Employers Are Watching

By Stephanie Tillman, Intern

We have learned that social media outlets such as Facebook, Twitter and from Jeff’s recent post, Foursquare are all new ways to connect with people and places nowadays. What many people don’t realize, however, is that these sites can also be the reason why you weren’t hired after that great interview or why you were fired from the job that you loved so much. Every time that you log onto these social media websites, thousands and thousands of businesses and people have access to your personal information, so I thought I’d talk a little about social media outlet safety and why it’s important.

Of course, Internet privacy has been an issue for years but many of us have shrugged it off. For PR, we often use social media outlets to find contacts. What we as PR interns, as well as practitioners, don’t realize after we successfully obtain a needed email address, is that other people could be searching for our names as well. There are websites like Linkedin and 123people where the click of a button allows us to access tons of information. From cell phone numbers, to private home numbers, to email addresses the possibilities of the Internet are endless. It is important to make sure that the information about you that is on the Internet is what you want to be there.

Facebook and Twitter seem to be some of the bigger media outlets where Internet privacy is lacking. I recently watched a TV show where one inappropriate tweet led to a girl being fired from a job she wanted for years. Employers today often look at Facebook as well before hiring perspective employees. In fact, sometimes it is part of the hiring process. Pictures that you wouldn’t even want your mom or dad to see on Facebook are accessible to your future bosses!

Make sure that your privacy settings are set on all of these social media websites that we check daily (sometimes more than daily). If you’re concerned about who has access to your information, try to type in your name on a Google search to see what comes up. If there is information you don’t want to be there, it doesn’t hurt to contact a website’s administrator. Be careful when you’re enjoying yourself on the Internet because you never know who is watching.

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