We here at Cancer and Careers talk a lot about building and protecting your online brand. We urge our audience to think carefully about the personal information they post, as it could potentially hinder career success. Obviously one of the most important online spaces to consider is Facebook, where sharing - and over sharing - is extremely common. So when the latest changes to Facebook privacy were announced, we were pleased to see this article by the New York Times, detailing exactly how best to evaluate your online brand and protect your privacy.
Now that Facebook has become more closely tied into to search engines, it's possible for people to Google things you may have 'liked' on Facebook - whether this is running in the park or a certain cancer treatment center - and have your page pop up in the results. For this reason and more, the Times article makes clear that "it is more important than ever to lock down your privacy settings now that everything you post will be even easier to find."
The author lays out four questions to ask yourself when evaluating whether or not you should tighten your privacy settings:
- How would you like to be found? By default, search engines can link to your timeline. You can turn that off if you wish.
- What do you want the world to know about you? Consider carefully before you post: would you want a boss--current or future--or coworkers to know this?
- Do you mind being tracked by advertisers?
- Whom do you want to befriend? Do you really want to be friends with your boss, or have your co-workers' apps "in one click, know who you are and have access to all the photos that you thought you were sharing with 'friends'"?