Read the following passage, which contains some underlined or numbered words or phrases. Each of the answer choices contains alternatives for the underlines; choose the one that fits best grammatically or stylistically. If you think the original is the best answer, choose Choice ‘A’, or NO CHANGE.
Questions about specific parts of the passage or about the passage as a whole are identified by numbers only, not underlines. These will be associated with specific questions.
Do You Know Your Digital Tattoo?
You know that funny picture you posted on a social media site, or texted to a friend? You know … that one? Maybe
you sent it in an app that vows to digitally delete after a certain number of seconds, maybe you only sent it to your
very best friend, who would understand the image was a lame joke. What you may not realize is that digital information
is forever, and that somewhere in some server farm in Prague or Nova Scotia there’s that photo, just waiting to be
downloaded. Every text, every IM or email, or when you’ve sent a picture with your phone, computer, or tablet might
still exist in searchable form somewhere in the Internet. Welcome to your digital tattoo.
What we refer to as the “cloud” is simply a vast array of servers, often in far-flung places on the planet – usually where
labor and electricity is cheap. New server farms are being built everyday to handle the big amounts of data stored by
Internet Server Providers (ISPs), phone companies and “cloud” storage companies. When you take a picture or send a
text to a friend from (8) your phone, they go to a cell tower in digital form, then to a server at the phone company, then
back to a cell tower, and then to your friend’s phone. Once it leaves your cell phone, that image or text leaves your
control forever and could become part of your digital history, almost as indelible as a tattoo on your body.
But why worry? The snapshot was just a joke, right? Well, a brief search of the topic reveals that around 70% of
companies check digital profiles before they hire; 20% of the top 500 universities report they have Googled applicants
and that both colleges and employers have scanned social media about applicants. The images, tweets, Facebook
updates that we routinely and unthinkingly post online serious harm to our prospects down the road.
So, what’s a person to do? How can you erase, or at least mitigate your digital tattoo? Four things will get you started:
first, clean up the privacy settings on your social media sites; second, Google yourself to find out what’s out there, both
as text and images; third, delete any abandoned social media accounts; and finally, think before you post any new tweet,
image or status update. If you find any material that maybe offensive or inappropriate, contact the person responsible
for posting it and ask them to take it down.
Created for Albert.io. September 2014
When you take a picture or send a text to a friend from (8) your phone, they go to a cell tower in digital form, then to a server at the phone company, then back to a cell tower, and then to your friend’s phone.