Monday, January 25, 2010

Is It Really Private?

Today Facebook is a common thing; it seems everyone has one. However, as social networking sites such as Facebook and LinkedIn become more and more popular, your personal information becomes more readily available to anyone who is looking.

We've already discussed cleaning up your social networking sites to have them reflect a professional and responsible person. However, even if you removed all potentially risky information, you are not safe yet! Just because your personal networking it does not mean that your risky, personal, really-should-keep-to-yourself information can not be found. Your friends can contribute to employers finding out information about you that you would have rather kept to yourself.

Let's take a look at an example. You went out this weekend right? Your friend decides to post some pictures of Friday's festivities. Your page might be private, but your friend's page is not. Guess what that means? Those pictures are out in the world if the Internet where information can never be erased and is easily accessible to anyone who may be searching.

So what are your options? Erase your page? It's an option, but you can make your profile help you as long as it says the right thing. Here are some tips to help you out:

Tips to Privacy:

1) Be sure to let your friends know that you do not want to be tagged in pictures that they post and that you would prefer that the pictures of you not be posted at all.

2) Let your friends know that you would not like to talk about personal information via posts on your page.

3) Let your friends know why. Tell everyone you know you are on the hunt for a job and that you do not want your social site to reflect poorly against you. This is also an excellent networking tool! You never know who is looking to hire someone with your qualifications and experience, so be sure to tell everyone you know what type of position you are looking for.

Remember that anything that is posted to the Internet is out there for anyone to see. Keep your image professional and as wholesome as possible. If you question whether it is inappropriate for a potential employer to see it, it's too risky to post.

Carly Sabato

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