Friday, May 21, 2010

Sharing Personal Information Online: Response to Anonymous


There is a great deal of hype everywhere that giving our private information on Twitter/Facebook is very risky. I think this should be covered because as for me, I am very guarded who I join/what I say/and my profiles are empty. I only give information related to my shop, not my personal information like birthdates, anything personal. My local news stations have had some terrible horror stories and are warning people to exercise care in using these social networks? Do you have any advice?



As a business owner, it is your own choice how much information you share. While sharing too much can be damaging, so can sharing too little. If you’re going to do business online, you’ll have to share some information. You have to share enough information for people to believe you are a real person who wouldn’t scam them. It can help draw customers (especially in the handmade market) to brand your business as being personal and share  your name (for credibility) and your story (to allow the customer to connect with you). However, where you draw the line after that is up to you and your own comfort level.

A lot of users choose to create a Facebook Fan Page for their studio to market themselves on Facebook, and keep their personal Facebook account set to private. This way they can allow people to fan their business page on Facebook but save their personal account for connecting with friends and family. Many people do the same thing with Twitter as well.

I hope that answered a few of your questions. This can be hard topic to properly address, but if you’re really concerned about your private information, I’d recommend reading over the Terms of Service and privacy Policy of any site you join, social media related or otherwise, to determine if they are able to share your information.

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Purple Pony Art May 21, 2010 at 8:41 PM

This was a nice little post. I was concerned about privacy as well when I first started posting my art online. I am still a little guarded about giving out my information. I bought a PO Box so I wouldn't have to give my real address out.

Sara of Sell Handmade Crafts Online May 24, 2010 at 11:44 AM

Purple Pony Art,

A P.O. Box is a great way to share one's address without giving out your real address, thanks for sharing that tip! :)

Anonymous May 24, 2010 at 2:45 PM

PO box is a good idea. Our local news said if we list our birthday, edit out the year. Once they get your name and birthdate, that can be used to get more info, etc. It is good to be cautious since lots of things have happened with the information placed on the social networking arena.

Social networking is a wonderful tool, but, some locals had a serious breach of their financials with the info they placed on a social network site that got harvested.

I certainly don't mind telling about what I do, etc., but am guarded about any statistical information. The internet has come a long way since its inception. Sad there are those out there manipulating it for personal gain.

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