Monday, March 05, 2007

Some wise advise for those who blog and use myspace/facebook

Recently, a friend of mine has had some pretty disastrous rumors being spread about him. Where did they come from? Supposedly, from his "private" Myspace. This isn't an isolated incident either. For the last few years many internet users have utilized social networking sites like Myspace and Facebook and creating and posting to online blogs (like this one).

What many internet users don't realize is that people actually read their blogs and personal profiles. In fact, some schools and police departments actively search the internet for information about people. Users of blogs, Mypace, etc. need to realize that if they post any personal information, it has the potential to be read by anyone. That's right. In an age of identity theft and hackers, your information is not private even when a website claims that it is. If you can access your page from any computer, your info is fair game.

I have noticed another bad trend. Most of my students no longer use email, their only source of online contact is through instant messaging and Myspace. While email is a much safer option when it comes to your personal information, many teens are trading security for convenience.

Here are a few tips for protecting your privacy while using the internet:

1. Never give out your personal information (address, phone number, name, social security number, etc). If a website requires some personal info, make sure that it will not be shared with anyone...ever. Do not post your phone number or address on Myspace or other social networking site.

2. Do not put any information in your myspace or on your blog that you don't want everyone in your life (and the world) to know. Do not trust the "private" features of Myspace...they have been cracked before. If you leave yourself signed in to Myspace for instance, anyone can gain access to your account through your computer. This leads us to #3

3. Unless you are the only one that uses your computer, and you have a password - NEVER STAY LOGGED IN, SAVE YOUR PASSWORD TO THE COMPUTER, OR CHECK "REMEMBER ME" IN ANY WEB SERVICE. This is the most common way for others to gain access to your accounts. The second most common way...

4. Never, NEVER, NEVER, give your passwords to anyone, period. Just like gossip, you cannot control the spread of your password to others. Even if your friend never shares your password, they might by mistake allow someone else to access your account.

5. Use email for personal, private communication with other people. Email is much safer than putting your private communication up online for everyone to view. Just make sure you follow #3 and #4.

Blogs and Myspace are great to keep in touch with your friends and family...just don't be stupid with them. Use common sense and be careful what you let the world know about you. One last tip...don't depend on other's lack of computer savvy. Your parents/friends can ask someone else to log on and view your profile. Be warned ;)


  1. I agree... lesson in life... don't put things out there that you don't want anyone to know about... it makes for better gossip... because people know that you dont want it out there... and therefore it speads like wildfire... on a more practical note...when you put intimate (personal Information) stuff on these sites you are just inviting weird, creepy or nosey people into your home... yeah shower with that one a little while... you will think twice...

  2. These so called Christians that hack into people's my space need to re check their own lives and quit trying to ruin others by spreading lies when they have no idea what is going on with the person's private life. And when ask about it, that person tells the truth and his so called best friends don't even believe him that is really sad. And they call themselves Christians,doesn't sound like it to me. People in the church and everywhere should mind their own business, like the Bible says, to keep their own lives clean and not spread gossip. They just don't realize how bad a person can get hurt from lies and rumors. It is enough to make a person want to leave a church and not be friends with them because no one will believe them anyway. Who has the right to judge anyone but Jesus Christ? That should be taught more in church and minding your own business instead of trying to destroy lives.

  3. I don't think that any Christian wants to ruin another persons life. If that is their goal, they are seriously out of tune with what it means to be a Christian.

    As someone who has been gossiped about, I believe that if you are on the receiving end of that kind of treatment, you need to follow what Jesus says about confronting others in Matthew 18. If we don't follow that formula, then we are just as bad as those who are gossiping because we are fueling the fire of hate by not reconciling with others.

    We shouldn't get mad at a whole body of believers and "write off" a whole church because one or two are spreading rumors. God will deal with the gossiper, the real question is whether or not we let our hearts be poisoned with bitterness, hurt, and distrust over an instance like this one.

    With that said, I understand where you are coming from Anonymous.

  4. When the people have been confronted and continue, what are you to do then? I am not saying to write off everyone, but I do feel that the issue should be taken care of as soon as possible. I know a lot of people claim to be Christians, but God is the only one that knows their heart and I am not judging, but enough is enough. A young man has been hurt very badly from all of this and even though he has forgiven the people that did it, he will never forget it. I hope you can understand that. It won't be easy for him to trust these people again. I do know that he knows what really happened and is able to walk and hold his head high even with the lies and rumors still going around. God heals all pain and hurt from us and his will be healed as well. In the mean time patience and prayers for him and those who hurt him are needed. I hope you can understand where I am coming from on this. I am a Christian and I know how it feels to be betrayed by so called friends to. Sometimes it's a hard lesson to learn that the people you trust the most aren't who you thought they really were. They judge from the beginning and aren't willing to give anyone a chance, espically those that listen to others that don't like the situtation from the start. He has put his trust and ask for guidance and he will get all he needs from God.

  5. "If your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault, just between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have won your brother over. But if he will not listen, take one or two others along, so that 'every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.' If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, treat him as you would a pagan or a tax collector."

    In Matthew 18 it says that if you talk to someone about a sin against you and they don't turn from it, you are to take 1 or 2 others and confront them. If that doesn't work, take it to the church that believer is accountable to.

    The bible says that if none of this works, we are to treat them like "a tax collector." Do you remember how Jesus treated tax collectors?