Public vs. Private

“It is my business to know what other people don’t know.”

-Sherlock Holmes

The NSA and Edward Snowden have been plastered across the headline of every news source for the past month. Before a political debate ensues, let’s move to the controversy it stimulates on the growing debate between public and private information. What can others see?

The Internet provides important means of communication and social interaction. Through it, businesses research everything from demographics to personal opinions. Gathering information is easier and more efficient than ever. If your business doesn’t have an online presence, chances are you’re doing something wrong.

With that being said, it is more important than ever to maintain your online image. Since the line between public and private information can seem blurred, it is imperative to create your own rules and boundaries. What are you okay with everyone seeing? Don’t be naïve to the way the World Wide Web works.

Now, you don’t need to immediately stop reading and change all your online networks to private. Just be conscious of what you are sharing. This specifically pertains to those trying to have a professional online presence. All it takes is a two minute search on Google or Facebook for a potential employer to see drunken photos from last weekend’s party. It can negatively alter a person and even a company’s integrity.

The Internet is the greatest tool of the 21st century. Use it for your benefit, not demise.