In a world that is increasingly getting online and social even at that, our behaviour in one corner of the world somewhere can have tremendous impact on other crucial areas of our life. It can lead to job loss, defamation, social ostracism and so many more dangerous things. Cyber-security Company McAfee thus commissioned a study on Indian behaviour as well as wariness online.
The study revealed that 21.4per cent worry that content on their social profiles would negatively affect career/job prospects. Worryingly, despite being a hotbed for personal information and photos, more than half (55.4per cent) people have at least one dormant social media account.
On the positive side, 63.1per cent Indians have set up a social media profile, specifically for professional use, with 46.9per cent preferring to keep personal and work life separate.
Well-publicised examples of celebrities and personalities’ posts coming back to haunt them are all over the news, yet many fail to take even basic steps to ensure prospective employers aren’t able to see content that could impact their professional image. More than a quarter (30.6 per cent) admit to only deleting posts after a crisis and 25.7 per cent confess to posting negative content about their current workplace.
Those of university age are more concerned with how their digital footprint affects their reputation at work compared to older generations. Of those aged 16-24, 31.4 per cent agree that social media content is important to their career prospects, compared to 24.6 per cent of those aged 35-44. Of those aged 16-24, 41.1 per cent are very careful about social media content they post and are tagged in, as compared to 35.6 per cent of those aged 45-55.Despite this, Indians still have a lot of unsavoury content on their current social media channels, which is NSFW (Not Safe For Work).
Top 10 NSFW posts Indians are most embarrassed by on their social media:
- Comment that can be perceived offensive (e.g. insulting someone, criticising someone’s appearance or controversial views)
- Wearing an embarrassing outfit
- Places or events in which I am identified, and I am ashamed to have gone
- In a fight
- Wardrobe malfunction e.g. zip accidentally undone, low-riding top/trousers
- Sleeping somewhere I shouldn’t e.g. bar, pavement, field
- Drunken behaviour
- Kissing someone I shouldn’t have been
As well as being cautious about posted content, people need to take a closer look at privacy settings on their social media profiles to prevent the wrong people from stumbling across damaging and personal content. Shockingly, 25.3per cent admit they have no idea how to change their privacy settings on social media and over a third (33.7per cent) say they haven’t done anything to change privacy settings despite knowing how to. This is especially important considering that 21.2per cent know someone whose career or job prospects have been negatively affected by social media content they’ve posted, or been tagged in,and 40per cent even admit they could lose their job over their social media content.
As well as the potential to hurt career prospects, relaxed attitudes to social media could be leaving the door open for cybercriminals. Considering how much personal information and images social media accounts hold, it’s concerning that 14.9per cent say they don’t know how to close down their inactive accounts and a third (24per cent) don’t know the passwords or no longer have access to the email addresses they used to set them up – effectively locking them out.
Consumers must conduct regular digital health checks on their social media accounts - personal and professional. A large number of people have inactive social media accounts, leaving personal information and embarrassing or incriminating old photos and posts on display to potential employers, or worse, cybercriminals looking to harvest personal data....