Digital Tattoos

I decided to check the privacy of my social media accounts. I followed the privacy steps included in this article from the University of Texas at Austin, but I noticed that they were not up-to-date. I figured out how to check the privacy settings of my Instagram, LinkedIn, and Pinterest accounts and made a few adjustments, basically to make my accounts more private than they already were. While reading this statement really stood out to me “Even with these privacy settings in place, it is important to understand that nothing on the Internet is truly private.” This is something most of us know, but can easily forget. I completely forgot that Facebook bought Instagram in 2012, so technically Facebook owns the content you post on Instagram. While adding photos to Instagram the default is set to share your location. For safety and privacy reasons it is recommended that a user does not share this information with the general public. 


Turning your activity broadcasts “on” in Linkedin will alert your connections to any changes in your profile, such as updates to a resume. Linkedin warns, “You may want to turn this option off if you’re looking for a job and don’t want your present employer to see that you’re updating your profile.” It is nice that LinkedIn tells you this information. To prevent search engines from revealing your Pinterest profile, a user can switch “Search Privacy” from “No” to “Yes”. I did not even realize this setting was turned on. One thing I noticed about a lot of social media sites is that there are a lot of hidden features turned “on” until you turn them “off”. In my opinion, this should be reversed. These actions relate to digital tattoos because your online presence is not temporary. Using a digital archive of the world wide web many posts and photos can be found even if a user has deleted them.

Image via personal Pinterest account
Image via personal LinkedIn account

2,932 Replies to “Digital Tattoos”

  1. It’s crazy how easy you can track someone down just by what they post online. Hearing about celebritys getting robbed while they’re out of town always piques my interest because they’ll post pics from some fancy boat in Italy and then they’ll come home to find everything gone from their house. Everyone should know nowadays to only post after you’ve returned from somewhere.

  2. I agree that social media platforms shouldn’t start with everything being public, and we have to manually turn off how public our accounts are. I think a lot of people, not just older people, don’t realize just how public and searchable their information is when we use any type of social media. I didn’t even realize until recently that most people’s information is on the white pages (the online version of the yellow pages). People can simply look up your name and find out where you live.

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