by Kim Niemi
The more digital becomes ingrained in our lives, the more social sabotage and its unfortunate repercussions will as well. People have lost both potential and actual jobs due to social missteps, as employers tune into the warning signs that an employee could hurt their business with their online behavior – whether on or off the job. Think you’re immune? Let’s find out.
Social media platforms are always evolving. If you’ve been on Facebook, for example, for any length of time, you’ve undoubtedly been through several cosmetic changes, as well as privacy setting changes. But when was the last time you actually looked at your settings, or modified them? When was the last time you looked at settings of the other social networks you frequent?
If you aren’t sure of your privacy settings, you might be unwittingly sending out information that could get you into trouble. Here are some examples:
Posting to a Profile that is Public
Accounts you set up when they were new, but now don’t use frequently (like Google+) may not be as secure as something like Facebook, which you use constantly, and whose privacy changes are at least on your radar. Who is seeing that post you occasional throw out there? You should always know. If you don’t, get on it before you send something inappropriate heading your boss’ way.
This is another setting you need to watch out for, especially with newer social platforms – things you sign up for on a whim and tie into your main platforms to keep sharing simple. The friends you have on one platform may be different (or organized differently) than the friends you have on another platform. Share on one, and be seen on the other. You know, the one you completely forgot you ever signed up for.
Allowing Social Networks to Use Your Activity
Just when you think you’ve got everything under control, Facebook starts using your “likes” as a marketing tool. Your name shows up in the newsfeeds of others as having “liked” whatever pages, and those people – your clients or employers – may judge you by those choices, depending on how edgy they are.
Okay, that’s only three things, but being unaware of any of them could create hundreds of damaging posts – any of which could sabotage your employment if seen by the wrong people.
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