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If you thought privacy settings kept your privacy, think again...

This week's column is a tale of caution: Beware the co-worker that pulls up your social network profile at work. If you open up your party photos to a few co-workers, don't be surprised if they open them up at work and show others... like the boss.

Many of my co-workers are blocked from seeing my more ''social'' moments on Facebook . . . such as the booze-fueled housewarming bash I threw a few months back. Not exactly something you want the bosses to see.

So imagine my horror when I saw a co-worker (who had full profile access) not only browsing through my party photos at work -- but also showing them to someone who walked by!

Lucky for me, the person who saw it already was my Facebook friend. And that co-worker quickly realized that a social network faux pas had been committed.

I thought I had it under control because I used privacy settings. I trusted that co-worker with access, but I didn't take into account that the pictures could be shared with others at work.

So the lesson learned goes two ways. First, assume that things you see are for your eyes only. It's disrespectful to let the whole department huddle around your monitor to look at someone else's profile.

And, of course, don't assume bosses won't see a photo just because you blocked their access. Unless you block all co-workers, someone at work could share it in the office. Nothing is 100 percent safe from being seen just because you use privacy settings.

Niala has experienced this same problem, a little differently. Here's her story:

I've had a few incidents with co-workers who aren't on social networks but like to get into people's business. Hey, we're all journalists -- it's sort of a hallmark of the trade that we're all nosy. But I have to draw the line when they are hovering over my computer, and, in some cases, asking me to click on things in people's profiles. I'm not sure that I've done the best job telling them to back off. I usually just tell them they need to open their own account.

For some reason, people who would never read an e-mail on your screen have no problem being social network voyeurs.

Had a similar situation? Post a comment or e-mail us at poked@MiamiHerald.com.

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