Twitter and Privacy

Posted on 10 April 2013

Have you ever thought about what you post online and how it could have consequences later on in your life?

We’re sure that you’ve all heard in the news this week about a 17 year old teenager who was given a fantastic opportunity when she was appointed the country’s first ever youth police and crime commissioner and unfortunately this week saw her being catapulted onto the front page of every newspaper for some tweets of hers back when she was 14. The police force didn’t sack her; instead yesterday saw her resigning from the force.

Regardless of whether her resignation was a consequence of the bullying she encountered from the press and general public, something she did in her past online affected her offline life in the future. In other words, her digital footprint most definitely stayed with her.

Social networking is a great way to chat to friends and to share opinions. At the same time though, engaging with people on social networking sites is exactly the same as engaging with them in real life. If you wouldn’t say it to someone’s face, then don’t say it online either. Once you have said something online it is difficult to take it back and sometimes there can be a permanent record, So if you say something as a joke, in anger or if you’re just being a bit silly this could affect your online reputation.

Every now and then it is always worth going back over your previously posted content and have a spring clean of anything that you are no longer happy with. For example if you tweet something and later change your mind you can hover over the tweet and then select delete.

Always remember to check your privacy settings regularly. Most social networks have privacy settings which you can put in place. Twitter for example, allows you to protect your tweets so that only the people you approve can follow you and view your tweets. However it is important to remember that if you at one time had public Tweets, those Tweets will always be public and searchable, even after you change your settings to protected. Only the Tweets you make after updating your settings will be protected. For more information on protecting your tweets visit the Twitter Help Centre.

Visit our hot topic page for top tips for safe and responsible social networking.

  • first
  • prev