Guest

How a Single Professional Female Practices Safe Social Media

By: Guest | July 26, 2011 | 
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We are happy to introduce our very own Crister DelaCruz in today’s guest post.

I’m known amongst my friends as the one who had a digital life even before Facebook (or MySpace) became popular. They think I’m an online “media techie” which cracks me up. I’m far from it, but I see where they might think that.

I’m the one who “posts a lot on Facebook,” “does the Twitter thing,” and checks-in everywhere I go. I even got involved in online dating way before it was common.

Naturally, I get a lot of questions about privacy concerns. And my response is always, “It’s not the platform that’s revealing, it’s your use of it.”

My digital life began when I moved from Southern California to Napa Valley. Not knowing a single person, a friend convinced me to join Match.com. I quickly learned how to balance transparency without giving up my privacy and my safety.

Thanks to that experience, I’ve been able to embrace social media with minimal fear of loss of privacy. Is it a real concern? Of course it is – I’m a single independent woman living in a busy metropolitan city (I live in Chicago now). I’ve been stalked before, and know the frustration (and relief) involved in filing a restraining order.

Still, I don’t believe in avoiding online social platforms because of it. If anything, I appreciate its functionality for my convenience and safety. I’ve learned to be smart in my practices, and have established some basic guidelines on the various platforms.

Online dating

I’m a fan –I’m a HUGE fan actually. It’s how I met “D,” my boyfriend.

  • I put my potential dates through the wringer and “D” jokes that the only basic information I didn’t have about him before our first date was his social security number (I eventually got that, for a background check … but that’s another story).
  • Of course I Google… wouldn’t you?
  • We’ll have a phone call to gather some basic information and to see if we have “conversation chemistry.” Afterwards,  I have at the very least: A phone number, his full name (including middle), place of work, neighborhood he lives in, parents names, siblings, and hometown.
  • If we decide to meet for a date, I let him know that I will be providing his information to three of my friends/family members. “If I were your sister, would you want to her to be as careful?”
  • If they don’t understand my need for safety, then I have my answer about any future with them.

Foursquare or Google Places

I love getting points and specials, but I especially like people knowing where I am. I feel safer that way.

  • I’m only friends with people I trust and know personally.
  • I check into cabs. After all, some of those cabbies are crazy and I don’t want to disappear without my online community knowing that Cab #### was where I last was.
  • When I’m navigating the city alone in unfamiliar places, I check in – but just as I’m leaving or have already left.
  • At the end of the day, I check in at home just so people know I’m back safely.

Facebook

Just as recently as last week, my friend Chanthana posted on Facebook about being approached by a total stranger on the “L” platform (I assumed because she was recognized through a recent video she did for a local non-profit about her love of running).  Smart girl!

  • I’m Facebook friends with two types of people: 1) Those I know personally 2) Those I’ve never met face-to-face but with whom I have interacted online (and we have A LOT of mutual friends I respect).
  • If someone is going to have any insight into my life, you bet I’ve looked through their photo albums, know spouse’s/kids’/dog’s names, and know their hobbies.
  • I check my privacy settings regularly.
  • I interact with my friends, let them know what I’m up to, and see what they’re up to.

How do you balance your online transparency and privacy?

Crister DelaCruz vice president at Arment Dietrich and is responsible for developing/nurturing new client relationships (yes, we are taking new clients!). She has 15 years experience in healthcare PR but gets queasy at the sight of blood, has an architecture degree but has never practiced, loves clothes but hates shopping. She is also bummed that she and Gini can’t share shoes.

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100 Comments on "How a Single Professional Female Practices Safe Social Media"

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kaitlinmaud
kaitlinmaud
5 years 1 month ago

@AdmanEKim I liked the part about checking in to cabs, but you couldn’t get me to try online dating, I don’t care how “safe” it is

AdmanEKim
AdmanEKim
5 years 1 month ago

@kaitlinmaud Cabs are smart, right? NEVER thought of that, but I like. I did match and met some cool people. Never had a dangerous exp ^_^;;

kaitlinmaud
kaitlinmaud
5 years 1 month ago

@AdmanEKim well duhhhh you’re a guy!! Haha 😉

AdmanEKim
AdmanEKim
5 years 1 month ago

@kaitlinmaud #FemaleMisogynist

gyrlbanket
gyrlbanket
5 years 1 month ago
Hey Crister, I use my FB and Twitter the same way. It wasn’t until meeting you that I decided to unprotect my tweets and it’s been fine. I do have to watch what I share, but that’s not as difficult as some might think; it just takes a little common sense. I definitely do not believe in avoiding social platforms due to fear. We have to embrace these new communication tools and learn to navigate them safely like we have to do everything in life. Thanks for giving us some tips on how to make that happen.
CristerDelaCruz
CristerDelaCruz
5 years 1 month ago

