The employment process can be the most difficult time in anyone’s life. Imagine finally getting an interview, and in order to close the deal you are asked to hand over any or all social network passwords. I know what you may be thinking; what does Facebook have to do with my interview process? Sadly to say, this isn’t something new, it’s just an evolved version of employers creeping through the web to find your online profiles. They’re not “creeping” anymore, but letting you know upfront what they have been doing for some time now.
In case you missed it, the people of Maryland nipped this in the bud with a bill that wouldblock employers from asking for social network passwords. People became more aware of this issue after Robert Collins made his story public. Collins, a correctional officer, was asked for his Facebook account information during a reinstatement interview. He gave up the information, but having second thoughts about his rights made him bring the issue to the American Civil Liberties Union. Needless to say, employers in the state of Maryland can no longer practice this act. So what does this mean for the rest of America? Well it means that it’s subject to happen to you.
Before it happens, you should know that you have the right to nicely, and eloquently refuse to pass over your information. Know that you have the option of editing you online profile(s) so that employers can only see what you want them too. Take it a step further and edit your profile so that you do not appear in a Google search engine. You also have the option of just cleaning up your page overall of ill comments and photos for future references.
Whatever you decide to do, it is important to understand that you have options. Take a look at Tony Morrison’s article “What to Do When a Potential Employer Asks for Your Facebook Password.” Remember that you may not need a bill, to fully take control of your privacy.
Writer: Judith Sully: Follow Me on Twitter @JudithSully