It’s safe to say that most young Canadians are obsessed with social media. While social platforms can be a great way to stay connected and build professional networks, keeping your personal brand in check online is just as important as it is in the real world. Fun facts: did you know 31 per cent of college admissions officers check applicants’ social profiles to learn more about them and 93 per cent of potential employers view candidates’ social media channels when making a hiring decision?
Whether high school students are applying to the post-secondary program of their dreams, or college and university students are working towards starting an exciting new career, their online reputation is just as important as good grades or a solid resume.
To help young Canadians take control of their online brand, TELUS has launched TELUS WISE in control, a free program designed to engage Canadian high school and post-secondary students in the important discussion of how to protect their online brand and reputation, and grow it positively.
Here are 8 simple ways students can keep their online brand in control:
- Keep an eye on your permissions settings. Every time you download an app or sign up for a social networking site, you could be allowing its developers to see and potentially use personal information like your address book, location, or even your photos. Not cool.
- Watch your privacy settings. Make sure you know what information is being shared publicly and what information can be accessed by your smartphone apps. You may be sharing more than you intended.
- Set strong passwords. A good password, at least six characters (numbers, letters, etc.) long, can help stop someone from hacking into your social networking accounts or changing passwords on your apps. Don’t forget to update passwords regularly and never share them with others.
- Be careful what you post and share online. Would grandma approve? Don’t share anything you wouldn’t want her to see. Anything you post can be copied or shared in just seconds – even after you think it’s been erased.
- Guard your personal information. To avoid theft or abuse think twice before posting things like your phone number, birth date or home address online – even bragging about vacation details on social media is a big no-no!
- Create a Google Alert for your name to track what’s being said about you online.
- Think twice before connecting. A good rule of thumb is to only connect and share with people you know in real life. Facebook estimates that seven per cent of their users’ profiles are fake, potentially created by malware writers and spammers. True story.
- Establish and respect personal boundaries online. Ask for respect in your online relationships, just as you would in the physical world. Think about the consequences if you engage in sexually explicit conversations and create/share sexual pictures or videos with people online.
For more resources and tips, and to learn how to protect and grow your online brand, visit TELUS WISE in control.