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Social Media Sticky Situations

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Maybe you're a Mom or a Dad, a Student or a Grad. No matter what you are, you have a reputation to protect. How we are viewed in society matters to most people. Being viewed as someone who is respectable, responsible, someone who has integrity and is generally a decent person is what most people strive for.

To be considered otherwise, would have negative repercussions. People who are viewed as irresponsible, out of control or someone who favors ill will, doesn't allow that person to progress effectively in a civilized society. Life is harder for people who are destructive or make bad choices.

The Internet has made our personal and professional lives very transparent. We now live in the fishbowl. Despite what many will argue, your privacy is no longer fully in your control. What you say, do and post can live forever. You are being judged in the process. And there are repercussions for those choices you make more now than ever.

Recently, a university professor who used her Facebook account specifically for her personal friendships came under fire for things she said on her Facebook account. This professor even went through the process of securing her posts by privatizing her page and not friending students. She consciously made an attempt to separate her personal and professional life.

After a long week of work she made some off color, tongue and cheek posts about students that in today's knee-jerk-take-no-chances response world, could be considered threats of violence. Remember, it was her belief that her Facebook page was a private one and she was speaking to her closest friends.

What everyone needs to understand is that social media is anything but private. People are watching, and waiting and many are hoping and wishing you might say something controversial which will give them something to talk about and a reason to point the finger.

Plain and simple: Don't give anyone any ammunition to be used against you. Don't do or say or post anything that may come back to haunt you. Whatever you post realize that your mom, dad, employer, potential employer or law enforcement may be watching.

Robert Siciliano is a personal security expert to Home Security Source discussing social network privacy on Fox Boston.

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