Guest Post by: Lillian Solomon, a full-time educator at work and at home.
Many students around the globe are using social networks such as Myspace, Facebook, and Twitter to share their lives in a way that was unheard of prior too. While communicating online is nothing new, doing so in a highly public manner with disregard to privacy and security is. Students and parents may be unaware of negative impacts of prospective employers researching resume applicants using the very social networks that applicants communicate on the most. So here are a few ways for students and parents to keep themselves protected from web bloopers and more serious privacy concerns.
- 1. Choose Your “Friends” Wisely
- Kids are adding everyone as a friend these days. While this is a great way to build up networking skills, it also raises many issues for privacy and security. Befriending everyone can result in stalking, disclosure of personal information to unknown persons, and much more. The best way to address these issues is to simply be aware of who you are truly befriending on social networks.
- 2. Disclose Your Personal Information Carefully
Can’t remember when you gave your number to that creepy guy who called your house last night? You probably didn’t it. They may have picked it up from a message containing your number that you sent to a friend but left open for the world to see. Something as simple as a public “tweet”, or Twitter message, letting your friends know that you’re leaving your house lets the world know that you’re house is about to be unattended for several hours. I’ll let your imagination tell you what the consequences of that could be.
- 3. Make Use Social Network Privacy Settings
Facebook, Twitter, and Myspace all have privacy settings for students and parents to use. Be putting these settings to use you’re better able to control the amount of information that the public can see, without withholding information from your real friends. Taking the time to manage these settings can save a lot of trouble and headaches in the future.
- 4. What Goes on in Vegas, Should Really Stay There
Students and parents are not the only people using social networkers. Employers are doing the same when researching prospective employees. Do you really want your next boss to know how disorderly your conduct is on the weekends? Do you think they’d want to hire you knowing these things? Going forward I encourage you to be more selective of what you voice to the public. Some things are better left unsaid.
There’s a world of possibilities with these new communication platforms. However, that doesn’t change the most basic rules of living in a society where people do both good things and bad things. First impressions still mean a lot when applying for a job. If your Facebook, Twitter, or Myspace profile were the first impression that your boss would see, do you think he’d still want to hire you even after a fantastic interview? Think about it.