You’re an Internet Celebrity: Deal with It

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Robert Siciliano

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The quote “15 minutes of fame” is about the short-lived media publicity or the celebrity of an individual or phenomenon. The expression was coined by Andy Warhol, who said in 1968 that: “In the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes.” Unfortunately, that has evolved into daily fame for many people that, frankly, is bad for public consumption.

You can blame the Internet, or social media sites, or e-tailers who offer discounts for your public profile—or you can simply blame yourself. We should all take credit or blame for this. It wouldn’t happen if we didn’t, in some way, support it.

CNN reports: “At its most extreme level, our hunger for sociability can turn minor incidents into major media firestorms, thanks to the Web’s viral capabilities. One minute you’re leaving a crummy tip; the next your message is all over the Web. One minute you’re a bullied bus monitor; the next someone is raising hundreds of thousands of dollars on your behalf . . . But even small pebble drops into the vast pool of the Internet can leave big ripples.”

Managing a digital life means knowing what you are consuming versus what you are expelling, recognizing what you are sharing versus what you are protecting. Is privacy possible? To a degree, yes.

I’m a relatively public person because of the nature of my business, so I made a conscious decision years ago how I’d manage my online persona.

Here’s how to think about it:

#1 It’s unrealistic to have two profiles. Your “pseudo” personality will eventually be exposed. Just have the one and do it correctly.

#2 Look at your online presence as personal and/or professional. To me, it’s the same thing. I’m not posting anything personal that I wouldn’t want to be viewed in a professional manner.

#3 Family member names, relationship status, photos, and activities are all relatively private. If you choose to make them public then accept certain scrutiny and risks.

#4 The words you use, the statements you make—whether profane or not, slanderous or kind—make up who you are. Choose wisely.

#5 Understand that what you post is forever. It doesn’t go away. It will come back to you, whether good or bad.

#6 Know that your data is being mined by advertisers, marketers, complete strangers, predators, everyday people, and your government. Post wisely.

Robert Siciliano, is a personal security expert contributor to Just Ask Gemalto and author of 99 Things You Wish You Knew Before Your Mobile was Hacked!Disclosures

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