Practice Safe Social Networking

Blogs and social networking can be fun to use, and they can be helpful in staying in touch with friends or forging professional relationships. But posting personal information on your webpage can lead to unwanted attention. The lack of physical interaction provides a false sense of anonymity and security. It is easy to forget that more than just your friends and family can gain access to your site and view your information. When you post personal information in a social network site (such as Facebook or MySpace), you significantly increase the odds of people outside of your intended audience viewing your profile. Posting inappropriate material can lead to problems ranging from earning strikes against you from a potential employer to much more serious encounters with predators and criminals.

Think twice before posting:

  • Personal information (things like your phone number, email address, home address, name and age).
  • Photos or descriptions of illegal activities (advertising a party where underage drinking will be present, photos of yourself or others using illegal drugs)
  • Material that might be considered pornographic (especially photos of children-even if you consider the photos perfectly harmless, nude photos of children under 18 could be considered child pornography)
  • Any postings you might consider to be a joke can be taken seriously by a potential employer. Remember, the web can make a strong first impression.
  • If others post inappropriate material of you on their site, such as Facebook, and tag you, remember to untag any unwanted material.

Secure your personal information

  • Always use the strongest privacy account settings.
  • Make your profile viewable to friends only, and not to everyone in your network.
  • Use Google to search your name. The results are what potential employers will see, as well as anyone else on the internet if they Google you. Make sure there is nothing online that you don’t want others to see.

Specific Steps to Social Network Safely

Additional Resources: