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    Thursday, March 01, 2007

    You Mean Social Networking Has a Dark Side?

    Before going online to post those pictures of you and your friends dancing atop a table at Senor Frog's, know that your debauchery will probably pop up on many more screens than you intended. Potential employers, school administrators and admissions officers, and vindictive exes can see them too, and decades from now, when college is a mere memory, those photos will still live on the Web.

    A generation of young people has grown up using the Internet as a personal diary. But faced with the reality that photos and information floating in cyberspace could come back to haunt them, many 20-somethings are thinking twice about what they post on the Internet.

    Wait.  There's more.
    People in the public eye have long been bitten by their Internet alter egos. Last week, 20-year-old "American Idol" contestant Antonella Barba came under fire after alleged topless photos of her surfaced on the Web. In November, Miss Nevada USA lost her crown after pageant officials found half-nude pictures of her on the Internet.

    Most 20-somethings don't have a record deal or jeweled tiara at stake, but they do have burgeoning careers, and their Internet personas can come back to burn them in professional situations.

    I don't know what the Internet masses still involved in endless September would do without ABC News to chronicle this important, yet often overlooked and critical information.
    Here's a tip.
    If you do not want millions of strangers aware of the nuances of your personal life, it is rarely advisable to specifically share that revealing personal data on the Internet.
    Image:The More You Know.jpg




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