The Importance of Digital Integrity, Online Credibility and Social Etiquette
By Kym Gordon Moore
Cyber security is a major concern among billions of people using Internet services, as well as, individuals whose information is digitally stored through our vast channels of computers and wireless networks. Information reflected in your online activity is being recorded and stored at all times. Like a paper trail, we leave an electronic trail of activity that can be accessed at the command of someone’s computer mouse, whether voluntarily or involuntarily. There is no foolproof assurance that an individual’s most private information cannot be compromised. Despite such occurrences where personal information is compromised, consumers must do their part to avoid making it easy for digital predators to invade their privacy.
Online integrity continues to be an issue so many people tend to get in trouble for. Often, their digital credibility is largely due to their lack of caution and online social etiquette.
Do not reveal T.M.I. and observe online social protocol. Users must be mindful about the amount of personal information they liberally reveal in cyberspace. People love sharing, but when planning a vacation or posting photos while you are on vacation can give you a lot of “thumbs up” from your connections for example, you could leave yourself vulnerable to victimization. Sometimes, when people know that you are out-of-town and know where you live, if they have ulterior motives, you may find yourself in a vulnerable situation. Divulging too much information (TMI) could become problematic or dangerous in some cases.
Be mindful of posting explicit photos/images/videos online. Before posting photos on many social channels, be mindful of the type of content you share. Some things shared by many people, without thought, are repulsive, vulgar or even criminal, and could come back to haunt them in a horrifying way. This has caused much heartache and repercussions to individuals seeking a job, a political office or even a position within a religious institution.
Don’t allow crass opinions to ostracize you. Everyone has an opinion about something and many feel passionate about certain topics. Oftentimes, the manner in which people voice their opinions could be very offensive or intentionally targeted towards specific groups of individuals (race, gender, creed, etc.). Depending on the content, such opinions could negatively impact your online integrity and credibility.
Be considerate when tagging and emailing. While we want to tag multiple people on social posts or send mass emails, be considerate of those who prefer to remain private. The individuals you are connected to may not be connected to each other. Revealing their contact information to others could leave them in a vulnerable position. While you may have thousands of connections, many others don’t and prefer it that way.
Frequently change passwords. Sometimes it’s hard to stop phishers. You probably received spam mail that looks as if it was legitimately sent by someone in your address book and vice versa, but it was not. While phishing is not hard to do albeit a nuisance, if you find yourself victim to these malicious antics, be sure to change your password often and advise the people in your address pool to ignore and delete that email. Advise them not to open the email, download any files or click on suspicious links. These hackers have been known to attach or include in the body of the email a link that could contain a malicious virus.
Be vigilant about controlling your online behavior and integrity. In the long run it could prevent many headaches that may be damaging in the end.
Kym Gordon Moore, author of “Diversities of Gifts: Same Spirit” and “Wings of the Wind: A Cornucopia of Poetry” is an award winning poet, author, speaker, philanthropist, certified email marketing specialist and an authority in strategic marketing communications. http://www.kymgmoore.com She is co-founder of Favorite Things for a CAUSE http://www.favoritethingsforacause.com and was selected as one of the 2012, 2013 and 2014 U.S. World Book Night Volunteer Book Givers.