Saturday, April 13, 2013

What is Google Telling Other People About You?

When was the last time you “googled” yourself? If you haven’t done this, you may be in for a surprise.

The Internet can be a tremendous gift to those affected by chronic conditions. From finding the latest information about a particular diagnosis, sharing medical data, to creating a Lotsa Helping Hands page for someone in need, it’s become the way many deal with their illness. Roger Ebert, the noted film critic, found that after he could no longer speak, his voice could still be heard through his on-line blog, as he noted,  “the internet creates a level playing field.”

For all this web “wonderfulness,” there is a dark side.  Seth Godin recently wrote an interesting piece Building Your Backlist (and living with it forever)  about the risk and assets of the information trail you leave on line.

The Internet has a very long memory. If you wish to remain anonymous about your chronic condition, yet you have an active blog, Facebook page and/or Twitter account regarding your experiences, anyone has access to it. Do you want your employer, or perspective employer, girl/boy friend or family to know this much about you?

Things to consider about how you appear on-line:
• If you want to protect your anonymity on-line but want to take part in on-line support groups and other social networking activities regarding your health, use a nickname and e-mail account that is different than what you normally use.

• Avoid posting pictures of yourself.

• Be careful about the information you share and where you post it.

• Social networking sites can be hacked. If you have a Facebook account, but don’t look at it that often, either close it out or get in the habit of checking it regularly to be sure that someone hasn’t done some posting for you.

• Before you post, tweet, blog, or even e-mail consider whether this is something you want the world to know. Even if you think you are deleting a page or an image online, it may not be gone. Keep in mind that e-mail can easily be forwarded.

Learn more ways about protecting your on-line identify

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