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Job Tip: Using Facebook to Help You Find a Job

by Blake Forrester 7/25/2011 9:54:00 AM

Facebook doesn’t necessarily have a great reputation for business networking, but there’s no reason why you shouldn’t use it to your full advantage. In many respects it possesses some of the same perks as LinkedIn, at least insofar as it allows you to display all of the qualifications, skills, and experiences that might make you a promising job candidate. The communication options afforded by Facebook are much more casual and relaxed, though, so be sure to read through all of these job tips and pointers:

  • Keep in mind that, with Facebook, you have the option of basically telling the whole world everything that happens to you throughout the day—but just because you can doesn’t mean you should. Be discerning, especially if you intend to use Facebook for business networking. (Facebook, in particular, is a social media platform that invites having separate business and personal accounts.) At the very least, check out your privacy settings and make sure that any embarrassing or incriminating photos are set to “None of my Networks” visibility.
  • Just like with LikedIn, make sure your Facebook information is accurate and up to date. Also make sure to use keywords that recruiters might be searching for. Again, it’s all about maximizing your odds of being found via search.
  • Be careful about the settings on your Wall. This is a great tool for casual communication with friends and business associates alike, but that doesn’t necessarily mean the things people write on your Wall need to be seen by prospective employers. Be careful about who you permit to write on and read your Wall.
  • Take the time to set up different networks for personal and professional contacts—and after that, it will be easy to add all new Facebook friends to the appropriate network.
  • Not all recruiters are going to use Facebook’s internal search capacities—some of them might search Facebook by using outside search engines, like Google. To ensure that they can find your page, make sure you check “Public Search Listing” under your privacy settings.

Download the Social Media Guide free to find even more tips to help you know what a potential employer is discovering about you—both online and off. The Social Media Guide is packed with useful advice and helpful hints to create the most effective and employer-friendly online profiles possible.

Probe Finds Over 40 Percent of Facebook Users Invite Identity Theft

by Staff Writer 12/9/2009 11:09:00 AM

According to a 2009 Facebook ID Probe from Sophos UK that was conducted to see how easily users of social networks give out personal data that could lead to identity theft, more than 40 percent of those in the probe accepted an invitation to be friends with two fictitious users.

Sophos created two female Australian Facebook users – Daisy Feletin (21 and single) and Dinette Stonily (56 and married) – and each sent friend requests to 100 randomly-selected contacts in their age group and then waited to see who would respond.

The findings show Facebook users are more susceptible to identity theft than ever, as over 40 percent of both age groups blindly accepted Facebook “friend requests,” and the younger users were more trusting than older users, 46 percent to 41 percent.

More troubling for the 20-something crowd, 100 percent of them shared email addresses, 89 percent revealed full dates of birth, 74 percent gave college or workplace information, and 50 percent shared home towns – key information that makes identity theft easier to commit.

To avoid identity theft and other online scams, social networking users are advised to not accept friends blindly, learn the privacy settings of social networking sites they join, and assume information revealed on social networking sites will be on the Internet forever.

MyBackgroundCheck.com – a leading provider of consumer requested and applicant supplied “personal” background checks – allows individuals to keep personal information current, accurate, and safe from identity theft. To learn how personal background checks help prevent identity theft, visit www.mybackgroundcheck.com, email info@mybackgroundcheck.com, or call 1-800-503-2364. Follow MyBackgroundCheck.com on Twitter at www.twitter.com/MyBackgroundChk.

pr@mybackgroundcheck.com

CNN Report Shows Private Information Can Be Very Public Online

by Staff Writer 11/17/2009 5:24:00 PM

An eye-opening video report by CNN Homeland Security Correspondent Jeanne Meserve (watch here) shows just how public our supposedly private information can be online.

The CNN report cites two examples – one somewhat embarrassing and the other downright dangerous – about people who discovered that pictures they posted online had reached far more people than originally intended.

  • A newly-married man posted intimate pictures of his Hawaiian wedding on social networking site Facebook to share with “friends,” but when he mentioned it on micro-blogging site Twitter, a link was attached that gave more than 3,000 “followers” access to the photos.
  • A mother was horrified to find a picture of her young daughter that she posted on Flickr – an online photo sharing application – used in an improperly suggestive way on another website. When she posted a warning, strangers used the Internet to find her phone number and home address. 

To show how easily available information is online, CNN gave the mother’s name – with her permission – to a private investigator who specializes in harvesting information from the Internet; he found 100 pages of possible links in less than two minutes.

Of course, posted photos are just the tip of the iceberg that is data privacy in the Internet age. CNN reports that more and more Americans are making their private information public on sites like Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, and YouTube, and warns that any time users hit the "send" button, their information is no longer their own.

While many websites try to provide customers with the tools they need to protect their personal information, the bottom line is that people are going to have to deal with minimal privacy in the future, according to the CNN report, which concludes with the following advice: “Privacy is dead. Get over it.”

However, while privacy may be dead, more people are realizing that personal data – including personally identifiable information (PII) such as name, address, birthday, and social security number (SSN) – needs to be protected at all costs and at every moment. One way individuals can view their own personal data and make sure that the information is current, secure, and accurate is by performing a "personal" background check on themselves.

