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  • Are Personal Brands Protected on Social Networks?

    Today, I spoke with Larry Magid, who has been in the media for years and has published various books on internet safety. In this interview, we focus on the importance of protecting our online identities on social networks. I’m not much of a fan of MySpace, but if you’re on that social network, pay very close attention to this post.

    Larry, are social networks safe for anyone these days? I just read an article about how a woman was putting up bad Facebook status messages about her husband and he found out and murdered her? Will it ever be safe again?

    Social networks are safe unless you put dangerous things on them. Considering how many people use such networks there are relatively few problems. The example you give is between spouses who obviously know each other from the “real” world — that’s where violence happens, not online. Like any powerful tool there are ways to misuse social networks. The good news is that most people — including the vast majority of teens — use them pretty responsibly.

    What examples do you have of people losing their identities or personal attacks on MySpace?

    There are examples of people attacking each other on MySpace just there are in any venue. As per ID theft, I don’t know of cases but if you put confidential information such as a social security # or credit card # on your profile, you certainly run the risk of ID theft. There is also the risk of impersonation that can happen if you are careless about your password or if someone sets up a bogus profile in your name. It happens but when reported, MySpace investigates and usually takes them down promptly.

    Would you recommend that someone joins MySpace over Facebook and why?

    MySpace and Facebook serve somewhat different purposes.

    “MySpace is more of a place to promote and reach out, Facebook is a social utility.”

    Both have their value and many people use both.

    How are children using social networks?


    Children under 13 shouldn’t be using social networks unless they’re walled gardens with parental controls. Teens are using social network in many ways — to keep in touch with friends, explore hobbies and sport interests, keep up with what they’re friends are doing, extend their educational reach and, of course, show off a bit .

    What are some positive aspects to social networking sites?

    There are many positive aspects of social networking. They encourage media literacy, activism and help people socialize. They expand your reach and help you stay in touch with friends and family members. They can break down isolation and can help people deal with problems such as health issues, substance abuse and even suicidal risk. I think that advantages of social networks far outweigh the few dangers.

    Larry Magid has been a technology columnist and broadcaster for more than two decades as well as a leading Internet safety advocate.

    In addition to serving as CBS News Technology analyst, Larry contributes regularly to the New York Times, San Jose Mercury News and other media outlets. He served for 18 years as a technology columnist for the Los Angeles Times and his columns have also appeared in the Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, San Francisco Chronicle, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, CNN.COM and numerous other newspapers and websites throughout the world. Larry’s newest book is MySpace Unraveled: A parents guide to teen social networkng, coauthored with Anne Collier. He is also the host of three popular web sites :PCAnswer.com, SafeKids.com and SafeTeens.com and co-director of ConnectSafely.org.

    Dan Schawbel is the Managing Partner of Millennial Branding, a Gen Y research and consulting firm. He is the New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of Promote Yourself: The New Rules For Career Success (St. Martin’s Press) and the #1 international bestselling book, Me 2.0: 4 Steps to Building Your Future (Kaplan Publishing), which combined have been translated into 15 languages.

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    Posted in Book Reviews, eBrand, People, Personal Branding, Reputation Management, Social Media
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