Read Write Web recently posted a story that I thought would garner more comments. I suspect it only had three, as most people agree with Europe’s 17 Golden Rules for Keeping Safe on Social Networks but are breaking some of them out of neccessity.
This is what I mean. The following three ‘European rules’
- When joining a social networking site use your personal e-mail address (not your company e-maill address)
- Use a pseudonym
- Do not mix your business contacts with your friend contacts
are the ones I break. Do you?
1. I use my professional DET email address, not because I want to particularly but because my other email address are filtered at work. Years ago it was no problem to access Yahoo, Hotmail etc. but the SIBE ended all that in 2006. It is not that I want to access during work time, it is just that it makes sense to be able to do so if you need, so since 2006, I have used my professional email address for basically everything.
2. When I started using the internet, in 1996, pseudonyms were all anyone seemed to use. Nowadays, I do not know many people who continue to do this exclusively.
3. Now this is challenging and I’d like to hear from anyone who is managing this separation of the various worlds of their life effectively. I gave up on it years ago for a number of reasons but mostly, it was just impossible anyway. I think that rejecting the Facebook ‘friend request’ from work or a business colleague may have other interpersonal consequences. I routinely ’ignore’ with students for reasons explained here. You may choose to do this for a colleague but the person would really have to bug you. Privacy setting are the key for most, no doubt about it. I suspect that it all depends on the stage of life one is at and that need for privacy depends on lifestyle and the type of employment.
I think we all are learning as the era unfolds. The above European suggestions are sensible but for many, just too unwieldy and difficult to carry out. The more one has ‘an identity’ online the more it is possible to piece together the complete person. However, I suspect, that identity theft is more easily done to someone with a limited online life than a person with a complete profile. Agree?
Should we place the European advice in context considering the history of the 20th century?
Do Australians, with a continent for a country and a very different history, for better or worse, have a less paranoid, more reckless attitude towards online safety?