Proper etiquette in social media tips

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As the economy continues struggling, many people are in the challenging phase of finding a job. As they go through the interview process, many don’t realize that the company they’re interviewing with might have already found your Facebook page. A study in 2009 found that 45 percent of companies used Facebook to check out a potential hire. With the use of social media growing by the second, it’s important to realize what you’re saying online and who can see it. Here are a few tips to keep in mind whether you’re employed, looking for a job, or looking for a better job.

-Don’t post anything you wouldn’t want a potential employer to see or read. The photos of your spring break vacation were fun in college. But to a human resources director, they may be a sign of immaturity and bad judgment. Even if your privacy settings restrict who can see your photos or posts, you have no control over what your friends can do with them or where they can post them.

-Consider keeping a professional-looking photo as your profile picture. If your privacy settings are restricted, employers can likely still see your main profile picture on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. Think about the image you want to project to the world. When someone searches for you on Facebook, what do you want them to find? That’s what a prospective employer will see, so make a good first impression.

-Don’t post revealing or potentially embarrassing photos online.

-If you’re employed already, be extra cautious about what you write and post. Calling in sick while you post about your relaxing day at the beach can be a recipe for disaster. Imagine trying to explain that one to the boss! Which reminds me…

-Think carefully about adding your boss or co-workers as Facebook friends. Unless you are really close friends outside of the workplace, consider politely declining their friend request. It’s okay to keep your work and private lives separate.

Online security isn’t just about protecting your data, it’s also about being cautious about the data you create and post in the first place. Remember: don’t post or share anything you wouldn’t sign your name to publicly. Once something is online, it’s safe to assume that it will be there forever. For more tips on online privacy and security, visit our website, at www.securitymatters.iu.edu

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