In-a-job_search

Job seekers, are your security settings on personal media cranked up to keep from hurting your job prospects? New research published in the June journal of IEEE Security & Privacy has detailed interesting findings about young adults, digital privacy, and the job search.

This is the first study that analyzes how different demographics approach online reputation management during a job search.

A few key highlights show that among young adults, men, Hispanics and those with lower Internet skills are the least likely to keep employment-related audiences in mind, whereas women, whites and those with higher Internet skills are more likely to actively manage their social media privacy settings.

Study highlights from the Science Daily website include:

-34.5 percent of men and 25 percent of women never managed their privacy settings or the content of their social media profiles with respect to an employer audience.

-Whites were much more likely than other races to adjust social media profiles at least once in the past year in anticipation of employers searching for information about them.

-Hispanics were the least likely to keep an employment-related audience in mind in regards to the content of their online profiles.

-Women were more likely than men to manage their privacy settings for an employer-related audience and tended to do so more frequently.

-Those more knowledgeable about Internet privacy matters and privacy-related terms, such as "tagging," "limited profile" and "preference settings," were more likely to engage in managing the privacy of their social media profiles.

If you're a job seeker and you haven't yet adjusted your social media privacy settings, we strongly recommend doing so. Especially in the era of digital interviews, employers are increasingly internet savvy, and being cognizant of the way you conduct yourself online is crucial. A study by CareerBuilder has shown that more than 40 percent of hiring managers who currently research candidates using social media have found information that caused them to not hire a candidate.

What can you do to make sure you're conducting yourself professionally and responsibly on social media?

-Adjustyourprivacy.com is a great tool for managing your online privacy. It allows you to check and adjust your privacy settings on a number of social media websites.

-Be careful of what third-party apps you allow to access your social media profiles. Third party applications can access your personal information, so make sure you've screened each carefully. When in doubt, check all of the third party applications you've enabled (usually under settings) and delete anything you haven't used in a while, or don't recognize.

-Turn up your privacy settings. On Facebook, you can review and accept or reject tags that are made of you, and lock down your profile so that only friends can see the content there. Twitter is a little less secure, so make sure you conduct yourself professionally there-- and if anyone tweets anything inappropriate at or about you, ask them to take it down.

-Behave yourself. One great rule of thumb for social media is to simply refrain from posting anything that would incriminate you or damage your reputation.

Do you manage your social media reputation? What tricks do you use, or how do you conduct yourself online? Let us know in the comments.

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