The dangers facing young people in college when it comes to getting a job: the newest threat is social net work dirt snooping:
How Embarrassing/Job-threatening Facebook photos are a part of your job application
It is interesting to note that employers are not prmarily interested in the typical college hi-jinks (underage drinking of course is still a no-no), but in things like the prospective employee’s politic beliefs.
This invasion of privacy and control is not good in career, and is way out of line. In effect HR Commissars are acting out of line with any free society. Consider the definition of the old Soviet Commisar:
The political commissar (also politruk Russian: политрук from политический руководитель: political officer) is the supervisory political officer responsible for the political education (ideology) and organisation, and loyalty to the government of the military. Historically, the commissaire politique (political commissary) first appeared in the French Revolution (1789–99), guarding it against anti-Revolutionary (ideological) thought and action, and so ensuring the Republican victory.
Basic tips on maintain privacy while having the freedom for students to express and explore outside the mainstream:
-understand how data mining works, basically knowing the logic of a search engine, how it filters out terms and collects data on a subject
-maintain separate accounts, one is your face for the world, the other is for friends
-separate e-mails, returning to search engine logic, they can’t find what is not tied direct to your on-line ‘persona’ (from the Latin for “Mask”)
-separate social network sites, one for your professional and personal contacts (i.e. friends, family, work colleagues) and the other can be a pen name
-never use handles that can be traced back to you, let’s say the student is a memeber at ‘alt.policitical-discussion.org’ discussing politics that can be flagged, well they certainly would not want to register there with their school e-mail nor use a handle based on their actual name
-never post actual photos of yourself in your ‘persona’ facial recognition technology can spot you
The general rule most young people should remember (unless they are part of some sort of privileged status) is: most employers are looking for any excuse to deny you entry in their business. For more information about protecting your identity from snoops, identity thieves, and any other prying busy-body, start by checking out, How To Vanish.com and Practical Interenet Privacy by Paul Green.
So there you have it welcome to college kiddies, now spend the next four to six years keeping your image clean, and remember, the Commissars are watching.