What does your profile say about you? Could someone use that information against you in some way? Is there information about you on the internet that you would not want certain people to see? The reality is, the information you post on “private” social networking pages isn’t really private at all. Privacy rules on social networking sites are pretty murky and many popular social media sites are under investigation for potentially violating privacy laws.
Basically, if it’s on the internet, it’s fair game. According to recent research, two-thirds of human resource professionals run internet searches on potential applicants. One in four has rejected a candidate on the basis of their social networking profile. Do you think all of this snooping stops when you get the job? Think again. Do you really want your employer knowing EVERYTHING you do and say? I sure don’t. And neither did this woman who was fired from her job when her employer discovered she was updating her Facebook profile while out sick.
Think you have the right to express your opinions on a social networking site? Not exactly…
Big brother is watching, but most of us don’t seem too concerned. In “How to Lose Your Job onYour Own Time,” Randall Stross reports the findings of a study that states “that 60 percent of Internet users surveyed are not worried about how much information is available about them online.” Do these people have nothing to hide or have they simply come to terms with the lack of privacy that our technologically advanced world has created?
Cyber snooping isn’t limited to employers. Your online activity can potentially expose you to criminals as well. For those of us that would like to protect our privacy, Robert Siciliano offers some prudent tips.
Social media has changed the world and will continue to do so in the future. But as technology outpaces privacy laws, users need to be cautious about what they do and say online – or anywhere for that matter, since anybody’s cell phone camera can record your drunken rendition of an Elton John classic and put it on YouTube.
The rule of thumb is “if you wouldn’t want your mother to see it, don’t do it,” because if you do, your mother, my friend’s grandma on Facebook, and everybody else who is watching you WILL find out.