Monday, August 24, 2009

GUEST COLUMN: "Social Networking Awareness Important"

By Warren County Prosecutor Rachel Hutzel

The advancements in social networking over the last few years have been incredible. People are now in contact with people that they haven’t talked to in decades thanks to sites like Facebook. Organizations are able to work quicker and more efficiently with the use of these advancing new websites. As we have seen with most technology there are significant advantages, but we must be aware of the drawbacks that come along with them. In the case of social networking the drawback is that what you put on your social network is not much different than what you wear to work - it is out in the open for everyone to see.

A recent Cincinnati Enquirer article cites a CareerBuilder survey that revealed that forty-five percent of employers reported that they use social networking sites to research job candidates. This is a 100% jump from last year and I expect that number will continue to climb with a competitive job market and more technologically advanced employers.

I have been advising teenagers for years to use caution when putting personal information on their MySpace and Facebook accounts, because it is open for everyone to see. This is important in protecting kids from the predators on the Internet, but this is good advice for everyone. If you wouldn’t want a potential employer, college or significant other to see a picture, it isn’t wise to post it on a social networking website, no matter how “private” you think your site is.