17% of Millennials have job-related worries due to social media posts, finds research
Millennials must get smarter about managing their digital footprint if they are to avoid the pitfalls of cybercrime and threats to their reputation, according to research from Norton.
The survey of 1,000 mobile users aged 18-34 across the UK found that nearly three-quarters (72%) of Millennials search their names online to see how they appear to an idle searcher. Of those who have searched their name online, close to 15% were surprised by what they found and 17% have job-related worries due to social media posts. With almost half (48%) of hiring managers indicating they found something online about an applicant that led them to not move forward with hiring, it’s time for all job seekers to take control of how their online presence is seen by others, says Norton.
It’s not just appearances and previous mistakes job applicants have to worry about, however, with scammers looking to exploit hopeful candidates too. One-fifth (19%) were contacted or applied for a job only to realise it was a fake opportunity or scam. The research found that men (22%) were more likely to be duped than women (16%).
Over a third (35%) of respondents acknowledge they have fallen victim to a phishing attack, a malicious attempt from hackers to acquire information such as usernames, passwords, and financial details, or have had an online account, such as e-mail, compromised. This can have a serious impact on one’s online reputation; 45% of the reported account compromises led to spamming or phishing of the victim’s online contacts, appearing to come from the victim directly. Other outcomes included impersonating the victim through e-mail messages and social media posts (16%), and posting inappropriate content (7%) such as private images, conversations or personal information.
Any content or information about an individual may affect the perceptions of others, from embarrassing photos to an angry tweet, Norton states When entering their name in a search engine, 41% found an old social media profile and over a fifth (22%) were shocked to find content published without their permission. Furthermore, just under a quarter of respondents (23%) were surprised to find embarrassing pictures or videos and 26% found old and forgotten social profiles they thought weren’t accessible.
Nick Shaw, general manager of Norton EMEA, said, “Your online reputation is an increasingly important part of modern life. As we live more of our daily lives online, more personal information is available for public consumption, including scammers who can use it against you at any time.
“Knowing how to manage your online footprint is key to staying safe. Ensuring content can only be viewed by the people you want to is the first step to taking control of your online reputation.”
Martin Warnes, managing director at reed.co.uk, commented, “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.
“Instead, tailor your online presence to accentuate your talents, skills, and interests to prove that you’d be an asset to any employer. Some aspects of your online reputation could actually help move your application forward, such as adding in background information on employment history, qualifications, and posts/photos that give a positive and professional impression of you and your personality. It might actually help you get the job you want.”
Norton’s top tips: How job hopefuls can better manage their online presence
Job seekers should remember that anything posted online is there for everyone to see. Without proper management, you may run the risk of losing out on job opportunities or even becoming a victim of 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 unauthorised access to your online accounts
- Use robust security software, such as Norton Security, to help protect against malicious online attacks that may affect your online reputation