Monday, May 12, 2014

6 Things I Will NOT Share On The Internet

A photo my family online?  You won't see it - EVER!!

When the folks over at asked me to blog about things I would not share on the Internet, I got excited. I've written, at length, on and this site, about being safe in cyberspace and with Choose Privacy Week ( having just concluded, it's a great time to think about the serious as well as not-so-serious things I will not share on the Web. Here are just a few:

  1. My weight – It's not something I'm particularly proud, especially since it fluctuates based on the market price of Cool Ranch Doritos. Except for my doctors, no one will ever know the truth.
  2. The name of my first pet, my mother's maiden name, and the name of the first street I lived on. These are all common questions asked when you need to recover a password. Providing any of these details could give an identity thief the last piece of data needed to hack into one of my accounts.
  3. Identifiable pictures of my kids. My children will have plenty of time to decide what their online presence will be and, unfortunately, there are predators ready to exploit ANY photos of children. Unlike too many of my friends, you will not see clear, recognizable pictures of my brood in Cyberspace.
  4. Announcements of where I am or where I'm going.  This is a no -brainer. Too many people divulge where they are when they post on Facebook. It doesn't take a genius to figure out where someone lives and, based on what thieves find online, that the house is empty. If you're going to post your location, you may as well put a big sign on your door saying, “No One Is Home. Free Stuff.”
  5. Pictures of my body parts. Lots of people post pictures of their tattoos or what their hands or feet look like when they get their nails done or have a pedicure. No one needs to see pictures of my carcass on the Web.
  6. Photos of myself doing anything inappropriate. I see people posting this stuff all the time, often with the caption "I'm so wasted!" and it seems remarkably stupid. First of all, why would you brag about that, especially if you're over 20 years old?  Secondly, do you really want relatives, co-workers, or present/future employers seeing pictures of this stuff anywhere, but especially on the Internet where it will be forever? And what about your kids? Eventually, they may gain access to your digital footprint. How do you lecture your kids about the evils of twerking, riding a wrecking ball while you're naked or getting drunk when there are pictures of you on the Web doing the same thing?  Apparently some people have absolutely no shame. 
Now that the Internet is a vital, sometimes compulsive, part of our lives, it's tempting to share every little detail. But commons sense must prevail.  I realize that privacy is something precious I need to be diligent about and protect. It takes work, but it's worth it.

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