Here’s Exactly How Badly Those Photos Of Last Weekend Can Affect Your Career

A lot of us know that what goes on the Internet tends to stay on the Internet in some form or another. Even if you’re the type of person who’s much more at home with a red wine and a nice book, that one night you decide to let loose could come back to haunt you in big ways.

Cyber security experts Norton recently released research discussing just how bad the situation is regarding millennials and their content being posted online.

In the survey, 1000 18 to 34-year-olds were asked about their social media footprint and cyber security, and it found that 28% of them had no idea what appears when someone searches their name. Just under a quarter were surprised to find embarrassing photos of themselves, which means an astonishing 77% know they have things online that probably shouldn’t be there. 22% found that there was content published without their permission.

One in six people were concerned about job-related issues due to their digital presence, and this is justified with a whopping 48% of hiring managers saying they have chosen not to hire someone based on online findings.

Despite the doom and gloom, the study does close with a positive outlook. Norton worked with, a UK-based job finding site in publishing the research, with managing director Martin Warnes offering advice to job-seekers with regard to social media activity:

“Today social media is a standard tool for recruiters to help choose who they invite to an interview. As the amount of online profiles we have increases, a simple search of a person’s name can reveal a lot about them and so we always advise candidates to give their online reputation a safety check before applying for a job.

“It’s equally important to avoid sharing negative references online that are related to work or your job hunt, as this is likely to be frowned upon by a prospective employer and may harm your chances.”

One in six people were concerned about job-related issues due to their digital presence

Phishing is where hackers attempt to acquire personal information, and 35% of people surveyed said they had fallen victim to such a scam. 45% of these cases resulted in contact spam while 7% led to inappropriate content being posted online.

Nick Shaw, general manager of Norton EMEA also offered advice for people worried about phishing scams:

  • What you post can last a lifetime: Before posting online think about how it might be perceived now and in the future and who might see it
  • Own your online presence: Set the privacy and security settings on web services and devices to your comfort level for information sharing.
  • It’s ok to limit how and with whom you share information. It also helps you manage information shared by others, such as when tagged in a potentially embarrassing picture or video, before it reaches your online contacts
  • Be aware of what’s being shared: Be aware that when you share a post, picture or video online, you may also be revealing information about others
  • Be thoughtful when and how you share information about others
  • Post only about others as you have them post about you: This golden rule applies in life, and online too
  • Regularly review your social media privacy settings: This will ensure you have a firm handle on your eReputation on an ongoing basis
  • Think before you act: Be wary of communications that implore you to act immediately, offer something that sounds too good to be true or ask for personal information
  • Get two steps ahead: Switch on two-step verification or multi-factor authentication wherever offered to prevent un-authorised access to your online accounts

Bottom line: be careful about what you put online. It can be there forever and might severely hurt your chances of finding that dream job.