Saturday, October 22, 2011

How Do I Keep Myself Safe?

In cyberspace that is.

Because a few days ago, I encountered three alarming cases of duplicated, Facebook accounts that had to be reported. Two of those were impostors of my friend Beth where it contained a lot of bogus information, from her gender to her affiliation. After helping her out on setting the privacy account of her profile and reports from friends, we were able to remove the fallacious account. But the poser was that persistent because a day after successfully defeating, Beth informed me of another one.

The other case was done to Frances, the author behind my favorite blog where a poser used the photo of her family and even claimed her husband and her baby to be that of the poser's own.

Of course, it gave me fears. Call me paranoid but I really got praning after those incidents. OC enough it prompted me to really check the privacy settings of my own Facebook profile. Now, I will be honest. I Google myself too and it is embarrassing regardless if I don't thankfully see obscene pictures of myself.

To keep myself (hopefully) safe from the identity-grabbing jerks out there, I follow these rules. I know that what I'm about to say has been mentioned but then, it really is better to be safe than sorry:

1) Keep personal information to yourself and your (trusted) friends.
2) Never accept friend requests from people you don't know. Regardless if you have common friends, if you don't know the sender personally or haven't met him or her yet, don't gamble.
3) If you can't keep your pictures private, limit your pictures to the decent ones. People might find your profile and your photos on search engines and admit it or not, it's not a good feeling when people feast on your alcohol-driven self through your pictures.
4) Turn public search off. This way, I get to control who views my profile or in this case, no one will be able to view me even if they search for my Facebook account on Google.

The internet as they always say is a big world. I agree with what broadcast journalist Howie Severino keeps on saying about their advocacy. Think before you click. Because what you post there for a minute will be visible and familiar to people for a lifetime.

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