Friends, lend me your ears. Today Facebook has finally launched their search capability, over a few months it will appear available to you, all my valued friends.
Take a look and familiarise yourself with this concept. This is a great change as it makes it easier to look back into memories, and connect with people.
I work in computer security, and get a lot of questions from friends and family, colleagues and customers, I am part of a generation of people who grew up with the internet when i first went to college in the 90′s, I understand how the internet works, and now I help people secure their digital souls. I was on MySpace, then Bebo, now here. But many grew up being a child of the social network, and you need to take pause and have a think about how connected we are, and how we interact with the technologies around us, and how these technologies present or digital souls to the outside world.
For all of you, especially those younger than me, take a few precautions. Make sure your default share is friends, and not friends of friends. Be aware that when you tag yourself with someone else, that that picture appears to their friends. I had someone on Twitter complain that someone they did not know commented on their photo because they were not aware of this.
Also your profile picture is used when you comment on a competition, a page you liked, make sure its a picture that you are comfortable with, something with just you, or you and someone close, but not others, not your children , because Google trawls those pages as they are not private and keeps the images and names. Try and image search for yourself sometime and see if you can find you.
If you have been “fraped” (check urban dictionary) delete the offending post. Make sure when you leave your computer you lock it, keep a pin lock on your smartphone. The deletion can take a lot of time to be fully taken by Facebook, because in a large computing system this size, a data delete is a massive operation for the developer of the system, no matter how powerful this is.
Please use common sense, learn how the internet works. The best thing to do is to assume that anything you ever post on the internet is public, for all to see, and with the likes of the rise of a proper search technology like this one, that it can be used for good or evil, and it is up to you to present yourself as the best person you can be. Some day this will change, and Zuckberg will leave, his replacement might not be so kind with the essence of your digital soul and want to sell it to insurance companies, your future employer, or someone else entirely.
So take care out there, all of you have given me much fun from your connection with me, and I hope to continue interacting here. I hope this gives you some food for thought and gives you a time to reflect on the impact of technology on our lives, now and into the future.
Remember, Facebook is free, but if something you use is free then you are the product.