Online Data vs Online Presence

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I believed that the numerous stories and articles about being cautious about the information one shares online had led young people to be more careful, it seems they are not.

I first noticed this a few weeks ago with my students when I created a FB profile for our language exchange. When I set up the profile I sent an email to all the students involved to let them know but also warned them that they could choose what information they could share with the profile (aka me). Only one made sure I could send her messages but not see what her friends were writing on her wall.

Yesterday I got a letter about our future English assistant. As the French administration had apparently not asked the would-be assistants to provide an email, I googled his name and here is what I got:

– his date of birth
– several photos
– the name of his high school
– the name of his college
– the description of his current university program
– the names of both his parents
– some personal articles about trips abroad
– his twitter alias
– some particulars about hobbies and interests
– one email address
– his FB profile (which revealed even more, including his girlfriend’s name and photo)

all within a few seconds.

Do you believe that this is too much or just fine? How would you feel if anyone could find as many details about your own child even if – as in GL’s case – none of it is incriminating?

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7 thoughts on “Online Data vs Online Presence

  1. I suspect they will find information about my children online. I can only continue to teach my children to post the “good” stuff. I just accept that this is the way life is. Choose one’s words carefully, whether online or in one’s own home.

    • Jewish Action had a powerful article, The Impact of Technology on the Religious Personality, about the way the Internet changes some of our outlook and the new issues involved. The authors do not condemn the use of the web but warns against some of its pitfalls. Have you read it?

  2. This is an interesting post. My dad is always warning me about information I put about myself online, since as part of his job, he uses the internet to find out information about people (potential donors). I think the younger generation may be less up-tight about this, since the internet is our life pretty much and since many young people have the nothing-can-happen-to-me attitude. That said, my blog doesn’t have my last name or any pictures of me. My Facebook does, but I have pretty high security settings on there. People who don’t know me can find my name and my profile picture, but that’s pretty much it. Every so often I google myself to see what comes up, but fortunately (or unfortunately), I have a common enough Jewish name that a lot of the things that come up for my name aren’t me.

  3. I think it is too much information. On my Face Book page, I have my actual surname, but my “friends” list is very limited to family and to friends.

    I do google myself on occasion to keep abreast of what shows up.

  4. Pingback: Pre-Vacation Weekly Review with Town Hall | Ilana-Davita

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