While most background check providers only service employers and companies, MyBackgroundCheck.com – the nation’s leader in consumer requested and applicant supplied background checks – is at the forefront of the growing movement empowering individuals to take control of their personal information through personal background checks that they may use as jobseekers, students, volunteers, and consumers worried about identity theft.

To learn more about personal background checks from MyBackgroundCheck.com, visit www.mybackgroundcheck.com, email info@mybackgroundcheck.com, or call 800-503-2364. To follow MyBackgroundCheck.com on Twitter, visit www.twitter.com/MyBackgroundChk.

pr@mybackgroundcheck.com

Users of Popular Social Networking Sites Facebook and Twitter Warned About Identity Theft

by Tom Ahearn 10/21/2009 11:16:00 AM

A story on CNN.com"Facebook, Twitter users beware: Crooks are a mouse click away" – warns users of Facebook, Twitter, and other popular social networking sites that they could be victims of identity theft if they keep providing personal information to identity thieves.

According to CNN, since 2006 nearly 3,200 account hijacking cases – a type of identity theft – have been reported to the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3), a partnership between the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the National White Collar Crime Center, and the Bureau of Justice Assistance. In 2008, IC3 received more than 72,000 complaints about Internet identity theft and fraud resulting in financial losses of $264.6 million, up from 2007, an average loss of $931 per person, CNN reported.

Social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter are the new frontier in the identity theft battle because of their astounding growth rates. CNN reported that Facebook claimed 300 million users – almost the size of the current U.S. population – while micro-blogging site Twitter grew over 1,300 percent in one year to more than 7 million users.

The FBI and Internet security experts provide Facebook, Twitter, and other social network users with information on how to protect against identity theft scams, including:

  • Change passwords frequently;
  • Adjust privacy settings;
  • Add friends carefully (the average Facebook user has 120 friends);
  • Click with care, and;
  • Report compromised accounts.

Protecting personal information should be a top priority to users of social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter if they want to avoid identity theft. In addition to FBI suggestions, "personal" background checks – where individuals perform background checks on themselves – can be helpful in ensuring that personal information is kept safe from identity theft.

MyBackgroundCheck.com – a pioneer in consumer requested background checks – provides “personal” background checks that individuals perform on themselves to ensure that their personal information is current, accurate, and secure from identity theft. Over one million consumers have purchased background checks through MyBackgroundCheck.com.

To learn how personal background checks can help prevent identity theft on social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter, visit www.mybackgroundcheck.com, email info@mybackgroundcheck.com, or call 1-800-503-2364. Follow MyBackgroundCheck.com on Twitter at www.twitter.com/MyBackgroundChk.

tahearn@mybackgroundcheck.com

Nearly Half of Employers View Social Networking Sites During Background Checks

by Tom Ahearn 8/20/2009 12:16:00 PM

Along with cover letters and résumés, jobseekers in the 21st century will also have their participation in phenomenally popular social networking sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, MySpace, and Twitter looked at during pre-employment background checks.

According to a June 2009 CareerBuilder survey of more than 2,600 hiring managers, almost half (forty-five percent) of employers reported that they used social networking sites to screen potential employees during background checks, twice as many as the 22 percent who viewed social networking sites in 2008. In addition, eleven percent of employers planned to start using social networking sites during the background check process.

The survey also revealed that the most popular social networking sites for employers who conducted online searches during background checks of job candidates were Facebook (29 percent), LinkedIn (26 percent), MySpace (21 percent), and Twitter (7 percent).

With regard with a particular industries, the survey found jobseekers looking for work in Information Technology (63 percent) and Professional/Business Services (53 percent) were the most likely to have social networking sites screened by potential employers during background checks.

In another finding that should make jobseekers reconsider posting what may be deemed inappropriate material online, the survey showed that over one-third (35 percent) of employers reported they had found content on social networking sites during background checks that caused them to reconsider hiring the candidate. Examples of this "inappropriate" content from jobseekers included:

  • Posting provocative photographs or information (53 percent)
  • Posting content about drinking or using drugs (44 percent)
  • Bad-mouthing previous employer, co-workers, or clients (35 percent)
  • Showing poor communication skills (29 percent)
  • Making discriminatory comments (26 percent)
  • Lying about qualifications (24 percent)
  • Sharing confidential information from previous employer (20 percent)

On the positive side, 18 percent of employers said they found content on social networking sites during background checks that led them to hire the candidate, including profiles that showed: the personality to fit within the organization (50 percent), professional qualifications (39 percent), creativity (38 percent), solid communication skills (35 percent), well-roundedness (33 percent), good references from others (19 percent), and that the candidate had received awards (15 percent).

For better or worse, jobseekers in today's Internet Age must realize that their job interviews and background checks can last 24 hours a day and 7 says a week due to the inter-connectedness and easy availability of social networking sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, MySpace, and Twitter, among others.

Some jobseekers are taking pro-active steps to stand out from the crowd by ordering "personal" background checks on themselves to show potential employers. MyBackgroundCheck.com – a pioneer in providing consumer requested and applicant supplied background checks on individuals – can help jobseekers provide employers with accurate and current information in a safe and secure manner.

For more information on how personal background checks can help jobseekers gain employment, please visit www.mybackgroundcheck.com, info@mybackgroundcheck.com, or call 1-800-503-2364. To follow MyBackgroundCheck.com on Twitter, visit www.twitter.com/MyBackgroundChk.

tahearn@mybackgroundcheck.com



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