Find helpful tips and suggestions for your personal social media in order to protect your personal information.

Protect your identity

While you want to be honest about yourself, refrain from posting personal information that scam artists or identity thieves could use against you. Don’t list your home address, telephone number, or e-mail address. Be aware of “phishers” or those who might try to hack your account, and reset your password in the event of a breach. Always log out of your account when using public computers.

Helpful Tips:

  • Create complex passwords (using numbers, symbols, and capital letters), and make sure that they are unrelated to any of the information you have posted (e.g., your birthday).
  • Adjust your privacy settings on social media to allow only people you know or want to share information with to view your content.
  • Consider posting only information that is already available in the public domain when you create your personal profile. And post general information (like your birthday without the year) rather than specific details (like your phone number or residence hall room number).
  • Beware of accounts posing as people they are not

Social media is more social than you think

Consider the image of yourself that your posts create. What would a scholarship awards committee or prospective employer think of you? According to a National Recruiter Survey from Jobvite in 2020 (1), the top four social media channels most used for recruiting were LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. This survey also assessed the biggest turn-offs when it comes to social media ranked as:

  • Spelling & grammar errors in posts or tweets (53%)
  • References to cannabis (45%)
  • Alcohol consumption (42%)
  • Political posts (32%)
  • Pictures of body showing skin (30%)

Think before you post

Privacy does not exist in social media. Public posts are indexed in search engines, and private comments can be forwarded or copied and easily made available to the public. Use privacy settings to restrict personal information on otherwise public accounts, but be aware of the limited protection this provides. Remember that what you post on your personal page could haunt you professionally.

Helpful Tip

  • Perform a Google search on yourself on a periodic basis to identify what your name is linked to, on the internet

Your behavior online can define you

Be mindful of what you are posting and how you are speaking to others on social media platforms. You have the opportunity to show recruiters and potential employers the type of person you are so always put your best foot forward. Also, you don’t need to stand for negative behavior. You have the option to block or unfriend users who are creating a negative environment for you and others (2).

Be aware of liability

Adelphi University actively supports free speech by its community members. The university will respond to unprotected speech (e.g. speech that identifies a direct threat towards an identifiable person or speech that incites violence).

Remember that information posted on social media sites are subject to libel and defamation claims through the legal justice system. Someone can initiate a cause of action for libel against you, if they have evidence that you posted information that you knew to be untrue about someone else.

What are your values?

Evaluate your online behavior based on who you want to be as a person. Many behaviors that are legal still might not be wise, in your best interest, or consistent with your values. Before you post something, ask yourself if it accurately reflects who you want to be. If the answer is no or you’re not sure, take a breath and reevaluate the post.

The Care Team
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