Social Network Privacy

When I started the “Online Image” project, I made the assumption (as many do) that I had done a reasonably good job managing the privacy on my social networks.  On Facebook, I had created a group called “Restricted View” which I used to limit access for acquintances.  While I rarely use Google+, I had taken the time to define clear circles (Friend, Family, Acquaintance, and Work), defaulted my posts to a reasonably safe group (Friends/Acquaintances), and was mindful enough to switch the post to the appropriate group (usually Friends).

Researching a subject, however, forces you to be especially attentive and vigilent.  It is possible (though many may not know) to see the version of your profile that is visible to the public.  Once I was digging through privacy preferences in detail, it was natural to check my profile out.  Turns out that, despite my efforts, all of my Facebook interests were posted as publically visible.  In addition, a variety of my Google+ settings were set to “extended circles”.  Since I had added a number of colleagues to my Google+ profile, this information was widely visible.  As I mentioned, I rarely use Google+ anyway and control my post visibility carefully.  However, it gave me a better understanding of how exposed some poeple realy could be.

This project was started (and will soon finish) as an eBook directed specifically to medical professionals and their (somewhat) unique needs.  However, it has become obvious to me that other professionals need almost the exact same advice so expect a follow-up eBook designed more broadly for professionals.  To learn more, and for links to the eBook, check out Control Your Online Image on my professional website.

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