Personal publishing 101
How Private is Your Content?
Nothing in the computing world is truly private. Despite privacy settings, your content is capable of reaching persons you may not want viewing your information.
Who is Interested In Viewing Your Content?
Future employees search applicants' online content as a type of screening process. Objectionable content could hinder your chances at landing a job.
Do Privacy Settings Provide Enough Security?
Privacy settings are NOT always a guaranteed way to keep unwanted visitors from viewing your content. Persons you allow to view your content are capable of copying, saving and redistributing it to unknown persons, even after it has been unpublished. These types of actions cannot possibly be controlled or monitored by the original poster.
You ultimately cannot prevent your friends from uploading embarrasing photos or posting inappropriate messages to your wall but you can set your preferences to not allow this without your permission. This way you can screen such additions to your profile before it goes 'live' to be seen by prospective employers, officials, parents or anyone else you may not want knowing everything you did this past weekend.
Content You Post About Others:
It is also important to consider what you are posting about others. Cyber-bullying is a prevelant issue within the online publishing world today. Cyber-communication can be used as a weapon to spread lies, rumors and gossip that can negatviely impacting or harming you or your peers. With the ease of distribution and access it can be tempting to post something you might not normally say especially in the heat of the moment and you can't take it back once it's out there for the world to see. Everyone should practice discretion before sending, sharing, commenting, mass-forwarding or texting anything negative or potentially embarrasing. Law enforcement is now more actively involved than ever in cases dealing with the extreme consequences of cyber-harrassment.