I would say that I am quite visible online and have been more and more aware of this as I’ve got older. When you’re younger, you don’t really think about how visible you are to other people. But now I know how easy it can be to find information.
I have had a Facebook account since I was around 11, which means there is nearly nine years worth of information about me on my account. However, as I’ve gotten older, I’ve deleted posts, photos and been much more sensible and conscious of the things I decide to post. The kind of information available on Facebook is quite personal, including posts to do with my family and friends, which means that whenever I post something, my settings ensure that only people I’m friends with see it. I’ve also increased my privacy settings so that if someone isn’t my friend on Facebook then they can’t see my profile.
On Twitter, my account isn’t on private. But I am careful with what I tweet, although I do tend to voice my opinions at times. When I was younger and had Twitter I was less aware that I was so visible.
With Twitter, I also have my personal blog linked in my bio, which means that someone could jump from one of my social networking accounts to the other. This could mean that I’m more visible than I realise if users have access to more than one of my accounts in the same place. Like Twitter, anyone can access my blog and read my posts. This is the same with my university blog.
On Instagram, I share personal information in the form of photos. Anyone who follows me can see whatever I post, and there is also a setting where you can see where a picture was taken if you tag your location. I don’t have my account on private which means that anyone, including those who don’t follow me, can see my posts.
This means that out of all of the accounts I have – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, my blogs on WordPress and my Pinterest account (although that is less personal than others) – only one of them is significantly private. Meaning that I am very visible online. I would like to say that I have control over my own information, at least Facebook claims I do:
But after several stories about online privacy, it makes me wonder if I should change my privacy settings on all of my social networking accounts, rather than just one.