The Element of Inconsistency | Daily Prompt: Do Not Disturb

How do you manage your online privacy? Are there certain things you won’t post in certain places? Information you’ll never share online? Or do you assume information about you is accessible anyway?

Facebook is a lost cause.

Back when it was so new and I was much younger, I updated every field there is from my full name to my home address to every single possible interest and well-read book, including every status. Not only did actual friends know more about me, so did strangers who sent random invites. That came back to bite me. And it bit me hard.

Granted, you don’t have terrible secrets. You have nothing to hide. And that your life is an open book.

Do you want every single person on earth reading into your life, even into the most personal parts?

Since I came face to face, so speak, with my first stalker, I learned that I should withhold information, especially if it’s delicate. And if there are fields to fill in, consider how much to share and who should be able to see it.

Unknowingly, I used a useful element: inconsistency.

Not telling lies, mind you; that’s a different matter. Inconsistency is using different usernames or handles paired with other email addresses and passwords. It may take considerable memory but it’s worth it.

Also, if you’re the very imaginative type, create versions of yourself online. Think of it as role-playing, with a character that has a full set of info that is different from yours. You could customize yourself in a way that could be the very opposite of who you are in real life.

Of course, there is no guarantee that your info will remain safe. The very administration could just see something about you that’s worth sending out to people who ask about you—all for something in return. And you wouldn’t know anything about it until it’s too late.

The short of this is to be careful. Watch what you share.

 

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21 thoughts on “The Element of Inconsistency | Daily Prompt: Do Not Disturb

  1. I’m a firm believer in the merits of inconsistency. That’s why I’m never the same person from one moment to the next. If life feels no obligation to be consistent, why should I???

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  2. I really enjoy your writing.

    I’ve always been reluctant to put any personal information online, especially with my dad on my back telling me that’s what “they” want, information. It’s a tool that the government WILL use against you. I have been so careful not to put information, but the second I got a smart phone and signed onto Facebook from it, my phone number entered cyberspace. Now, people on my friends list have access to something that I was hoping I could keep private. Always read the fine print.

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    • That was a lesson I learned the hard way. I began receiving business offers from a contact that I never engaged–not even once. I commend his persistence but I don’t like strangers getting hold of something personal and keep bugging me with things I’m not interested in.

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  3. I find the same sort of creepiness with LinkedIn. People I’ve never met “invite” me to their network just because we both may work in the same state agency (a state agency can have upwards of 15,000 people, so, yeah I don’t necessarily know everyone). Yet it’s harder for me to decline invitations for that same reason. At least with FB, I feel fine declining requests to be “friends” from people I don’t know, even if we have friends in common. And I try to check privacy settings every so often to ensure that only “friends” can see my stuff. It’s a pain, though. Thanks for the post. I always appreciate knowing how other people handle social media.

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    • It took me quite a while–and with that, I mean years–before I could learn how to decline requests from 2nd degree (or even lower) friends.

      The FB settings change a lot. That’s why one has to keep abreast with those, in order to keep the privacy and the connections the way they are preferred.

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