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

employment goals.

• 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 or 651-699-1111,

toll-free at 1-800-646-6222.

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