@gyrlbanket Absolutely. I love social media so much that I just want everyone to get involved with it – whether for business or personal reasons. As I mentioned, in my circle of ‘non-SM friends’, their biggest fear that comes from truly engaging is that of privacy loss. I’m converting them one at a time 🙂

CristerDelacruz
CristerDelacruz
5 years 1 month ago

@kaitlinmaud Online dating is simply a way to meet people. If someone does it, they should be as safe as possible. @AdmanEKim

CristerDelacruz
CristerDelacruz
5 years 1 month ago

@AdmanEKim A male friend (same one recommended Match.com) was stalked by one of his dates, so it goes both ways. @katilinmaud

kaitlinmaud
kaitlinmaud
5 years 1 month ago

@CristerDelacruz @AdmanEKim No judgement, Crister, it’s just not within my comfort zone! Shouldn’t we all do what’s comfortable for us?

kaitlinmaud
kaitlinmaud
5 years 1 month ago

@CristerDelacruz @AdmanEKim Plus, I’m married, so I’m not really missing out on anything by not trying online dating 😉

CristerDelacruz
CristerDelacruz
5 years 1 month ago

@kaitlinmaud Absolutely! It’s all about being comfortable. Haha, yeah being married puts a kabbosh on that (well, sadly for some it doesn’t)

kaitlinmaud
kaitlinmaud
5 years 1 month ago

@CristerDelacruz Ha!! Yes, I think ashleymadison.com could warrant its own blog post….

CristerDelacruz
CristerDelacruz
5 years 1 month ago

@kaitlinmaud I’ve heard of it, never looked. Concept just so degrading to marriages. Sad.

AdmanEKim
AdmanEKim
5 years 1 month ago

@CristerDelacruz i’ve heard of many who join Match just to meet ppl in a new city. I think it’s def mainstream enough now. @kaitlinmaud

CristerDelacruz
CristerDelacruz
5 years 1 month ago

@admanekim @kaitlinmaud That’s why I joined in N.CA. But gotta be up-front of intentions, right?

kaitlinmaud
kaitlinmaud
5 years 1 month ago

@AdmanEKim In my own defense I started dating my husband 4 yrs ago when I was only 21! I definitely missed out on online dating all together

AdmanEKim
AdmanEKim
5 years 1 month ago

@kaitlinmaud Ha! You’re better off IMHO. I’m now dating @anapplesweet without the need for online dating, and very happy for it!

annedreshfield
5 years 1 month ago

Crister, thank you for these fantastic tips, particularly with Facebook. A lot of women I know worry over accepting friend requests, particularly from people they know only online — they don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings, but they also don’t want to compromise their own safety. I’ll be passing this article on to them!

jbbreck
jbbreck
5 years 1 month ago

Thanks Crister, I’m glad you addressed the topic! I’ve always had privacy hesitations about social media and refused to sign-up for FB until my boss, kritch, made it a performance goal in my annual review, ha! It’s ok, I needed the push and have a great appreciation for social media from a business perspective! On a personal level, I’m still pretty low key, but love your suggestion about checking into cabs. I’ll absolutely use it!

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
5 years 1 month ago

@JustInTheSouth Hi

KenMueller
5 years 1 month ago
Nothing but women commenting here so far…so I’ll weigh in. Great insights, Crister. There are also a number of online sources, etc. where you can pay for some background checks and other information. I’ve had to do this recently as the result of the loss of a friendship and some unusual behavior including phone calls from dead numbers and strange texts, etc. All at a time when this was really the last thing I needed. The information I was able to find helped put an end to this odd behavior. I love how you use checking in as a safety… Read more »
redinthecity
redinthecity
5 years 1 month ago

@ginidietrich @cristerdelacruz Nice post on online safety! Now I’m also wondering what size shoes Gini wears…

JustInTheSouth
JustInTheSouth
5 years 1 month ago

@ginidietrich Hi

C_Pappas
C_Pappas
5 years 1 month ago

@ginidietrich Did I tell you I finished ‘The Help’ in 5 days?! SO FRICKIN GOOD!!!!

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
5 years 1 month ago

@redinthecity I actually think @cristerdelacruz and I COULD share. I wear a 5.5

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
5 years 1 month ago

@C_Pappas Wasn’t it good?! Have you read Memory Keeper’s Daughter?

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
5 years 1 month ago

@JustInTheSouth Hola

C_Pappas
C_Pappas
5 years 1 month ago

@ginidietrich No but I have ‘The Hunger Games’ up next and I hope you finish it so we can chat!

JustInTheSouth
JustInTheSouth
5 years 1 month ago

@ginidietrich just hung out with one of your friends!

