Social networking on vacation
Summer breeze, hot sun, sandy beaches, deep blue waters, umbrellas, round shapes, Mai Tai and Piña Colada, “all nite long” parties… you know, summer holidays. And yes, the urge to let everybody know how good it is to be doing nothing at all, while they’re so miserable in their steaming offices this torrid July.
Although I prefer hiking to sunbathing, here is a short list of things I always do when leaving on vacation with the laptop in my backpack:
1.Never advertise your absence from home before and while actually being on vacation. I know, it sounds a bit paranoid, but, as an old saying puts it, “better safe than sorry”. Telling the world that I’m not home makes me a bit uncomfortable – it feels like having a poster on the entrance of your building that says “Burglars, please check out apartment X. There’s nobody home for two weeks”. For the same reason I never use geolocation applications.
Social networking significantly blurs the sense of privacy and alters peoples’ behavior in terms of what they would do in a real, normal, everyday life situation
2. Stay away (as much as possible) from social networking. The Latin etymology of vacation means “freedom”, “exemption” and “dispensation”. I believe one can put on hold his or her circle of virtual friends for a while in order to actually enjoy hiking, sunbathing, discovering new places and people as well as to spend time with friends in real life. Temporarily cutting the cord that keeps one connected to the Web 2.0 world can actually be benefic – think about the stories you can tell later.
3. If you can’t resist the temptation, try not to flood your friends or connections with posts, pictures, links or any other form of messages from the long-awaited vacation. Chances are that you will soon run out of interesting stuff and that you will start revealing some unwanted details – your semi-nude pictures or videos revealing your party-animal side, gossip about friends and colleagues or bad things about your boss. Bottom line, don’t post content that you could regret later. Think about it this way – if you don’t have the guts to show this to your parents, children or your boss, it’s probably not OK to show it to the rest of the world either.
4. Always use a secure connection. As incredible as it may seem, posting something on your wall without the appropriate security measures could end up compromising all the stuff you are carrying on that laptop. If you use a wireless connection, make sure that your connection is encrypted and that you know and trust the owner of the access point. A good idea would be to refrain from using an unsecured public wireless connection (like those in airports or hotels) when sending data over the Internet. Also, if you did not bring your own machine, it is recommended to avoid using a non-secured computer (such as those in the hotel’s lobby or Internet Cafes). Still, if you are forced to do so, make sure you at least run BitDefender’s advanced scanning on-line tool, Quick Scan, before proceeding.
5. Last but not least, install and activate a comprehensive antimalware solution, such as BitDefender Total Security and always exercise common sense.
Safe networking, everybody!
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