Online Identity

I’ve read an article in regard to the topic “Online Identity” on 37 Percent of Employers use Facebook to Pre-Screen Applicants (Article). A survey was conducted by a job listing website CareerBuilder. Research data was gathered by Harris Interactive in February and March of 2012. They asked more than 2,000 hiring managers if they use social media to prescreen their applicants, and, if their findings affect the candidates. It shows 37% of the hiring manager use social networking sites to predetermine their candidates. The managers state they check the applicants to see if they present themselves professionally. While some wanted to learn if the applicant qualifies for the job. However, some companies have a practice of asking applicants for their user and password to log into their accounts, which does not limit only to social networking website. That started a debate of privacy invasion. A reason provided for their action is, they want to conduct a background check before offering employment in a public trust position.

I have a Facebook account that does not allow anyone besides my friends to read my information. I don’t accept friends whom I do not know. I don’t want anyone I don’t know looking through my information because I am afraid of identity theft. Especially when logging onto bank accounts. Most of the login security questions require answers to “what city was your elementary school”. That kind of information can be found on social network.  Online identity does reflect upon your true self, because most people feel comfortable hidden behind their computer, and they express themselves thoughtlessly. So when applying for a job, potential employers may find something they dislike on your social network, and it’ll affect your employment success rate.

I keep my online presence low because I don’t like telling people my life activity. So when I googled myself I only found my facebook account, which is set to private. I don’t think its ethical to base people’s promotion or employment on their online social life. But, I do understand, so I am not against it, because employers should know the type of person they are hiring, or promoting. Anything online is considered as open information, which can be obtained by anyone. However, no one should be allowed to ask for login information.  If employers or hiring managers can’t find anything on that candidate, their employment should not be affected.


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