In the past, doing something embarrassing wasn't a big deal. It happened, and then people moved on. But now that things can be shared on the Web immediately, those embarrassing moments can last forever and impact your reputation and those of your friends.
Let's talk about what happens on the Web. Search engines are constantly scanning it. Their goal is to take a snapshot of every word, picture and video on the web and save it for search results. This means that once a page has been scanned, it may be there forever. Even if the image is deleted from a site, it may still be found in the future - which is when problems can occur.
Think about it this way. If you share videos of yourself or others doing illegal things, or photos that make people look bad, it could seriously harm their reputations. And sometimes it's hard to tell. What seems like a funny photo today, Yaaay! may look very different to someone who finds it the future - Boooo! By understanding a few things now, you can help avoid problems later.
It starts with what you choose to put on websites. Sharing on the Web can be fun and productive. But it could also cause problems. So, it's up to you to think about the people in the photo or story, including yourself, before you share it. Would you want your grandfather to see this photo? Or a future boss? Once you click, you lose control of who can see the photo on the Web. This means your friends have to depend on you to take responsibility for the images, stories, and videos you share on the Web.
Luckily, you don't have to share everything publicly. Find ways to share your life privately without having it scanned by search engines. And be careful using people's names - names are easy for search engines to scan.
Another step is asking your friends to think about what they share on the Web. Let them know that, from now on, you're going to take responsibility. Talk about the risks and what photos could do in the future. Agree to think before you click. This way, you can act goofy today and still have the respect you deserve tomorrow.
Of course, you can't control everything on the Web. If you feel your reputation is at risk, you can take action. Contact the person who posted it and ask them to remove it - they should understand. Taking action today can make it harder to find in the future.
Sharing your life online can be fun and productive, but it can also mean losing some control. You have a responsibility to help protect your reputation and the reputations of those around you. Think before you click.
This video discusses the long-term risks of sharing inappropriate information on the Web. It encourages viewers to “think before you click” and offers tips for being responsible with photos, video and stories. Points include:
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