Online Safety and Discretion More and more prospective (and current) employers are looking to social media as part of their background check before hiring. And, as they have for many years, criminals also use social media to perform recon on their victims.
Remember, you have control over what content you put online but, once it's out there, it may be impossible to take back!
Take, for example, last night's party. You had an awesome time, right? Wouldn't it be great to share that with your old high school friends over at some other college? They'll be crushed to know their record for the most nachos in one bite has been demolished! So you go ahead and post that photo of you on their wall, not giving it another thought.
Four years later, you're excited about the opportunity to work at ABC Investments when, instead, you get a phone call from a friend-in-the-know who tells you that you didn't land the job because the directors think you're irresponsible and too much of a risk! Why? Because your nacho photo also showed somebody in the background doing a keg stand! Your friend's friend tagged you in that photo and it went viral. You forgot all about it but, to the HR staff and the hiring managers, it was a big red flag.
And what about that vacation in Daytona Beach? How cool is it you get to check in at all these neat little foodie restaurants you've seen online. All your family and friends and followers (including the nice guy who friended you last month) can read all about you and where you are... which also indicates you are not at home! When you get home you discover that the "nice guy" you friended turned out to be a thief just waiting until you weren't home so he would have enough time to raid your apartment and steal your valuables.
What You Can Do
So what do we do? Obviously, we can't live in constant fear of online information. Instead, let's remember that things can and do happen and that it's not always a good idea to share everything with everybody — that some things are better left offline. If something must go online, we need to double-check who has access to it.