Information you post could be harmful and you won't even know it

Perhaps you don't want everyone to see the post you just published. Do you really want to allow your business contacts to see your opinions or other's opinions or desires posted on Twitter?
Written by Doug Hanchard, Contributor

You post a news bit on Twitter which cascades to all your followers. And you also decide to retweet some tweets from the users you follow. You're now updated on everything you needed from that application and log off.

You login into Facebook and do the same thing. Find out what's going on from all your friends and family via the news feed and perhaps post what you're doing, use some of the applications, see who is doing what in the games or fan clubs, perhaps post a few remarks there too and upon finishing those tasks, log off.

You do the same thing on Linkedin,  Myspace or whatever other social portals you are a member of.  The flow of information comes in and goes out. It's almost information overload. The idea of linking some of the most popular portals seems like a good idea for the companies that operate them, creating a large source of new content and information flows. Interfaces between them are built to bind them all together and you have the ability to push a single update to all of them.  For you it becomes a potential time saver, at least in getting information out to all your friends and contacts.  You try it a few times, a tweet here and perhaps a "what are you doing now" post on Facebook is now seen through a single update by everyone.

And then it hits you, perhaps you don't want everyone to see the post you just published.  Linkedin is a social networking tool for the professional looking for jobs and creating business opportunities. Do you really want to allow your business contacts to see your opinions or other personal opinions or desires posted on Twitter and be read by that audience?  Further complicating this issue, you have now -- perhaps without realizing it  -- exposed a set of contacts, friends or colleagues in one portal to  another portal -- and you (or they) may not want desire it.

This conflict and challenge is likely going be a focal point that many should consider before  linking multiple web portals together; because once your post goes out, it's there for good, you're stuck with it. Taking your kids to soccer or hockey practice or complaining about the weather is probably not something you considered when you posted it on your twitter account and it being re-posted on Linkedin.  It's a matter of time before it works the other way around. You may not want some colleagues to know you are possibly looking at a new career opportunity - and an update on Linkedin suddenly shows up on Twitter. Currently that's not happening, but it may in the future. Now you're editing what you do or don't want online and who is going to read it and possibly creating new security settings, filters of information - just when you thought it was getting easier to use this stuff.

This is a headache politicians go through every day. Welcome to the world where everybody can know everything about you and you may not want it that way.

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