What Information to Share and Not Share Online

How can you keep your career or educational prospects from becoming another Facebook casualty? Here are some tips.

The classic piece of advice on online posting is not to share anything you wouldn’t want your grandmother to see. (As more and more members of Generation What’s My Password Again? join Facebook, this concern may be all too real.) More than that, though, you should consider what you want a potential employer or college admissions officer to glean about you from your online presence. Make your online presence work for you, not against you. Employers and admissions officers report that the internet can be a good place for applicants to present their talents, professionalism, and sociability.

  • Assume that nothing you share online is private. After all, it’s only private until the person you’ve shared it with (or a hacker) makes it public.
  • Don’t post on forums using your real name or real email address.
  • Actively keep tabs on your privacy settings.
  • Don’t post when you’re upset. Keep in mind that everything you put out there on the internet, even into seemingly private realms like emails and Facebook messages, is impossible to take back. Limit your venting in emotional moments to less permanent means of communication.
  • Check yourself. Everyone else is googling you, so you should get in on the action. Don’t forget to monitor photos and information about you that friends post. Then, clean up accordingly.

--Liz Soltan