I have been meaning to write this for a while. Some may have noticed I go by two names WitchySparkle and The Gaming Mum. So why not my real name? Why do I use aliases for my family?
Really this is simple. Privacy. In a world where you can get every detail you have ever put somewhere with one press of a button, privacy is a must. Each one of us is leaving a digital footprint that can lead right back to you.
Take Facebook for example. Facebook actually have in their Terms and Conditions that they own any content that you put on there, and can use it as they wish for marketing purposes. So those photos of your adorable baby? Facebook own it. Drunk night out? Facebook own it. Does that scare you? It certainly scares me.
What’s worse is that if you apply for a job, even while at that job, if you post on social media there will be someone’s job to hunt through everything on your profile. It will be this person that reports to your boss saying “Boss, yourname said on Facebook/Twitter that the company sucks.” And, you’re fired. People use social media as a way to communicate their thoughts, somethings though you should keep private.
A couple of weeks ago I saw there was a hashtag on Twitter where some Youtube guy had teenagers giving up everything to this guy via public tweets. Their pictures, their full name, their age, where they lived! Wait, did nobody teach these kids to be careful what you put online? These things are enough information for a criminal to find one of them. Seriously, I don’t understand how this behaviour is acceptable. My guess would be if (and I really hope not!) something did happen and the police looked through social media (which they do in criminal cases), they would say “well, you pretty much painted a target on yourself.”
As a parent, maybe I’ve become a bit more aware. I have also got friends who had to be in a Refuge and see how they had to disappear and why. Everything is “geotagged” with your location. Everything can be used against you. Having started my job, privacy is even more essential as if a client gets my contact details? That would be disastrous. It would also get me fired if I ever accidentally posted something about work (even just the name of my company). I don’t want in sixteen years time or so, my daughter saying “Mum such and such post you made in 2015 lost me a job.” All because I posted something that started her digital footprint. As she gets older, she will be taught about online safety and using aliases and never giving out private information. And being who I am, I’m keeping an eye on the digital world for the new up and coming technologies to make sure that I know how to help keep my daughter safe.
The world is different now in 2015 from when I was a teenager in the late ‘90s/early 2000’s. And in ten years time it will be different again. But I’m doing my best to make sure that privacy is our family’s top concern on the internet.
What about you? Do you use an alias online? Does everything being “broadcast” to the world worry you? Tweet me or comment below with your thoughts!