, EVER let your address appear online. Google yourself occasionally to check what information is available. Try then googling again with the town or city you live in included - you may well find that it's possible to find out more about yourself online than you realised. If you find information you're not comfortable with contact website administrators etc to ask them to remove it - I've never had one turn me down yet. If you use pets names as passwords as so many folk would, never put up a photo of that pet, with your name and the pets name on it.

    All of the above is that common sense thing I was referring to - it's not paranoia, it't not an over-reaction to a "fuss about nothing" - it's keeping yourself and your life secure in the same way as locking the house when you leave.
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