Hashtags and Your Privacy

Feb
2014
20

posted by on Cybersafety, Digital citizenship, Identity theft, Internet Safety, Online activity, Online Privacy, Online Safety

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hashtagsInternet safety is a priority and the most important part of your digital safety is your privacy and security.

Like many people, young and not-so-young, we are engaged in social media.  From Facebook to Twitter to Instagram you will have experienced “the #HASHTAG

What is a hashtag?

A hashtag is a word or an unspaced phrase prefixed with the hash symbol (“#“). It is a form of metadata tag.

Hashtags make it possible to group such messages, since one can search for the hashtag and get the set of messages that contain it. A hashtag is only connected to a specific medium and can therefore not be linked and connected to pictures or messages from different platforms.

Personally, I love using hashtags.  It helps me find topics I am interested in as well as people that have the same interests that I do.  #Cyberbullying, #bullying, #digcit, #parenting etc.

Many people may not realize that using hashtags can also put you at risk if you are sharing too much.

Let’s keep in mind privacy matters and no matter where you are online there are cyber-rules you should always follow.

  • Never give out your full name and other private information if your parent hasn’t approved of it.
  • Never ever post your social security number without consent of your parent.
  • Think long and hard before posting, tagging or commenting, especially on pictures.  Posting selfies?  What would your grandparents think of that photo? Is it really necessary?
  • Never announce that you are leaving on vacation or not home!
  • Never announce where you are — learn about delay posting if you really feel the need to share.

#Hashtag, your it!  Watch this video from Microsoft and you will understand how a simple hashtag may expose you!

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