Protecting Your Online Reputation
We've all been there; you had a bad day at work and you just need to vent. So, you go online, turn on your Facebook or Twitter and post an update about your horrible co-worker. You feel instantly better! You've gotten it out of your system, without blowing up at your co-worker and all is pleasent in the office. No harm, no foul right?
Well, not so much. Though venting online may seem like a harmless activity, your online presence is becoming increasingly important in the workplace. AVG Technologies recently released the findings of its latest research, "Digital Baggage," the sixth stage of its "Digital Diaries" series. The survey found that a sizeable chunk of young adults aged 18-25 years old are using social networks to broadcast personal and work-related information that could potentially threaten the beginning of their careers.
In fact, one in eight young professionals voice work-related frustrations online, while only 40% adjust their privacy settings to make sure their opinions aren’t seen by their employers. Whether you like it or not, if your privacy settings aren't correctly set, your Facebook page and all its contents (photos, links, comments) can be seen by anyone and it isn't rare that a current or potential employer will take a look. With this in mind, it's important to remember to screen through photos of you for inappropriate content. That includes ones you add or ones that are added by someone else. According to the same study, 21% of young professionals in the US have inappropriate photos posted online. While half of those surveyed wish they could remove inappropriate photos, over half don’t even consider going back to edit their online profiles.
It may not seem fair, but you do need to be extra vigilant about what you put up online as it represents who you are. Here area few tips to follow when it comes to your online presence:
Don’t Post in Anger – One in eight 18-25 year olds communicated negative posts online about their boss or employer after a bad day at work. These kinds of comments/posts make you look untrustworthy and disrespectful of company confidentiality.
Vary Your Friend Privacy Settings – 20% of the 18-25 year olds surveyed have Facebook profiles that are completely open for everyone to see. In the US, 59% have the same privacy settings for their colleagues as they do for their personal friends.
Respect the Rules – Follow the rules set by your workplace regarding social media use. What does it say in your contract? Keep in mind confidentiality, bringing your employer into disrepute, and intellectual property.
Clean Up Your Act – 57% of the 18-25 year olds surveyed have not done an online audit of their social media presence. Take the time to edit and delete incriminating information; take control of your online reputation.
A Picture Says a Thousand Words – On Facebook, 300 million photos are posted a day. Be mindful of what photos you make public.
Don’t Stretch the Truth – Many employers are using the professional social network LinkedIn in place of the standard CV. Avoid all temptations to exaggerate achievements at the risk of being caught.
Show Your Best Side – A positive online footprint could be beneficial to your livelihood. So showcase yourself in an optimistic light and make sure to assess your online presence!
Limit Your Digital Baggage – Your online interactions are adding to the information that exists about you. What do you want all this digital content to reflect? Manage your digital footprint!
As young professionals begin to climb the corporate ladder they should keep in mind that photos or comments made outside the workplace can be taken out of context – especially when you befriend coworkers or “like” your company without managing your privacy settings.
Do you edit your online profiles to make sure everything is appropriate? Are you 'friends' with your employers?
More by Alexandra C.
More on News & Issues, Relax
you have to watch what you say and put online at all times
This is why I deleted my facebook! haha Ive made Chick Advisor my new go to website ;)
I keep business separate from personal and all my accounts are private with settings to only allow my friends to see. I find this is the best way to keep control (just in case).
This is something that kids and teens need to be aware of, not just adults. I see so many kids taking cell phone pics all the time and then immediately posting them online. They compete with each other to see who gets the most 'Like' or comments. Also, when you ask how many 'friends' they have on Facebook, they'll say a couple hundred. If then asked if they actually know that many people, they'll say no. They're either friends of friends, or they are complete creepers that just add random people to Facebook. It's scary to hear them say these things and not think there is anything wrong with it.
midnightsun2288, you make such a great point! I'm so glad there is very little evidence of me being 12 aside from a few old pictures. I can only imagine the kind of things I would have said at that age on the internet. *Shudders*
I wish my parents would have been more strict in that department actually. I started using the internet for social media and stuff like that when I was 12-13 years old and there is some stupid stuff online that I can never erase. It's not like I posted anything terrible, it is just most of the stuff is so childish and immature and I don't want that representing me now. I wish I used a fake name or something! I think if you really monitor what your kids post online, they'll thank you for it later!
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