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The starting point for this note is an article by Riva Richmond entitled "Keeping control of your online image' (International Herald Tribune, Thursday, January 29th, 2009).
Richmond's advice was to first make yourself familiar with the privacy settings that come with your profile page and registration on a network. One business expert interviewed noted: "There are so many opportunities with social networking now that they outweigh the potential risk, but you have to be cautious and you have to set those boundaries"
Richmond's key point is that 'using limited profiles on social networks can save reputations'.
Some further points:
'Whether your profile is public or private, for security reasons it is a good idea to avoid posting your home address, phone numbers and other data that could help identity thieves defraud you... even if your profile is private, there is little to stop your online contacts from copying and sharing your data with others'
Profiles in the Research Cooperative are public, and sharing profile information is one of the natural functions of a social network, otherwise it would not be social.
Maria Gilman, a freelance architect cited in the article, stated that she considered carefully everything she posted on Facebook, avoiding negative comments about anyone she knows and regulating the political views she expressed. As a self-employed person, she said "everywhere I go I'm meeting a perspective client. You put your best foot forward because you don't know who you will meet".
Here in the Research Cooperative, we are concerned primarily with the quality of written expression. In your profile, please avoid publishing personal details such as your exact birth date, place of birth, home address, and so on. Other people only need to see the basic information about your education, work history, publications, and city or country of residence. Please be as careful as possible about your spelling and grammar.
The spelling in your profile is important not just because it looks better, it also allows others to find you when searching our site with keywords.
When you first write your profile, it does not have to be perfect.
Please return to your page to revise the details over time. The revisions can be used to improve spelling and grammar, to encourage or discourage contacts of various kinds, and to keep your details current.
Take control of your online profile, treat other members and their profiles with respect, and hope for the best while fearing the worst!
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Last updated by Peter J. Matthews Jan 23, 2012.