Keep your head about you when using networking sites and apps.
The Internet, social media and Web applications have made it easy to connect with people you know and people you don’t, transforming in usually positive ways how we go about life. You will be safer by staying informed about what you’re using, and being smart about what you share.
Change of address. Have an email address that uses your name, not firstname.lastname@example.org. You want people to take you seriously.
Stay in control. Anything you create or communicate can be cut, altered, pasted and sent around. Once you put some thing online, it’s out of your control and can be taken out of context and used to hurt you or someone else. If you wouldn’t put something on the wall of your school hallway, you shouldn’t post it online.
Beware the hack. You should know that when you use apps that promise to keep your identity a secret, those apps are still collecting data about you, and they are not safe from hacks. Don’t give out personal infinformation like your Social Security number or home address.
Is it true? This goes for any use of social media sites, not just those for career networking. Before you respond to something posted, especially a solicitation for information, check the facts. Is the site reputable? Are others using it?
Tidy up. Keep your Facebook posts and photos clean and professional. Do you really want someone seeing a photo of you in high school with a drink in your hand?
Where’s Waldo? Don’t post your location. Social networks allow users to do this, and although it might be tempting to use these features to connect with friends or brag about where you’ve been, it’s just not safe.
Who’s using it? Before you download or join, read up about an app or social networking site to get a feel for how people use it. LinkedIn provides valuable career contacts, whether you’re just entering the workforce or looking for a job.
Background check. Though it is not routine at every college or potential place of employment, admissions officials and hiring managers Google people and check out Facebook profiles when circumstances make such background checks warranted. You don’t want to jeopardize your chances.
Time out. Watch the clock. Social-networking sites can be real time sucks. Hours and hours can go by, which isn’t great for getting homework done, practicing sports or music, or reading.