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Backfire Can Burn Both Ways

Last week, we had an overdose of Mark Zuckerberg after he spent almost 20 hours testifying before the House and Senate blaming “malicious actors” who took advantage of search tools on its platform, making it possible for them to discover the identities and collect information on most of its two billion users worldwide.

Of course, the root of the problem is Facebook, which enabled access to a treasure chest of personal data. We have reported previously that online investigation of candidates is pro forma, and millennials are especially at risk of employers uncovering unflattering or damaging information about them because of the proliferation of their use of social media channels such as Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat.

However, I uncovered an interesting new angle on the social media story last week when I learned that a corporate recruiter dove into the Internet to find out as much as it could about a candidate’s cyberspace profile and was troubled that nothing could be found, raising questions about what the candidate was hiding. The reality was that this individual avoided any use of social media in order to remain very private and to protest the availability of personal data.

It was interesting to learn that employers are equally concerned that they cannot uncover personal “stuff” on you. So, if you are a private soul, go ahead and establish a Facebook account and just post pictures of Aunt Bertha and Uncle Joe. That should quench an investigator’s thirst for “information.”

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