Take a moment to think – how many social networking sites do you belong to? How many of them have you posted pictures to, or perhaps little quips about what you have done that day? How many share this information with the public and maybe even share your contact information with the public as well?
Too many people mindlessly post things to their social networking sites, but the hard truth is that what you post might get you into trouble. It is far from unheard of for a criminal defendant or someone who is a party to a lawsuit to have their case hurt by something somebody found online. Consequences are not limited to the legal realm either – how many of your posts are accessible to your boss and people you work with? How many pictures of you are available to complete strangers? And, not to unduly scare my readers, but how many of you have children that you either post about online or who already have their own social networking accounts?
Technology has evolved a tremendous amount in the last century, in the last decade, even just in the past year. And your online presence might come back to haunt you if you are not careful. Just one more development in technology is that anything you post online, or anything that you save to your computer’s hard-drive, might remain there forever. What does this mean? Anything that you do on a computer or online might remain imbedded in your computer forever – it is possible that, years from now, a computer specialist could recover from your computer’s hard-drive some sort of evidence that might hurt you.
In response to these threats, a trend among young professionals is to “professionalize” their social networking sites, to set privacy settings so only the people they want to see their profiles should be able to see their profiles. Even then, many of these young (relatively tech-savvy) professionals take this a step further to make sure that even if somebody did gain access to their social networking accounts, that access would not come back to hurt them. Steps often include hiding private information (such as contact information or the identity of family members), removing pictures that portray the person with alcohol (or in any situation that is less than professional), and generally removing their connection to anything that they would not feel comfortable with their mom (or grandmother) seeing.
Whether it is to avoid legal complications, complications at work, or complications altogether, being aware of what you post online might save you from stress in your life. The decision of whether to professionalize your social networking sites is your own, but I am happy to say that you are among an informed group of people who are at least now aware of the potential problems of your internet posts.
The author of TNLawyerLee is Nicholas W. Lee, Esq., an attorney in Knoxville, Tennessee. If you or someone you know need an attorney, please click here for Mr. Lee’s contact information and contact him today for a free consultation. Also, please feel free to visit Mr. Lee’s website, www.TNLawyerLee.com or follow his page on Facebook for updates as to his law practice or new posts to TNLawyerLee by clicking here.
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