Before you ever put something up online, whether it’s on your Facebook or your blog, think about this: would I want it on a billboard for my whole hometown to see?

This is a great exercise to be constantly aware of when you’re posting online. Would I want everyone to be able to see this post? Both people I know and people I don’t know. How would my employer view it? How about a future employer? How about my mother? How about my mother-in-law? These are all potential parties who can and probably will view your profile at some point.

One of the best ways to combat posting something online that you shouldn’t is thinking to yourself, “Am I ok with this post/picture/comment being on display on a billboard?” The reality is, it’s far more visible than you might like to think.

With Facebook there is a small degree of privacy. They constantly update and change their privacy settings and policies and even besides that, people are always finding a myriad of ways to see your posts and information without you ever consenting for them to do so. Whether a Facebook friend of yours left themselves logged on in a public location or a determined hacker jumped over the security walls that Facebook puts up, know this: your information IS accessible to the wider world.

To keep yourself in check, remind yourself (and your kids and friends) to post through a billboard before making a comment online.

Next week we’ll talk about many of the stories we’ve heard about people who did not follow these guidelines and the serious repercussions they suffered as a result.

© 2016 Mark Seguin