When the slip of a finger can land you in trouble

PHOTO: Reuters

Modern gadgets have been designed to meet the needs of consumers. They are portable, offer multi-tasking functions, and yes, the touch screens make them more than just easy to use.

However, sometimes this easy slide of a fingertip can also cause an unfortunate slip or two, ranging from mistakenly asking your teacher out instead of your favourite crush or landing an obscene photograph in a professional chat room.

The second incident happened to a foreign reporter recently, who ended up sending the photograph of male genitalia to a Foreign Ministry chat room on LINE.

So, how should users like us avoid such mishaps?

Arthit Suriyawongkul, a member of the Foundation for Internet and Civic Culture, offers his thoughts on the matter.

First, he said, users need to see exactly what they are sending before pressing the "send" button, and in order to avoid landing themselves in hot soup like the foreign reporter did, they should not have such "extreme data" in their devices anyway.

Also, users have to be really sure about the chat room they are going into, and find out who is part of this chat room so they know what they can and cannot say, he advised.

So, how does one know what chat room is suitable, when there are so many out there?

Arthit responded that users should simply use different applications for different people.

For instance, he said, he has limited the use of LINE to his family and friends, while the app Telegram Messenger is earmarked for his colleagues only. This, he pointed out, cuts down the chance of sending inappropriate data to wrong recipients.

But what if a user wishes to stick with one chat application?

Then, Arthit said, he or she can differentiate between chat rooms by setting up different background pictures, colour themes or name.

Of course, each user is in control of his or her security, but once something unwarranted takes place, then society should also deal with it in a responsible fashion, he pointed out.

"People need to understand that accidents happen and they should not immediately stand in judgement," he said, referring to recently incident.

"Mistakenly sending something should not be viewed as a serious crime. Besides, the employer has already punished the reporter," he pointed out.

A computer programmer, who asked to be referred to as only Napat, said loading inappropriate data on one's device could pose quite a dilemma in the long run.

"Some users think they are within their rights to have such things on their devices, but once this data slips out, be it accidentally or not, they no longer own the data," the programmer said.