GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) -- The sexual assault of Jenn Gibbons in the Upper Peninsula raises the issue of internet safety and privacy -- just how transparent should one be on the very public internet?
Previous Coverage: Jenn Gibbons, rowing around Lake Michigan, speaks out after sexual assault
"Social media, the internet, is a public space, it's not private," says Mike Yoder, founder of LinkedUP Grand Rapids. Yoder consults with businesses and individuals on social media.
"There's a difference between personal and private, and I don't think anyone should ever put private information even in an e-mail message," adds Yoder.
The internet is, for the most part, an electronic social watercolor with few boundaries. There are individuals online with positive motives -- like Jenn Gibbons whose kayak journey around the shore of Lake Michigan is being chronicled on the web to generate awareness for breast cancer.
The internet is also home to those with negative ambitions, like the suspect who sexually assaulted the 27-year-old kayaker.
"I think it's kind of cool what she was trying to do to raise awareness," says Yoder. "It's just like anybody who goes on a 100-mile run to raise awareness, or a bike trip. Those kind of things I highly applaud.
"Certainly as a young woman, I don't think it's really wise to broadcast that you're alone out in a rural area -- let alone where you are -- as opposed to a guy doing the same thing," says Yoder.
Experts like Yoder say anyone posting information online must be aware of how sensitive their information is, and limit what they post to protect themselves -- both electronically and physically.
"I think you have to adapt, and I think you need to educate yourself. Be aware that if I'm sitting here by myself here at night on my computer, but I'm on a social network or the internet, I'm not alone," says Yoder.