Friday, July 30, 2010

IMHO: People should prioritize customizing privacy settings but should create their own "About me" site

There has a lot of talk about Facebook and its privacy settings. With more than 500 million friends now connected through what we call FB, there is a lot of potential through this in either building a person's image and reputation or totally wrecking it. As Robert Greene said,

Law 5: So Much Depends on Reputation. Guard it with your Life.
Once you lose some of your reputation you are on a slippery slope. Protect your reputation while, at the same time, destroying your enemies' reputations.

The action doesn't stop there. Instead of reacting to all attacks to your privacy, one should also consider making their own "about me" site or a source of information about themselves. Although you don't want the public to get some specific information about you, you don't want to the public to get also WRONG information about you.

Point is: In my humble opinion, you can control to a certain substantial extent the information you want the public to know about you.

Case in point: During the SONA forum at the UP College of Law, our Public Affairs Committee volunteers researched for the credentials of our speakers. Although one may argue that it is best that we just ask from the speakers these information, you cannot also discount the fact that some people will resort to just searching information about you on the net.

Result: Professor Hilbay's credentials that were found were 7 years obsolete while Representative Walden Bellos' credentials were at least 5 years obsolete. This goes without saying that the committee involved in the forum knows better next time to ask straight from the resource speaker what information they want to disclose. But this only proves my point here in this blog that people should consider what the internet says about who they are.

Credit: Thanks to my partner who has been very determined in organizing my virtual life (not only in terms of privacy settings but in terms of content and quantity as well). Although I still have to track all the social networking sites that I have, wittingly or unwittingly, subscribed to, it really makes me feel empowered and more secured to be able to, in a sense, "control" to an extent what strangers can get about me.

I need to check again how one applies for a credit card and see whether the information needed there are available in the net, say for example, from links derived from my name in the search engine. In the process, I need to know whether the information that is said about me in the net is something that I want the public to know.

Paulyn Duman
Blog #8

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