Websters: Trust in God but Lock Your Car!

Have you ever heard of the old saying that goes something like this: “Trust in God but lock your car”? Well, at least I have and I do very well understand the shortcomings of failing to follow that rule in everything we do in life, especially online!

There are no honest thieves! This is a rule no one should ignore!


Whenever dealing with, as I may call it:

UOE
Unidentified Online Entity,

there are certain signs we have to look for and specific cautions that we need to take into consideration!

I can safely assume that all of you have done your homework regarding privacy issues and concerns therefore I won’t bore you with the details! Yet, have you really ever taken the time to think: When using big brands, social media sites and applications, who should I trust?

Epically, the word trust has been referred to as “a relationship of reliance. A trusted party is presumed to seek to fulfill policies, ethical codes, law and their previous promises.” How can we know if company X is actually applying the trust requirements mentioned above? Well, sadly, we can’t really know unless in a case of a scandal!

What can we do then?

Well, I have gathered some very useful tips which can help you better decide on whether to utilize a service, brand or application or simply ignore it: I present you the “Trust Me, Trust Me Not” List!

  • Never trust a site with no monetization plan in its hindsight! In these days of economic turmoil, no one really wants to advertise for the mere sake of brand awareness unless they can make use of your information for “bigger and bolder conspiracies”!
  • Never trust a site which fails to meet your expectations on every level. Whether you expect a user-friendly platform, an intriguing design, interesting content or more advanced privacy setting, never settle for less! There are millions of brands, services and applications competing for your attention. Make the best of it!
  • Never trust an overly conceited UOE! If the brand, service or application is unable to list its competitors and prove to you why it is different and can solve a current problem you are facing then there is no need to waste your personal information using it.
  • The right to freedom! Whether you are using Facebook or just surfing eBay for a certain product, you should have the complete freedom to share or withhold your information at any time. Don’t fall into the “Register now to win…” scam. It rarely ever pays off!
  • Never trust a UOE which does not understand and in return respond to your needs.
  • If the UOE is anonymous, vague or mysterious, don’t trust it! One way to do this is to try to look up information about it or even try to see the overall genre of what it does and how consistent it is.

Remember: We are the judge and executor: Customers control the world! Never forget or underestimate the power of this phrase! We have the power to make or break any UOE. Let’s take Twitter, Facebook and MySpace for example, they are who they are now because of our support and faith in them and they would be nothing if we all simply decide to stop using them one day!

Finally, and if trust is an overrated concept, I advice you all to place your money in your pockets and forget about bank accounts! Fill me in on what happens next! :)

P.S: Original image by *northern starĀ° of Flikr. Thank you for the great photo.

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