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Freelance Writing



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  • DebD

Social Media Tracks - Are You Careful About What You Write?

August 5, 2022

I'm sure you are aware that the internet i.e. social media leaves a trail that you can never get rid of...well, sort of. Of course you can go through a lot of bureaucracy and take the legal route, which may or may not work in your favor. Nonetheless, seeing that people can download material quickly and keep it as a memoir, it seems that no matter what you do to "erase your online history" someone, somewhere may have a copy of it!

Check this out...even deleting your data isn't a guarantee that it will disappear either. According to the article Why Your "Deleted Data" Is Not Truly Deleted? "your deleted data can easily be recovered with specific software like Undelete and File Recovery." And don't depend on the emptying your recycle bin method, it's not your "get out of jail free" card... the news doesn't look too good on that end either. Read on:

"Truth of the matter is that your data is never really deleted when you delete it from your computer manually. When you delete your files, they are being sent to the Recycle Bin, where they can be recovered at any time. Recycle Bin in itself is a protection mechanism by the Windows OS to provide assurance to the user that if some files do get deleted that they still can be reverted back into the working state. From the perspective of the operating system the files are being deleted permanently only when they are either too big for the Recycle Bin, when the Recycle bin is being emptied or when the file was deleted using Shift+Delete. But, as you might be guessing, those files are not really deleted and can be recovered quite easy with any reputable data recovery software."

No Kidding!

Question: as a freelance writer are you willing to take on any project as long as the price is right? For example, supposing a client asked you to write content about edible sex toys or how to steal from your employer without getting caught. Or, supposing they ask you to write positive comments on a product or topic you don't agree with but, well, the price is right?

Would you write about topics you don't agree with if it were ghostwriting? I mean what the heck, it's ghostwriting right? The problem with ghostwriting is that you're not really a "ghost." The company or person who hired you knows who-you-are and if a SHTF scenario ever arises, they can expose your true identity. So, you've probably figured it out by now, "you can run, but you can't hide."

In the article Leaving a Digital Footprint the writer states that:

"Your digital footprint is the record of all your interactions online. Once something is posted or shared online, it can be there forever. Understanding your digital footprint helps you choose and control what you leave online for others to find."

I totally agree. I think we've all written something (even if it's only in the comment section of a forum) and afterwards sweated over the response we might receive. It doesn't matter whether you deleted the comment or not. Today they have ways of finding material from the internet written 10 years ago (or more). Just think about it. Stuff you wrote and forgot about, and thought you'd never to see again and boom, there it is.

The author of the article Why You Should Care About the Tracks Left By Your Digital Footprint states that "you leave a lot of information online without even knowing it. Is this digital footprint a risk to your privacy?"

They go on to say that:

"Your digital footprint is the trail you leave behind whenever you use the internet. Sure, your Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram profiles qualify as a digital footprint, but they're ones you're mostly aware of.

It's concerning when you're unaware of the trail you're leaving and the information and data involved. Your digital footprint can have severe implications, even if it feels insignificant."

The write-up is a great read. It includes subtitles like Why It Matters, Lack of Privacy, Future Employment Issues, and more.

According to a New York Times article titled 10 Tips to Avoid Leaving Tracks Around the Internet the suggestions put forth centers around using more sophisticated tools and techniques catered to individual needs rather than the standard adblockers or apps that memorizes passwords.

They even suggest taking actions like jamming Google:

"The ads you see online are based on the sites, searches, or and Facebook posts that get your interest. Some rebels therefore throw a wrench into the machinery — by demonstrating phony interests.

“Every once in a while, I Google something completely nutty just to mess with their algorithm,” wrote Shaun Breidbart. “You’d be surprised what sort of coupons CVS prints for me on the bottom of my receipt. They are clearly confused about both my age and my gender.”

Oh, by the way:

Be careful when using public Wi-Fi:

"Most public Wi-Fi networks — in hotels, airports, coffee shops, and so on — are eaves-droppable, even if they require a password to connect. Nearby patrons, using their phones or laptops, can easily see everything you’re sending or receiving — email and website contents, for example — using free “sniffer” programs."

As a Freelance Writer - How Do You Get Around Leaving a Digital Footprint?

The real question is; whether it bothers you if you leave a digital footprint or not? Perhaps you're just fine and whatever or wherever you post doesn't matter to you anyway. That is until the hiring stops because you misgendered someone. Yes I know, but "it is what it is."

For example, when you're not working on a freelance writing job, from time-to-time you might visit various forums and write comments in the comment section. Do you ever ask yourself; would it be OK if someone tracked my digital footprint and read this? How would it affect my work with my clients?

Sure, the majority of us probably use a nickname on forums but still "tracking" means just that. It's much like "follow the money." The right software can literally "follow your tracks" and perhaps find you IRT (in real time) as you stroke-the-keys on your computer!

Let's face it, we've all written horrible comments at one-time-or-another, especially when we've allowed ourselves to become emotionally involved with the topic. Yes, self-control is necessary but there are people out there who can touch your very-last-nerve and you just feel the need to let 'em-have-it.

However, assuming that when you comment on a forum you use a nickname and an email address specifically designated for that purpose along with a VPN (read my article HERE about using VPNs), you're pretty much covered. Still, I would suggest that you be mindful of what you write because quite honestly, you never know who's lurking and who's following you in cyberspace.

What's the moral of this blog post? If you want to become immortal, just go online; you'll live for eternity in cyberspace!

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