There are many reasons to be careful about what you post on the Internet. Many people have wished they'd been more cautious, when their Internet history comes back to haunt them. Even deleting material that you post may not protect you. Here are just some of the reasons to be careful about what you post on the Internet …
One of the most important reasons to be careful about what you post on the Internet is that it can have a detrimental effect on your career. Prospective employers can and will check on your name to see what comes up, and many people have been caught out criticising their job. You might think that revealing pictures are harmless now, but what if in ten years time you're a teacher and your students find the pictures?
You might think that your employers will never see your Facebook page or your emails. But anything could be copied or forwarded on. Never assume that anything you post is truly private. Ask yourself "Would I be embarrassed if someone saw this in the future?" These days, anything you post can very quickly go viral and be passed on to thousands of people. There really aren't any secrets on the Internet
You might think that your meaning is clear when you post a comment, but it's easy for misunderstandings to occur. People take perceived slights and criticism very seriously, and it's all too easy to get caught up in arguments. If someone attacks your comments it can be quite upsetting. So always think twice before you post a comment. How will your words come across?
Anything you post on the Internet can easily be copied and pictures may be stolen so that people can pass them off as their own. This may be dishonest - someone accessed pictures of my cat and used them to collect funds. Deleting pictures or posts doesn't mean that they're gone forever - people can take a screenshot or access cached copies of the pages.
Wherever you post, be careful not to give away details that could identify you. Someone could trace many different bits of information about you and put them together. The chances of someone harmful tracking you down may be slim, but why take chances? Even posting on your Facebook that you're going away on vacation is advertising that your house is going to be empty.
Right now you might be happy for people to know all about your hobbies and see pictures of you larking about. But things may change. What if you regret something you've posted or done? If you get a responsible job, pictures of you dressed up may be embarrassing. Always think ahead, and assume that your circumstances may change from how they are now.
You don't necessarily have control over your own information, even if you've posted it yourself. Treat everything as if it could be up on the Internet forever. Check your privacy settings on Facebook; their policies do change, so make sure that nobody other than friends can see your information.
People often assume that anything they post is relatively private. But it's best to behave as if everything you post can be viewed by the whole world. This can save you from a lot of future embarrassment or even unpleasantness. Have you ever regretted posting something on the Internet?
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