Social Media Background Checks Are Becoming More Common

Filed as News on July 24, 2011 5:58 pm

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The next time you post a message about your drunken nights on Twitter, Facebook and other social networks it might be worth taking a step back and figuring out how those messages may affect your future and even current employment.

The number of employers gathering social network information according to a recent study are on the climb and the information they are gathering might surprise some users, including posts, feeds and even photos.

Evan Urbania of Chatterbox told CBS Local:

“We know that the software and technology and tools that are out there started kind of really recording and logging the social space, going back to about 2005 and 2006 when social media really started to take shape.”

What’s more surprising about the information gathering is that company’s aren’t exactly doing detective work to find information about their potential employees as many individuals are simply posting their information as “publicly available” information that can be quickly gathered.

The simple fix? Turn your profiles private. As many Facebook users are already aware, profiles are defaulted to public settings on most networks, allowing those websites to share your information with Google and other search engines, however by setting your entire profile to private access and not accepting unknown friends requests you can easily protect yourself from prying eyes. You can also create a squeaky clean image of yourself on Facebook by sharing your positive wall posts with public access and saving your other messages for certain friends for who you choose to allow full access.

For users who want to create a more “business” friendly profile they may also want to consider creating a “fan” page for themselves using Facebook, at which point they can post business friendly information on their fan page and save their personal life with only their closest real life friends.

In any case, businesses are using Facebook, Twitter and other social media means not only to determine if you know how to use the connected technology, but also to create a first impression about your work ethic and life before you have the chance to do the same on your own.

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