CNET Top 5
Personal digital disastersDon't let technology ruin your life. Here's some of the worst tech disasters, and how to avoid them.
It�s easier than ever for your life to go down the drain these days with just one errant message, post or call. Hey, thanks, technology! I�m B.C. the Top 5 personal digital disasters�and ways to keep them from happening, ranked roughly by their potential payload for disaster. #5: Mis-posting across social media. I can�t help the stupid stuff you post & tweet, but this is about the the things on FB, Twitter or LinkedIn often should not co-mingle. But sometimes they do, with disastrous consequences, like this recent debacle: As you can imagine, that wasn�t supposed to show up as an official tweet from Chrysler. The guy who posted it -- and the ad agency he worked for -- no longer handle Chrysler�s social media. If you�re using a cross-platform social tool like TweetDeck, as he was, ask yourself if the cross- contamination risk is really worth the modest convenience of rolling up all you�re accounts in one interface where you�re just one toggle away from disaster. #4: Reply All � Old Skool but still a beauty. The inadvertent Reply-All has made more bowels turn to water than any other fuckup on this list. A former head of H.R. here had her intelligence critiqued by a former employee of mine, and yes she was on the reply. So instead of cc�ing the person you�re dissing, remove the Reply-All button from the toolbar if you�re on Outlook You can still Reply-All with Ctrl-Shft-R. Gmail and Yahoo are pretty good in this respect since their R-A is a drop down instead of that straight click for Reply. If you use Gmail keyboard shortcuts, check out Molly�s How To video for customizing those and make the reply all keystroke something you will never mistake for standard reply and enjoy the continued benefits of employment. #3: Butt Dialing. I could raise your hair with a few of these stories I know. Now, with the advent of capacitive touch screens which require an actual finger press its not really butt dialing any more but errant touch dialing: Most smartphones today are all screen, you can hardly pick them up with activating something. Auto-locking the screen doesn�t always save you due to lock delays and such. Some iPhone uses leave their phone app in the VM mode so at worst that�s what you call. On Android phones there are apps like Not Call Log or Do Not Call that are basically crude road blocks but hey if it avoids this it�s worth it. #2: Checking in when you�re checked out: If you tell the office you � aheh aheh, sick � and then they see you checked in at the beach or the ballgame, you�re gone Bueller. So before setting out on a great day of hooky, remember to drop the Foursquare or Facebook check-in habit. Stick a post-it on your phone if you must. Go dark. And turn off background locators like Google Latitude or you�ll be chatting up the dude from the Chrysler thing in the unemployment line. Before we get to #1 here�s a disaster that you don�t even foist on yourself: Getting your laptop snooped on by Mr. Nosy next you on a plane while you work on a personal or confidential doc. Company docs are often the worst because they have logos on them putting everything in context for Mr. Snoop. Look into one of these privacy filters from 3M that kill off-angle viewing. And there�s a certain smug satisfaction when you can just feel that snoop looking at your screen�and know he�s getting nothing. And #1 e-gaffe: Just about anything while drunk. Email, text, calls, tweets and updates. After a bender, have you ever really not cringed at those the next morning? And let�s not forget the Facebook pictures that result. Pictures of you vomiting, touching yourself, wearing a Nazi costume, all tagged with your identity for easy searching and career ending. A lot of folks forget you can untag yourself from Facebook pics. Just click the little �untag� link next your name. Doesn�t mean someone won�t tag you in there again but, well, you�re not popular. For more T5�s like this, go to top5.cnet.com. I�m Brian Cooley, thanks for watching.