What happens on the web in 30 seconds?

A mere snippet of time, not nearly enough to read this news item and yet the superfast world of the net has clocked up a staggering amount of connections and data from us, by us and about us.  How then, are we protecting ourselves from being so exposed?

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Invited into this thrilling global community of shared knowledge and opportunities means anytime, anywhere and technology is also empowering 'anyhow', we are daring to share our personal thoughts, opinions and details for the world to see.  Sitting behind a screen, covert and seemingly secure, our fingers whiz across the keys with the dangers of our emotional or witty retorts or 'over-sharing' forgotten or hidden from the buzz of connectedness. If we were sat in a cafe having a drink with friends would we really be so brave, so open for all to hear?  Would our comments stay hanging in the air for anyone to know, long after we had forgotten them and still having impact far into the future?

'120,000 cyber attacks per day by UK in 2011' - reported by the National Audit Office.

'Every 30 seconds there are 12 New victims of identity theft'

'37% employers check Facebook before hiring' - by CareerBuilder Survey 2012

So what can we do?

With our net-connections there must also come an awareness and responsibility, not only to protect ourselves but also each other.

Always think before you post. 

It is very easy to be nasty to someone online.  You may not even know the person, and you may think you have good reason to but if that post is public then it could be you are doing more damage to yourself than them.

Hang out with the right people. 

We all have friends that say things we wish they wouldn't.  We may even add people to our online circles because they are friends of friends or complete strangers that have something in common. Over time we may consider those people as friends, but are they really?  Stand back, take your time and think about who could be doing you more damage being your online friend and if necessary, unfriend them.

Build up a solid reputation. 

Everyone has something they are good at, consider blogging about it, teach others and create positive vibes about you for others to see.

Get the bad things removed. 

Go through your posts, consider what you have written and think about what others would think of those posts and remove the bad ones.  Ask your friends and family to do the same explaining that you know it was meant in jest but you have a career to think about and it would be ever so nice of them if they would remove any posts that would reflect badly on you.

Think privacy, don't post. 

No posting online is completely private.  Yes you may have set all your privacy settings to be secure, your friends too, but all it takes is for one so called friend to make your post public and your future could be affected forever.  If you have something you want to get off your chest that could be seen in a bad light by others don't say it online.

For further information about staying safe on the internet visit our Resources section.