Attention social media addicts! If your security settings and internal filter (different from Mayfair on Instagram) aren’t up to speed, the tweets, selfies and status updates you post could damage your career. Laura Donaldson offers some advice on future-proofing your web presence…
How private is private?
No matter how secure you make your Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, there’s still a chance a prospective employer will see something you’ve posted. Nowadays, with screenshots and retweets, something you thought you posted privately could easily make its way out. As a rule, never post anything you wouldn’t want a boss, teacher or your mum to see and assume that your “social media persona” is not separate from your “professional persona.” It’s a good idea to make all your pages private anyway, for security more than anything else.
Once it’s out there…
A really important thing to remember about online content is how permanent a post really is. Photos from your messy girls’ holiday two years ago are still online whether you’re tagged in them or not. Once content’s out there, it’s there forever, so you have to watch what your friends post as well as yourself. This also applies to old social media accounts. Would you want an employer seeing who you’d sent ‘love’ to on Bebo six years ago? Closing down pages you don’t use can be a good way to avoid embarrassment.
Don’t drink and tweet
One of the most common mistakes is posting online after a night out. It can be tempting to go public with a hilarious photo of a pal, in-joke or cruel message, but if your thought process isn’t at its clearest – because you’re tired or had one too many drinks – posting should be avoided. You may not think it’s as funny when you wake up with a clear head, so stop and think about what you’re doing before hitting ‘send’.
If there’s something that’s coming up when you Google your name that you really don’t want someone finding, there is a way to get rid of it. On Google’s Account Support you can manage your online reputation by removing unwanted content and the associated search results and get notified when your personal data appears on the web so that you can control it. Check it out at support.google.com
While today’s fast-paced online lifestyle can sometimes be a pain in the neck to control, at least there are simple ways around it to ensure your social media life isn’t harming your future. Get your web world under control now.
On the web…
Think U Know
Source Magazine, Autumn 2014