January 28, 2010 was the 4th annual Data Privacy Day. The Microsoft-sponsored “holiday” was established to raise awareness and educate consumers regarding online privacy issues. In accordance with the day, Micosoft also released survey results detailing consumers’ online web use and privacy.
The survey revealed that the majority of employers do use the Internet to check for background information on a job candidate. This is another reminder to mind your manners on social networking sites. Even if you are not in the job market now, don’t post anything that you might regret down the road.
Here are some of the staggering survey results:
- Between 30-35% of respondents believed online reputations would not impact their personal or professional lives.
- Almost 80% of survey participants have not checked to see what others have posted about them on the Internet.
- 70 percent of HR workers admitted to rejecting a candidate because of his or her Internet use.
- A large majority of recruiters and HR professionals use online tools as a background check-
Search engines: 78%
Social networking sites: 63%
Photo and video sharing sites: 59%
Professional and business networking sites: 57%
Personal Web sites: 48%
News sharing sites (Twitter): 41%
Online forums and communities: 34%
Virtual world sites: 32%
Web sites that aggregate personal information: 32%
Online gaming sites: 27%
Professional background checking services: 27%
Classifieds and auction sites: 25%
None of these: 2%
Source: Online Reputation research, Microsoft and Cross-Tab Marketing Services
Cassie is a May 2009 University of Wisconsin-Madison Ag Journalism graduate. She recently joined SPARK Advertising in Neenah, Wis. as a full-time public relations specialist. Find Cassie on Twitter, BrazenCareerist, and LinkedIn.