Losing Control of a Digital Life

We have heard it all before, once you post it on the Internet; it is no longer in your control.

Anything digital is rRepeatable. Re-peat’ a-ble: “To say again. To utter in duplication of another’s utterance. To tell to another. To do, experience, or produce again. Capable of being replicated.”

In very simple terms whatever kind of digital file it is; picture, video, audio file, email, IM, Office doc or text, it can be copy/pasted, reposted, emailed, forwarded, MMS’d. You name it.

In some cases this can be a good thing. For example if you are a musician and you aspire to make it big you create an MP3 or video and release it in as many places as possible and hope it goes viral all over the Internet.

Repeatable media can be used to make a point. In Korea a woman allowed her dog to go No 2 on a train and refused to clean it up. Someone on that train took a photo of her and the “2”. That photo shamed her into compliance worldwide.

In other situations this can be embarrassing for some. In 2003 a 15-year-old from Canada was filmed by classmates in an embarrassing video of him getting all “Luke Skywalker” with a golf-ball retriever like it was a light saber. The clip “Star Wars Kid,” was viewed 900 million times online by 2006. This was not the kind of attention he could handle and it had a very negative impact on his life.

Most people’s concern should revolve around repeatable media that damages ones online reputation. Photos of drinking alcohol to the point of intoxication that shine a light of irresponsibility have caused harm to many people.

And then there is the bizarre. Fox News reports a Massachusetts mother was horrified when she found her 7-month-old child’s photo on popular promotions site, Craigslist, advertising his own adoption. She said the photo was from her family’s blog.

What does this mean to you? Realize right now, “big brother” is the least of your concerns. I’d be more concerned about your little brother and his iPhone. Just know going forward that we are all living in the phish bowl. And mind your Ps and Qs.

Robert Siciliano personal security expert to ADT Home Security Source discussing sharing too much information online on Fox News. Disclosures.