Trusting Privacy settings is Bungee jumping without a rope…

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You trust those bungee ropes blindly, don’t you? Think again… they might very likely hang you. An Indian summer drink this weekend resulted in heated discussions on e-identity, e-brand, and the very precious social capital. To my huge astonishment, a lot of people keep on posting shady, risky or downright provocative pictures and updates on their social networks “because they have set their privacy options right”. They post compromising pictures, half-drunk thoughts, angry ramblings, etc…. “because they have set their privacy options right”.

Bull. Here is some advice from a grumpy old timer: turn it off.  Set the privacy filters of all your social networks to the lowest protection. Throw those pictures and tutti quanti wide in the open. Let the entire Facebook community gaze at your holiday pictures; invite everyone into your Google+ circles, and get those tweets out in the open. Have a blast! Privacy was a myth of the 20th century…

Turning the privacy settings off will free you of that false sense of protection. It will make you think four times before posting. It will make you think if you really want your boss to see you without your tiny black bikini on an alcohol generous just-amongst-friends night. It will make you stop trusting your friends.

Because, trust me, friends cannot be trusted. The virtual ones I mean. These thousands of Twitter followers, these hundreds of Facebook people…. They are connections, not friends. And even at least one of your friends likely copy posts that privacy protected picture of you to someone else. If some people cannot keep a secret safe, than certainly not your pictures, most intimate thoughts… or wild frivolous fantasies.

So… turn those privacy settings off online, throw the curtains wide open! But, tighten your security settings offline. I have iron social media guidelines with my friends: on when the picture taking stops during that hot barbeque. And what happens with inappropriate taggers. If people do not want to be cast out of my social circle, they need to adhere to those rules. No pictures after dessert, no wild tagging… no exceptions. My way, or the highway. And yes, I check daily to see if everyone complies!

Trying to fix that crazy picture or sharp ranting is like trying to knit a sweater for a dead squirrel: it’s plain useless.

Have fun, offline and online… but let no-one check your rope for you. Only you can… :-)


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