Managing Your Online Reputation
More and more people are using social media to stay connected both personally and professionally, which means recruiters (for academia, sports, and careers) may be using social media more frequently to assess candidates’ qualifications. The type of information shared on social media can also provide fodder for phishing attacks and even identity theft, or allow people to make assumptions about you based on the groups that you are affiliated with.
Use this useful guide to do help you check your social media privacy and security settings on frequent basis to ensure you stay on top of your online reputation!
You should understand how to present yourself on social networking sites and how to safeguard your information. This is your digital footprint. What many may consider temporary or fleeting will most likely remain on the Internet forever. As a result, keep these dos and don’ts in mind when sharing online.
- Ask questions about who can access the information you are posting online, who controls and owns the information, and what is shared with third party.
- Maintain a backup of the content you post on professional networking sites (e.g., LinkedIn).
- Understand the default privacy settings on the social networking sites you use and how to change them to match your comfort level.
- Keep your personal information private. Assess whether it’s necessary to share sensitive information such as your birthday, mailing address, phone number, e-mail, mother’s maiden name, sexual orientation, or Social Insurance number.
- Be cautious about accepting requests to connect online. Connect only to people you trust who will not misuse the information you post.
- Check the location settings on photos and videos you post to social networking sites.
- Avoid joining online groups where you don’t know all the members or what they stand for.
- Use passphrases to protect your social media accounts. A passphrase is a set of words that create a phrase that is 20 to 32 characters long.
- Don’t share too much information that could be used to complete a profile about you. For example, share your birthday, but not the year you were born. Or share your hometown, but not the address where you live.
- Don’t share any information that is being used for verification purposes such as your mother’s maiden name, the name of your first pet, or the street where first lived. Consider making up alternate answers to those questions that only you would know.
- Don’t post when you are traveling or going out of town on vacation. It’s an open invitation letting criminals know that you are in a different location and that your home is vacant.
- Don’t post photos of inappropriate or illegal activities.
- Don’t click on attachments or links without checking the source.
- Don’t “check in” to every place you visit. That information could be used to identify you in a vulnerable location.
- Don’t use weak passwords, and never share your passwords!