We have all heard that once information has been posted online it is impossible to take back. This means that social media may be more costly than initially intended; any post, photo, or comment may be visible to anyone at any time.
According to the article by CNNMoney.com, 75% of employers have looked at social media when evaluating a job applicant, and 70% have rejected an applicant because of what they find online. It’s not just your job that’s on the line, but it can also impact the safety of your identity. Some easy ways to protect yourself include:
- Protect your personal information online — never give out personal information on the web, regardless of who is asking for it.
- Change privacy settings — many of these sites allow you to manage how much information different categories of users can see (i.e. “Friends” versus “Friends of Friends” versus “My Networks”). You should minimize the amount of information available to other users and make your privacy settings as high as possible.
- Create profiles on major social media sites to prevent others from being able to impersonate you (called Cyber Sitting) — websites such as www.knowem.com offer a quick and free way to check availability of your name on over 120 social media sites.
- Examine privacy policies of social networking sites — this growing trend is also an increasing threat; ask social networking sites to provide identity monitoring to users.
Source: “Manage your newest asset: your online ID” by Amelia Ross. Retrieved October 7, 2010. <http://money.cnn.com/2010/10/07/pf/saving/online_identity/index.htm>