How big is your online footprint?

Should I ever go missing or die a grisly death, the media will not have a field day with me. They won’t be able to use my Facebook photos as is so commonly done – especially with camera-happy teenagers – as every single one of them is now private. (Although that being said, plenty of my friends also work in the media, so maybe some of them would be kind enough to choose some flattering shots to splash with).

See, I was recently intrigued to find out our company had relaunched a shiny new intranet. I was even more surprised to browse it and see a photo of me on the beach from an outing months ago…that I’d never submitted. The photo I’d given our office manager was small and of dubious dpi measurement, but it had been good enough for the old database. This one boasted MASSIVE photos against our names and my old one obviously hadn’t made the cut.

But how could this photo have ended up there? My profile settings were set to friends only. And I didn’t think any of my very few work friends would have been dispatched to scout for new pictures for this. It’s not that it’s a bad photo. I actually quite like it. It’s just not the photo I would’ve chosen to represent me in this instance. Ya know?

Anyway, the mystery was solved a few weeks later when I was reorganising my profile in the wake of all Facebook’s messing around with profile linking and whatnot. (How annoying is that? You can’t list an interest without having it link to the activity/fan page?!) Some of my individual photo albums were set to “Everybody can see this”, a command which must override the account settings. Lesson learned.

I’m pretty confident that nothing untoward will happen to me. But as we were discussing at work, maybe it’s not a bad idea to set up a “just in case” folder with pictures the way we’d like to be remembered on the front page of our local daily. (Joking. Kind of.)

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6 thoughts on “How big is your online footprint?

  • Reply Veronica May 6, 2010 at 19:41

    I’m positive there are pictures of me available for anyone to see, but as far as I know there are none that I wouldn’t want people to see. No nudie pictures that’s for sure!

  • Reply Airam May 7, 2010 at 05:05

    Going to edit my security settings NOW.

  • Reply slamdunk May 7, 2010 at 16:40

    I noticed the same issues with my FB account recently and changed the settings. Good advice.

  • Reply Stephany May 8, 2010 at 04:00

    Oh, thanks for this reminder! While I don’t have any embarrassing pictures, I do have pictures of my nephew that I kind of want to keep private. 😉

  • Reply Investing Newbie May 8, 2010 at 06:32

    Yeah, FB is playing serious games with my privacy. I’ve all but deactivated my account and that is coming soon! Not that I have anything to hide, I just want to know that I’m sharing information with my friends, not acquaintances, not friends of friends, and not someone who just googled me.

    But that leads to the question, why would I be posting anything on the internet??

  • Reply unknowntheartist May 15, 2010 at 21:15

    I have to admit to googling myself every few months just to make sure I cannot really be found. There are no images of me, blog posts about me or comments made by me under my real name. I pseudonym everything to make sure I have total privacy.

    (I have an estranged family that I steer myself away from physically and hopefully, none of them know how to use a computer yet, hehe.)
    After I met MOH, we both got rid of our myspace accounts and FB/Twitter/Bebo has never been an option. My online footprint is only found when you look at my old high school class photos on an old school site and even that doesn’t make Google searches.

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