Social Media and Background Checks

by Blair Evan Ball on August 2, 2011

Gizmodo - Mat Honan

Matt Honan of Gizmodo flunked his Social Media background check. What does that mean? Check out his Social Media story.

The FTC recent ruling authorizes companies to provide reports on an individuals online actions by reviewing up to seven years worth of publicly available records. These records include everything from what you or your child might say and post on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, to Craigslist ads and personal blog posts.

Social Intelligence, a company that specializes in “reducing organizational risk” by helping employers learn more about potential employees via the Internet, has hit the ground running with this ruling. Your next job application could require a social media background check, or companies may choose to run one on current employees.

Social Media Tips…

  1. Always consider what you post/say out in the Internet world. There is no delete button.
  2. What goes on in Vegas/Internet stays on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc.
  3. Have you or your child’s Facebook profile set to private, it’s no longer considered public information, and therefore inaccessible.
  4. Be professional.
  5. Demonstrate the positives, like volunteering, giving back.
  6. The things you say and do online actually build a profile about you; you can choose to make it work in your favor, or to your disadvantage.
  7. Have a discussion with your children about the pros/cons of being Social in a Social Media World.
  8. You may want to make sure that photo your friend tagged you in is appropriate. Same for your kids.

As Captain Kirk once said…we are in a brave new frontier.

What camp do you fall into?

  • Paranoid?
  • No big deal?
  • This will pass?
  • I’ll never work again?

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