Can Employers Check Your Facebook Profile?
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When Facebook first launched in 2004, it was a website used mostly by teenagers who wanted to stay connected with friends. As time progressed, millions of people, including businesses and employers, also jumped on the social media bandwagon. Some employers view Facebook as a means to snoop on employees. If you don't want your social media profile to come back to haunt you, there are things you should do to protect yourself.
At the time of publication, there are no laws in place that prevent employers from checking out your Facebook profile. As a matter of fact, numerous employees have been terminated as a result of something posted on the social media website. If your employer has an electronic monitoring policy, it's also possible for him to read your Facebook profile when it is accessed from a company computer, including break room computers. This policy often indicates that an employer has a right to monitor all activity that transpires on company computers. If you don't want your employer to read it, don't access it on a company computer.
When job searching, it's important to consider what details you are putting on your Facebook page. Potential employers are responsible for investigating each candidate to ensure he is a good fit for the position. While some employers limit investigative measures to criminal background checks, credit checks and verifying your educational and employment background, other employers use social media to investigate you. The sad thing is that you can be denied a job based off information on your Facebook profile and you would never know it. For this reason, be mindful of the posts you make on Facebook, especially during your journey to find employment.
Things You Shouldn't Post
To protect yourself, there are certain things you should refrain from posting on your Facebook profile. This includes comments and gripes about your employer or co-workers. Think twice before going on a Facebook to rant about your religious and political convictions. Your convictions may offend a potential employer and result in you not getting a job. You should also be careful when posting pictures. There is always the chance that an employer may see your post. As a rule of thumb, if you wouldn't want your boss to see it, don't put it on Facebook.
Increasing Your Privacy
Although employers are legally allowed to view your Facebook profile, you are not completely powerless in the situation. There are ways to protect yourself. One thing you can do is adjust your Facebook privacy settings. By adjusting your privacy settings, you control who has the ability to view your postings. For instance, you may only want to share your postings with a few close friends or family members. You can also adjust your privacy settings so that your Facebook page does not appear in search engine results. You never know when an employer may set up a fake profile just to spy on you. For this reason, think twice before accepting a friend request from anyone you don't personally know, including nosy or snooping co-workers.
Faizah Imani, an educator, minister and published author, has worked with clients such as Harrison House Author, Thomas Weeks III, Candle Of Prayer Company and "Truth & Church Magazine." Her dossier includes JaZaMM WebDesigns, assistant high-school band director, district manager for the Clarion Ledger and event coordinator for the Vicksburg Convention Center.
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