Boomer Basics: don't answer every question the Internet asks you

Mar
27
Posted Sunday, March 27th 2011 at 10:11am
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I was guest lecturing on Social Network privacy at a high school technology class when a voice from the back said, “Look, just because Facebook asks for my home address, birthday and phone number, doesn’t mean I have to give them up. Gah.”

“AMEN!” I squealed; then, wondered why adults---especially boomers---aren’t singing from this high-schooler’s hymnal.

It’s sort of an obsession/mission/annoying habit of mine to pour over the Facebook profiles of others and report back to them the various ways they are over-sharing personal data. (Sorry, friends.)

Think about it: when you set up your banking security questions and answers, what do you use? Mother’s maiden name, first car, favorite book, lucky number, your year of birth, etc. Now, stop and think about the information you’re sharing on your Facebook profile…Yep.

I’m confident that if you answer EVERY question Facebook asks you to fill out, you’ll give away the answers to most of your security questions. NOT GOOD.

Stop it, Boomers. You're scaring me!

When I ask "older" folks why they over-share, the response is nearly always, “Because {insert social network} asked me to.”

I’m fascinated by the fact that younger Internet users are more skeptical of these questions; they have been raised with warnings about the “dangers” of the Internet. But boomers and beyond just go right ahead and fill out every.single.empyty.box. Folks, you gotta stop that.

Keep in mind that like any relationship, a little mystery is key! Just because the Internet asks you a question, doesn’t mean you have to answer it. It’s likely in your best interest not to. 

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