The times of receiving news by carrier pigeon or telegram are long gone. Information is moving around the globe faster than ever before and with it an evolution of a (not so new) different and penetrative type of security issue. Online privacy is something which affects us all. From celebrities struggling with hackers and cloud storage to the average teen social-media browser, each Internet end-user has similar privacy woes.
These woes have not always been on my radar, for a very simple reason – I have simply never cared! Now let me clarify a few things, I have and always will care about some of the big ones (please don’t steal my money, please don’t break my laptop and please don’t steal my WiFi) but my online persona? Why care about that?! Why really care if someone steals my online identity for a while? Surely I can just prove that I am who I say I am and I get back my identity, no harm done! Right? Wrong…
Since studying Exploring Digital Media: Contexts Of Online Participation, despite only being three or so weeks through the course, the importance of presenting yourself the way you want, to the audience you want is paramount. Nearly two weeks ago I summed up what electronic business cards or About.Me page can represent (the tweet was liked by @Aboutdotme too!).
So as we invest time into building this online brand, our shiniest foot, would we ever allow for it to become tarnished even for a moment? Would CocaCola allow their brand to be tainted by the health industry, the dentists or the diabetes foundation for a day? No, they would not. The internet moves quickly, but once information is live it doesn’t disappear for good, even if you empty the recycle bin so to speak. Potential employers look to how you represent yourself before wanting you to represent them. Even if you get that shiny foot in the door, it won’t stay open if some part of it stinks.
Analogies aside, I am becoming more aware of the potential impact my online persona can have in both present and future contexts, social or professional.