Being of the age-group who grew up in the internet era, I, like many others, don’t think of how greatly the internet can impact my life. Now, as graduation draws near and my job hunt starts, I am becoming more aware of the possible problems I can encounter via the internet.
I read an article in Reader’s Digest a few weeks back highlighting the impact of internet on our lives. What we think is private is actually available for the entire world to see. It highlighted, very accurately, the problems we can face during job hunt just because of what was a joke between friends or a memorable time. It explained in detail exactly how social networking can make or break our lives and can ruin potential employments. It also portrayed how “search-able” we are and how to ensure that we get the job we are looking for. Just googling your name will reveal the sites your are registered on and show your activity.
A more recent example of how internet can affect our lives is given on the link below:
So how can we ensure something like this doesn’t happen to us? It is pretty easy and these are just a few ways to ensure this doesn’t happen to you:
Watch your words.
What you write on the internet actually passes thorough a lot of computers (or servers) to reach its destination. And it can be easily accessed from any of those computers…anytime. Granted there are steps being taken to ensure privacy but lets face it: the world wide web isn’t exactly the most private place. Care should be taken even while blogging. With the right keywords, your blog might show up on the search engine whether it is popular or not.
Make your social networking profiles private.
Social networking sites are the first place employers look to investigate potential employees. Setting them to private provides a chance for you to keep a little of your privacy. Moreover, this way a user cannot directly access your most personal information. Even then, it only takes a common acquaintance to reveal the truth about you.
Don’t be too eager to share your life.
Internet isn’t the best place to flaunt your embarrassments. Keep your embarrassing photographs and experiences to yourself. This can ruin your friendships, relationships even employments. Moreover, ask friends not to post up any photographs of your which may later put you in trouble.
Aliases exist for a reason.
Its not prudent to use your real name everywhere. Aliases can protect your identity to a certain extent. But they can be eventually linked back to you. So even with an alias, do monitor your activity and don’t get into trouble.
Don’t register everywhere.
Registering everywhere, even with aliases, do show you up in searches. So be careful where you register. And if you leave then cancel your registration so that it might not be traced back to you. However, even this is not a fool-proof way.
Keep in mind the implications of your internet activity.
If you think that an activity you do on the world wide web can come back to haunt you, then don’t do it. It is better to be safe now than to be sorry later. Have fun…but be safe.
Don’t try too hard to be a goody two-shoes.
First of all, in social networking, you want to share you memorable experiences with your friends. It is fine to do that as long it is not too degrading or incriminating. Secondly, employers don’t exactly look for goody two-shoes. Rather they want people with balanced personalities with a tilt towards the goody part. So your internet activity should do the same work for you as you resume does…i.e. advertise you. So ensure that your internet activity supports your claim to a balanced personality.
So monitor what you have done and watch what you do. As it is said, look before you leap.
Take care. 😎
Listening to: Linkin Park – What I’ve Done