As an engineer who has built large applications and databases, I sometimes laugh at the naïveté of authors on the world ‘wild’ web. It’s not a safe place out there. Every site or ‘street’ you turn down has the ability to haunt you for life.
When an author travels on the web, before and after being published, they should realize that everything they’ve posted can and will come back to haunt them.
YOUR REPUTATION FOLLOWS YOU
With all of the advances of socializing, writing, chatting and traveling on the web there is the temptation to drop your manners and be wild. Well remember, ANYTHING you put out there on the World ‘Wild’ Web – NEVER EVER gets destroyed.
That means that twenty years after you blasted out your parents, took naked pictures for your boyfriend, cursed out your boss on a rant site – it can be found.
When you delete content from a site, it does not get deleted from the many replicated data sites that google has. That means that meta-data or subset of information about whatever you posted is held or replicated in the many different search engine databases.
For example: Let’s say you uploaded a picture on photobucket. You named that picture um ‘naughty name’ then after about a year, you delete it from your photobucket website. Now if anyone searched for that item in a year, and the search engine grabbed it – the picture and description may have been copied and saved. So years later when you put in a search – you have an 80% chance that it will pop back up.
WATCH OUT FOR PREDATORS
I know, I know…you’ve heard this before. Well I am here to tell you that predators are still out there. So set up your social networking accounts with proper privacy settings, and check those private settings continuously. Also, DON’T ever post your personal information (even though someone can plop in your name and find out anything they want about you on peoplesearch – scary thought huh?)
REMEMBER – YOU HAVE A FUTURE
When you are surfing the web, speaking your opinion, or having a wild time at Spring Break – remember you have a future. If something questionable is placed on the web about you – your prospective employer, spouse – even kid may see it. So just for grins and giggles – search yourself on the web. You may be surprised at what you find.
LM Preston is the author of Explorer X – Alpha and The Pack, http://lmpreston.blogspot.com