As everyone is aware, technology is the way forward and most things are done online. like apply for jobs, advertising, club pages, blogging socializing through use of facebook, twitter, istagram ect but are we aware of how much information we release to strangers online who we know nothing about, what they are capable of or what their intentions are. innocently you may want to blow off some steam write afew status on facebook or create a blog to channel your creativity, or simply to be heard. for me i am used to talking to random strangers online through certain networking sites, however i was never really aware of what i was entering myself into. fortunately i was lucky i never came across many creeps and when i did i just blocked them. also i am thankful for the friendships i made and which sometimes turned into real life scenarios. i will admit i never saw any danger in meeting anyone off line once i knew them a considerable length of time and we had created a good bond. only once did i meet someone from offline who was the definition of ‘creep’ but it didnt result in any harm, just a lesson learnt.
over the past few weeks, i have been searching for a job through newspapers, online and word of mouth. just something to generate an income so i can move out once my exams finish up. i found afew well know websites that you can look for jobs or post your own add selling yourself basically for possible employers. inocently enough i am looking to be hired for a babysitting/childminding job. as i trawled through ‘chooseme.ie’ and ‘gumtree’ i viewed ads posted my other people hoping to get hired, the usual info of about me and their contact info such as adress and number posted on their online accounts for the public to see and contact them to find out more. inocent right? in my eyes yes and a great way to find a suitable job or finf suitable employees at afew clicks of a button in the comfort of your own desk or couch.
so i decided that i too would make an account and see what would come off it, i created an account, uploaded a picture and typed a bit about myself and informed what type job i was interested in (babysitting) and a bit about myself ie hobbies that accompanied the traits of a babysitter – patient, responsible , hard working, energectic, baker/cook ect. i uploaded and went away to study ( well truthfully, ive been reading blogs since) and i just was on phone to my bf chatting away and i received a miss call from a number i dont have in my contacts, hmm i innicently thought maybe some mother interested after reading my profile and wanted to find out more. i then shortly received a text from the same number. it read ‘saw your add on gumtree. you are very pretty. have you considered modelling.’ literally i stared at my phone for 4 minutes in horror. i feel sick that my number has been missued from a site trying to promote job creation… i mean i am feeling like i should take down my account incase this happens again or i get worse messages or phone calls. weird is all i can say.
but for now i guess, i will just have to be patient and see if anymore comes from this. hopefully not and these sites will not be miss used to send creepy messages. basically that is my rant and bit of advice, think carefully before you share info online even if it is for the benefit of sourcing a job. the good old fashioned, handing out cv door to door might just be the safer option!
even remembering back, i can clearly remember a documentary on tv few months back highlighting the issues of online privacy. the example i am going to inform you about is about a lad from england used to update every part of his life onto myspace.. it was creepy even hearing the story. in short, he was a really open person and shared everything with his online world. he had thousands upon thousands of friends. he had all his personal info filled in – address, age, birthday, gender, work,school ect. inocent, we all would do that right? he would update status and upload pictures of his every move, so anyone could know where he is at any given moment in time. so this person took full advantage of how he shared his life with the online world. he knocked at his flat, and came up with a story to the flat mate, the flat mate thought he was good friends with the lad who shared everything with everyone online and left him in. eventually he arrived home to find the stranger in his bed. weir, scary and dangerous doesnt even cover it. i mean it was that easy for a random stranger to gain access to your own home without using force or violence. it just makes you double think about what you share, post or comment on the online world.
remember , facebook, myspace, or twitter is not your diary… it has consequences if miss used.
thank you for letting me rant and i hope this helps someone to make a wise choice in the future. be care, be safe!