Who Will Be Finding Out What About YOU Through Facebook, MySpace, And The Emerging Social Networks?

A week doesn't pass when Facebook isn't in the news, and not necessarily in a good way.

Cyberbullying. Stalking. And that perennial tale of woe wherein a college acceptance becomes a college rejection, the visions of a high school applicant, drinking and partying, dancing in the head of an admission's officer, courtesy of those tagged photos posted on someone's Wall.

The world, if not Big Brother at the college admissions office, is watching your every move on the web. You can and should do as much as possible to protect yourself, your reputation, and your chances of being accepted to the college of your choice.

Short of forgoing Facebook (about as likely as giving up your cellphone), the essentials of social networking etiquette must apply.

Keep you pages private, potential pranksters at bay, "friends" close to the vest. Personal info should be kept to a minimum. That includes birthdays, phone numbers, e-mail addresses, and, yes, even names. [You know who those folks in the photo are. The rest of America doesn't need too!]

As for photos, videos, and YouTube sensations, post with care. Remember, even photos and sundry details presumably removed from the web (or so you think) still lurk in the hidden recesses of cyberspace.

If you must have a presence online -- and these days, who doesn't? -- make certain what is posted is accurate, appropriate, and only what you would want your grandmother to see.

Think your privacy is safe online? Think only your "friends" are interested in what you do, where you go, and who you hang with? Think Facebook is just for fun, where what goes on the Wall stays on the Wall?

Think again!

Read 7 Things To Stop Doing Now On Facebook.

Perhaps this is why The College Whisperer doesn't have a Facebook page. You can, however, follow The College Whisperer on Twitter at www.twitter.com/GetCollege.

The views and opinions expressed in this blog are solely those of The College Whisperer.

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