To me, online visibility is something that is discussed on Loose Women to scare mums. “Ooh imagine what they’re getting up to online! Goodness gracious!”
In reality, we are all very aware that we need to keep our personal details exactly that, personal. Minus the occasional young person showing off their new customised Barclays bank card on instagram..
..we understand that we have to keep some elements of our lives undiscoverable.
Our names and our date of birth are information that is personally associated with us, but I would not regard it as personal information in the sense that it is critical we protect it from prying eyes. All of this information we make visible without a second thought, which is fine, because if somebody really wanted to find it out they could very easily without the use of the internet.
Our home towns, schools and places of work are all visible from our Facebook profiles. Relatively harmless information. If you have a car and post pictures of it, people know your registration number – perhaps a bit more concerning. More important to protect yourself is to destroy all correspondence from your bank.
At what stage does the information that is visible to others online become a threat to our security and safety?
On a side-note, people take online visibility to very odd extremes. For example, why even bother having a twitter account if you’re going to make it private? There is no logic in that.