With the mass increase in use of social networking, blogs, and Internet usage around the world – the very nature of personal privacy is changing.  Companies looking to hire individuals do not just run a criminal and credit check, they Google your name and search for any trace you’ve left out there on the big, bad Internet.  Did you have a rant with someone publicly on your Facebook wall?  Use profanity or talk how you were intoxicated over the weekend on Twitter?  Kids and young adults do not seem to understand that posting a statement online is not a private conversation.  It is in the public eye.

P3C Technologies encourages parents to take an active involvement in their children’s online experience.  Sit them down and make sure they understand that anything they post to Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, or even their email to a friend could come back later to haunt them!  Why?  For the same reason that anything you put in writing and sign your name to is leaving a paper trail, only much worse!  The information is digitized, searchable, and lives on indefinitely!  Examine the outrage in the media lately over Facebook’s privacy options and policy:

PC World article – Facebook’s Zuckerberg answers critics regarding privacy options

Their default policy is to “opt-in” to sharing all your information.  What does this mean?  It means all that personal data you have on Facebook and the posts you place on your friends Facebook wall is public.  And even if you opt-out and only your friends see this, can you be sure that they are not sharing what you post with someone else?  Understanding of what is public vs private is very important.  Hence why when I use such social networking services, I post nothing that I would not want the whole world knowing.  Am I stuck-up to the point that I believe everyone wants to know what I am doing at this second and I should be concerned?  No!  But I want my personal details about my life to stay private for my own security, privacy, and to save myself any future headaches related to downstream consequences that I cannot fathom right now!

Certain children (and even some adults!) post on Facebook and Twitter publicly some of the most private details of their lives, including where they go to eat, where they are going on vacation, even their present location picked up from their cell phone…without understanding those downstream consequences, how it impacts their future job or school prospects and their personal lives.  P3C Technologies advice: Sit your kids down and have one of those heart-to-heart conversations on what it means to put something in writing, that the written word lives on!  And when it lives on out there on the Internet, you never know who could be watching and waiting – learning your personal habits.  It’s a dangerous thing to not understand that what you write about yourself on the Internet should never be considered completely private!