Talking about the privacy concerns with social media use can seem like
beating a dead horse, but with 33% of college admissions officers admitting
to viewing applicants’ social media profiles, students and their parents need
to know what they’re getting into when they post online.
According to a 2018 CareerBuilder survey, 70% of employers regularly use
social media to screen job candidates, and 34% of employers reprimanded or
fired an employee based on content they found online.
Because social media has the potential to have such a large impact on a
student’s future, it’s crucial for them to be taught how to manage their online
reputation. Here are six simple ways to ensure your student is scrolling for
• Make your own social media accounts. Parents who are more familiar
with their child’s social media platforms are better able to teach what to
do and what not to do. Once you make your own account, you can then send
a friend request to your child. Because you are then connected to their social
media, it will discourage them from posting what they are doing at their
“after school hangout,” especially if they know their parents or other family
members will be able to clearly see it.
• Have them consider “what ifs.” A question that should be asked to anyone
with a social media account is: “If your future employer were to do an online
search of you right now, how concerned would you be with what they could
find?” If the answer is “Not very,” great! If they pause and think, it may be
time to start reviewing the content they share.
• Make sure their social media accounts are private. While this cannot
guarantee absolute privacy, it can help to prevent strangers from accessing
your child’s photos and other information. Any public photos or videos posted
online can be easily duplicated and put into any article, news report, poster,
• Encourage young adults to use LinkedIn. Social Media is not the enemy. In fact, 37% of employers say they have hired a candidate because their social media reflected the personality of the company. Platforms such as LinkedIn allow employers to see your child’s past job experiences and current
• Have regular conversations about social media. Making your child aware
of the potential impact a post can have on their future might make them think
twice about what they are posting.
• Reach out to the Better Business
Bureau for resources. If you have
questions about ways you can protect
yourself online, reach out to BBB. Contact
the BBB at bbb.org or 651-699-1111,
toll-free at 1-800-646-6222.