I recently watched a well done documentary entitled Terms and Conditions May Apply. It had a good amount of information, but nothing particularly surprising or unsettling. I know companies have claim on the info, pictures, and other items I provide them. I know the risk when subscribing, signing up for, posting, tweeting, snapchatting, etc.
There are methods to keeping yourself secure (strong password, pseudonym accounts, etc.), but honestly, the biggest takeaway from this film? DON’T POST ANYTHING ON SOCIAL MEDIA THAT YOU WOULDN’T WANT YOUR GRANDMA/EMPLOYER/SCHOOL/ETC. TO SEE. Photos of wild parties, sexist jokes, strongly-worded political opinions, and stories of illegal (albeit fun) behavior should be left elsewhere. As great as it is to have those likes and comments and people thinking your life is full of fun, wit, and adventure, it has a strong possibility of coming back to bite you.
I have three excellent examples. My first friend didn’t land an solid job at an prestigious company because they perused her Facebook first and found a few photos of her “partying hard” (they brought this up in the interview!). My second friend was called to drop out of the running for Student Body President of the University of Utah when a racist joke was found on his Facebook page FROM FIVE YEARS PRIOR. My last friend didn’t hire a qualified candidate to work at this company because this individual had “liked” Kanye West on Facebook (I can sort of see where he’s coming from, admittedly).
Be careful, and be smart, people.