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Social media has made it possible to share thoughts, ideas and images with thousands of friends and connections – and beyond that, with virtual strangers everywhere. The harsh truth is that as much fun and as useful it may be, it also has a down side. Even the smallest mistakes in terms of what you post can have lasting negative repercussions, up to and including job loss and legal action.

Save yourself and others from heartache, embarrassment or even financial or physical harm by taking a smart approach to anything you put “out there” on social media. Stay away from posting:

  1. Offensive Content

This includes all posts, comments, updates, images and attachments that are distasteful or questionable. It shows a lack of awareness that can cause irreparable damage to your person brand – or worse. When in doubt, leave it out.

  1. Negative Comments or Attacks

Social media is not the place to air grievances or complaints about anyone, especially current or past employers or colleagues. Along the same lines, do not give specific details about mistakes your coworkers have made. Sharing this type of content is not only unprofessional, but it may even be grounds for firing or a lawsuit.

  • Lashing out online, even regarding personal matters, will leave your relationship in a state of permanent disrepair. It also sends the message that you don’t respect others and may damage any trust your general audience has in you.
  1. Private Conversations – Without Permission

You may have received a great tip or idea from someone – or a shining testimonial about your product. The immediate temptation is to share this content with your own followers and friends, but it’s advisable to ask for permission first. This is especially crucial if you plan to share a screenshot or any identifying information.

  1. Too Much Personal Information

Of course you talk about yourself on social media and want to be authentic in doing so. But too much personal information is too much. For instance, avoid sharing:

  • Your full birthdate. This could provide scammers and thieves with a key piece of data needed to steal your identity or open a false account in your name.
  • Your real phone number. Your location could be narrowed down by someone using a reverse phone number lookup tool. A good alternative might be a Google voice phone number as a go-between.
  • Geotag information. Social networks use geolocation to check where you are when you post tweets or status updates. Malicious persons can use this to track you down or collect personal details and release them publicly.
  1. Anything You Don’t Want the Whole World to See

You cannot rely on “Friends Only” and similar settings to adequately protect you. Assume that everything is public. Don’t post anything you wouldn’t want the whole world to have access to, including photos. It may seem paranoid, but taking a conservative approach is your best guarantee for privacy and safety.

  • Ask yourself, “Would I want my family or my boss to see this?” If the answer is no, don’t post it. Because in all likelihood, they will.

The PrideStaff Modesto team can help you build your brand image – including perfecting and monitoring your social media presence – at the same time you build your successful career. Contact us today so we can tell you more.

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