Social Media Background Checks- is everyone already screwed?

Many people in this class are graduating soon, either this year or next, so if you’re like me and today’s mention of social media background checks scared the life out of you, never fear– you aren’t already dead in the water.

After class today I started googling  social media background checks, and let me tell you, it’s pretty alarming to think about all the things we have put out into the world via the internet over just the past five years. They don’t just look at FaceBook and Twitter, they look at Tumblrs, YouTube and other things/sites you’ve joined affiliated with the email account you provide on your resume. (Trick number one– make a brand new gmail account for jobs/applications ONLY. No matter how “careful” you’ve been with the account you’ve had for the past 2-15 years, just make a new one. You can forward the emails from that shiny new account to your current one!)

So besides all the creepy sites offering to “remove” you from google searches or “erase your internet persona”, there is actually some interesting advice on how to “clean up your internet identity”. I’ve posted some links below, including the article mentioned in class that talks about Facebook predicting job performance.

Facebook and job performance

The basic message of it all is update your privacy settings. Seems simple right? The annoying thing is that sites like FaceBook alter things when they make a new platform for their site– I know that for a little while when they switched to timeline, ALL of my profile went public. Not so fun.

I love social media, so don’t get me wrong, I’m not encouraging everyone to be sneaky. Just internet activity conscious– it creeped me out to realize all the information I had inadvertently shared.

Oh and P.S. If you only read ONE of these articles, read the Gizmodo one about how the guy flunked his background check. It’s pretty funny and fills you in on the “need to know” stuff ( That I had no idea I actually needed to know!)


Background checking Startup looks at social media activity

1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. elton1
    Mar 03, 2012 @ 14:16:10

    Here’s another great Gawker article on protecting yourself:

    Make sure you do this before you guys start applying anywhere! I see a lot of my Facebook friends not paying attention to the things they put up on the internet (privacy settings set to global) and end up looking very irresponsible.

    This is especially important for any legal/financial/government/respected IT jobs. Take this seriously!


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