Are your social media profiles as private as they can be?

Are your social media profiles as private as they can be?

Heather Parry

By Heather Parry

05 May 2016

 

Would you be Facebook friends with your boss, your co-worker or your company’s CEO? Probably not—if you’re smart. However, they’re probably looking at everything you do online—or, at least, everything that your privacy settings will allow them to see.

More than ever, employers are checking out the social media profiles of their potential employees in order to screen job applicants. A recent CareerBuilder survey found that 60% of employers check out the social media pages of job candidates. That’s well over half.

We believe that privacy is something that everyone is entitled to, which is why we’ve made SurfEasy VPN so easy to use on any device. However, a VPN won’t stop your employers (or potential employers) from checking out your social media profiles. A VPN won’t stop you from being so lazy with your privacy settings that a potential employer can see those embarrassing spring break photos from 2008, or that bad-taste (but admittedly funny) comment you once made about Bill Crosby. A VPN can’t hide what you’ve chosen to make public.

And it’s not just potential employers that might be vetting your social media profiles; it’s your current employers. And your parents. And the rest of the world. In Jon Ronson’s fantastic 2015 book So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed, Ronson tells the unfortunate story of Justine Sacco, whose dark-comedy tweet before boarding a flight went viral, leading to her losing her job and her reputation before her plane even landed. Are you so sure of your jokes and your sense of propriety that you’re okay with the whole planet potentially seeing your tweets, photos or statuses?

No? We didn’t think so.

It’s easy enough to secure your social media profiles. With one click, you can make your tweets private. You can make your Instagram for the eyes of your friends only. With Facebook, you can shut down your whole profile, or you can control who sees particular status updates. Take five minutes to look at who can see your content and how – you might be surprised, and a little bit shocked. For Facebook, here’s how:

  1. Click on the downward arrow at the top of any Facebook page.

  2. Select “Settings”

  3. Select “Privacy”

From here, you can see who can see your content, who can contact you, and who can look you up. If you don’t like what you find, you can easily change it.

 

While a VPN is the first line of defense in the battle to maintain your privacy, the war doesn’t end there. Take steps to protect yourself from all levels of attack, because privacy is a human right, and you shouldn’t let yours be taken away.

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