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
5 years 1 month ago

@JustInTheSouth I’m so jealous

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
5 years 1 month ago

@C_Pappas OK. I’ll finish that then

CristerDelacruz
CristerDelacruz
5 years 1 month ago

@ginidietrich @redinthecity *sigh*…. I’m a 4

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
5 years 1 month ago

@AbbieF Is it September yet?

JustInTheSouth
JustInTheSouth
5 years 1 month ago

@ginidietrich yeah…. doing ok?

CristerDelaCruz
CristerDelaCruz
5 years 1 month ago

@annedreshfield Thank you for your comments. I’m not too worried about hurting feelings on FB. In actuality, I’ve de-friended people who I’ve thought about “Now, if this person and I were in the same town, would we actually have coffee or lunch together? Are the things we would talk about at the same sharing level as what I post on FB?” And that’s my answer as to whether or not we become FB friends.

CristerDelaCruz
CristerDelaCruz
5 years 1 month ago

@jbbreck kritch, I use FB for personal use. I’ve got friends all over the country and it’s the best way I can keep up with them getting married, having babies, the dates/trips/vacations they go on. It’s also a way to keep my family in the loop in my day to day life without having hours-on-end conversations with them about everything 🙂

CristerDelaCruz
CristerDelaCruz
5 years 1 month ago

@KenMueller Funny you use the bread-crumb-trail analogy… that was EXACTLY what I was thinking (the two kids in the children’s fairy tale). Another thing that many don’t realize is stalking can go both ways too (not just women). I’ve had a dear male friend get stalked by one of his female “admirers”. Though usually not to the level of danger women face, men can experience the frustration/fear as well.

C_Pappas
C_Pappas
5 years 1 month ago

@ginidietrich LOL ‘The Help’ was so good! My memere talks about Kennedy a lot and its both sad and amazing to think of how it was back then!

CristerDelaCruz
CristerDelaCruz
5 years 1 month ago

@KenMueller Oh, and as far as the brains, I think I’m just the paranoid one. But thank you… and we are all smart in our own ways – that’s why the AD team rocks! 🙂

AbbieF
AbbieF
5 years 1 month ago

@ginidietrich soon, very soon 🙂

KenMueller
5 years 1 month ago

@CristerDelaCruz shhh. I’m trying to give you an edge over @ginidietrich . And in my situation, it’s less stalker and more harassment.

NancyMyrland
NancyMyrland
5 years 1 month ago

Hi Crister…it’s so nice to meet you!! I loved all of your suggestions. They are so smart, thorough and helpful to many. I look forward to reading more from you, and maybe even meeting you one day soon when i come to Chicago!

annedreshfield
5 years 1 month ago

@CristerDelaCruz You hit the nail on the head there — I recently went through a de-friend spree because I wasn’t seeing the updates I cared about: those from my family and friends. More than once I froze before hitting unfriend, thinking “will I ever need to contact them in the future? What if I do?” I like your questions you ask yourself much better. They’re much more realistic, in my opinion!

mdbarber
mdbarber
5 years 1 month ago
These are some really great, and differently positioned tips for all of us when using social media. I so like your line that it’s not the tool itself, it’s how you use it that matters. These tips are useful for all of us, but especially for young people. It regularly concerns me how much they are revealing online. Your thoughts on checking in for “protection” are interesting and I feel badly that you have to do it, but think it’s incredibly smart. Thank for these tips. I’m going to pass them on in hopes others will see ways they can… Read more »
jennwhinnem
jennwhinnem
5 years 1 month ago

You know…I never thought of letting people know where you are as a safety measure – had always thought of it the opposite way. But you make a great point. I’m going to think on this some more, Crister.

Thank you for a great post! Always love it when someone gets me to reconsider a strong stance I’ve taken.

kritch
kritch
5 years 1 month ago

@jbbreck nice! interesting article.

Soulati | PR
5 years 1 month ago

I know why this is Spin Sucks; because my head is spinning and it sucks. Woah.

Soulati | PR
5 years 1 month ago

Psst…Mary…don’t tell anyone I’m asking you this on Crister’s post, but will you kindly give me the link to you blog so I can come visit? I promised and it’s still a promise. Shhh, sorry Crister!@mdbarber

mdbarber
mdbarber
5 years 1 month ago

@Soulati | PR Too funny. It’s barbergp.com/category/blog/. Let me know your thoughts. Reminds me…need new post tonight. Did a series on last fall’s election here in AK that was pretty fun; no politics for a while now though.

rodeenas
rodeenas
5 years 1 month ago

Thanks for the great tips. I actually never considered my use of social media as a safety precaution. I’ve always thought the opposite. If I tell people my every single move and location, then people will know when I’m not home which could make my home vulnerable for robbery – overly cautious huh? You do share great points and might actually consider using Foursquare.

Thanks for sharing!

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