Friday, February 5, 2010

What is the best way to protect your online personality?

We have seen that even avoiders of social-networks will be contained in the global data collection frenzy. 

Non-facebook members are already captured with their connections; accidental-foto-captures of you will be tagged with your name in the future and certainly your search personality and history is already being captured.

So how can you protect your personality in the world of the alltime-connected-social-networks ?

Basically there are three methods:
  • Deletion: Find every single instance of data about you and try to get it deleted. Obviously this approach is rather difficult.
  • Management: Maintain the data that you want people to find about you. Create public profiles and make people find mainly your "official" information. Manage your image.
  • Obfuscation: Lay a smoke screen of wrong- and fake-data over your real data. Push wrong data to the databases
The above methods are clearly not the preferred mechanisms of users. The preferred mechanism of the majority of the Internet users is to ignore the issue. The majority of people hope that avoiding the "bad data monsters" will save them.

Passive avoidance will not help. Freely choose your strategy from above, but you have to become active, if you want to protect your personality in the online world. Otherwise strangers will manipulate your online personality however they like.

Compare it to the front of your house, wouldn't you want to influence how it appears to people ? 


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