Secrets With Social Media?
I was speaking to a group earlier this year about how to build a brand with social media. During the Q&A after the presentation, I was asked about privacy and security of information shared through social media.
One of the attendees expressed his concern that the information he shared on Facebook and through other social media could be used against him. Specifically, he is a diver and had recently ‘unliked’ a Facebook page about scuba diving out of concern that his life insurance company would charge a higher premium.
His fears may be coming true. In the Forbes articles, Creepy Start-Up or Sign of The Times?, Social Intelligence Corp is profiled. The company is researching social media entities, including Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, YouTube and Flickr, to provide a dossier on prospective employee’s backgrounds and habits.
What do they find? Quite a bit of dangerous and illegal behavior, posted by the prospective employees, including drugs and firearms. Companies, especially those that are publicly traded, have long performed background checks on employees and researched credit scores to determine worthiness for a job.
As you focus on building your brand, be aware that what you post on Facebook, and what your friends tag you in, will be considered by potential employers. Know that when you live a transparent life online, it means people can actually see the real you.
As for the scuba diver, there is a place on your health insurance form that asks about dangerous hobbies such as skydiving and car racing. Now, if you choose to lie and check ‘no’, your insurance company has a way of finding out – they can just check your photos on Facebook.
What do you think? Has this gone too far?