A single picture, post or comment on Facebook can rob you of your dream job or cause you problems and headaches. These are increasingly used as a talent sourcing and reference check-point. Irresponsible Facebooking, tweeting or any compromise of social media hygiene could lead to some of the largest rejections, issues or problems you will face in life.
There are already many cases where offer letters have been withdrawn, or employees have been fired after social media revealed unpleasant details. So do yourself a favor and refrain from posting the following Top 10 things.
1. Password Hints
If you’ve got online accounts, you’ve probably answered a dozen different security questions, telling your bank or brokerage firm your Mom’s maiden name; the church you were married in; or the name of your favorite song. Have similar things on the information page of your Facebook profile? You’re in for a royal treat by giving crooks an easy way to guess your passwords. Big NO NO!
2. Home Addresses
Facebook is a great way for organizing meet-ups with friends, but listing your private house party on there is not a very good idea. Unless you’re up for the kind of shindig that involves hundreds of party crashers ripping up the carpet, spilling booze all over and doing away with your family valuable. To be honest, we would have thought people wised up by now after the dangers of Craigslist were exposed, but I still see this happening and people are still posting their personal information on Facebook
3. Vacation Messages
Time for a bit of holiday in the sun? Good for you because you deserve it. Just try not to sign off for your trip with a status update along the lines of: ‘Yippee! Off to France for 10 days tomorrow!’ It’s not that we’re jealous (honest), it’s just that putting that kind of information online is little better than slapping a ‘not home for weeks’ poster on your front door. Even if you’ve taken the sensible precaution of not including your address on your Facebook page, it can still be easily found elsewhere online, especially with the new graph search.
Facebook knows who you are, what you’re interested in, where you go on the web, what apps you use, and more with this new graph search. However, other companies have bits and pieces of these data sets. LinkedIn knows your resume, Google knows your web searches, Twitter knows who and what you follow, Apple and Amazon have your all credit card number on file, and your phone’s OS maker knows what apps you’ve downloaded. This is CIA of 21 st century. Who your real-life friends are, though, is Facebook’s domain. Nothing is every private.
There’s plenty of noise about all this. Some people blindly accept most requests they get, while others send them to anyone they meet once, and all the connections and networks grow over the years and quadruple. Still, if you want to jumpstart a social app, Facebook’s Find Friends feature is very valuable. It can be the difference between an empty feed and low retention, and a vibrant, addictive feed teeming with content from people you care about.
4. Facebook Games
Time for a reality check. No one cares that you found a golden egg in your imaginary cowshed or that your cafe is growing super-great or farm is multiplying after being watered by good friend. In fact, people care so little, there are now even browser plug-ins available that will prevent Facebook game updates from showing in Facebook feeds. If you’re going to waste your time on Farmville or similar games, fair enough. Just turn off the auto-updates, please?
This is not the place to make a big, large confession. You may hate your job, lie on your taxes or be a really good illicit drugs, but this is no place to confess it. Employers commonly peruse social networking sites to determine who they will hire — and, sometimes, who to fire.
Need proof? An emergency dispatcher was fired in Wisconsin for revealing drug use; a waitress got canned for complaining about customers and the Pittsburgh Pirate’s mascot was dumped for bashing the team on Facebook. All in all, an estimated 8% of companies fired someone for “misuse” of social media.
The most appalling story? A mother of three was canned for posting on Facebook. She was fired after her employer claimed she violated the company’s social media policy by posting that the Harbin Clinic could not treat her sick child. Like millions of other, Roberson joined Facebook to keep in touch with family and friends.