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'Internet Shame Insurance' prevents embarrassment


Do all the recent Internet-related scandals have you worried that you'll slip up and expose yourself to the world in embarrassing ways by accident? Then it's time to take steps to protect yourself ... from yourself.

Adam Pash of tip-site Lifehacker created a Google Chrome browser extension which will help you do just that. It's called Internet Shame Insuranceand it "adds privacy reminders to Facebook, Twitter, and Gmail to help you avoid the most common online communication faux pas."

Basically, the extension quietly sits in the background until you do something which could cause trouble.

If you begin a Facebook post, it will gently remind you of your current privacy settings. If you're drafting a tweet, you'll get a message pointing out that anything that isn't a DM — direct message — can be seen by the whole world. Oh, and if you're prone to hitting "reply all" and blurting out the first thing that comes to mind? You'll be told to double-check that you're not saying something insulting about one of the individuals included in the email.

Handy-dandy, right?

Of course you should keep in mind that even an extension such as Internet Shame Insurance won't prevent you from humiliating yourself if you're really determined to do so, as Pash clarifies:

Hey, we could all use a little help occasionally. If you don't need an extension to help you avoid this kind of online embarrassment, that's fine. But if you wouldn't mind a little extra help — or a little insurance, as it were, against that kind of online shame — then install the extension and enjoy. Obviously it's not going to help you if you're using, say, a Twitter client rather than the Twitter.com homepage, but it'll help where it can.

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Rosa Golijan writes about tech here and there. She's obsessed with Twitter and loves to be liked on Facebook.