The Cyber You

What we like to call the “cyber you” is the online presence you create, maintain and share with the digital universe on web sites like Myspace and Facebook. There are two parts to the “cyber you”: your digital identity and your personal information. Your digital identity is an online representation of yourself on sites like Facebook and Myspace. Your personal information is your email address, telephone number, social security number, etc.

Digital identity is who you are online. This identity can be a good thing or a bad thing. It is created by the information in your profile, the pictures you post about yourself, and what you say about yourself and others. The question is: Is who you are online the real you?

Let’s take a minute to think about what this means when we live in the Myspace or Facebook world.

So, sometimes what you post online may not be the real you, but this is how you are perceived to be. It is what others think who you are. You should take a look at this and really think hard about what you are posting out there. Remember, the profiles you create in such social sites can be a threat to the way people judge you. Whatever you put into your profile and whatever pictures are uploaded can be seen by anybody and everybody. These profiles can be a dangerous trap.

These days it is not uncommon for colleges and companies to "google" you, and depending on how you present yourself online it may be a good thing or it could be a bad thing. Some interesting statistics back this up and, to help, colleges are beginning to educate students about this.

It's just not about the pictures you post, it is also what you write.

The other part of the 'cyber you" is your personal information. Putting personal information out on the web is a bad idea. Anyone from around the world can view what you have put out there about yourself on the Internet. Young adults and others are most familiar with Facebook and Myspace. These websites can be a horror show for you. Kids don't realize that they are putting very personal information in their page that reveal their address, school, birthday, and other potentially dangerous things. Personal information is shared with other organizations and is stolen. The point being made here is that your personal information you add to your profile is not private, even if you think it is.

Here are a couple of videos that will help explain the point that we are trying to get across. The first video is a little sarcastic, but it makes the point..

This next video is a more serious one, and might be a little out there, but also makes a great point. It will educate you on what one social network can do with your personal information.

After those two videos it would be a smart idea to actually look at the policies from Facebook and Myspace. We just happen to have those right here for you all to take a glance at and know what you really can do on those sites and what you really can't do. Think were nuts? Read about the Beacon Project.

So what can you do? Use common sense, read your profile and ask the question: Do I want a college recruiter or my Grandma to see this? If not, then clean it up.

Last updated Apr 14, 2009 12:04 pm

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