Will your kids be able to pass a Social Media Background Check?

I have passed a criminal background check and a credit report review. I never had a social media background check. However, my kids may need to pass this test.

Social Intelligence conducts social media background checks for employers. Its checks includes data from major social platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and MySpace plus other information from deep Web searches. Deep web searches find comments and posts on blogs as well as smaller social sites, Yahoo user groups, e-commerce sites, bulletin boards and even Craigslist.

The Federal Trade Commission has approved Social Intelligence as a consumer reporting agency. With the FTC approval, employers can now legally use these social media background reports. Applicants must approve the use of a social media background screen, just as they would a criminal background or credit check. Gizmodo provides an example of a social media background check conducted by Social Intelligence.

The app, Beenverified, makes it even easier by providing an instant background check. Using an iphone or android phone, anyone can search people and check their criminal history, property records, contact info, relatives, neighbors, and more. The app also has an email search to find what social networks a person uses and their online photos, websites, blog posts, etc.

With the FTC ruling and apps like Beenverified, social media background checks are likely to become more common. Kids should understand how all their online interactions contribute to their digital profile, how they can control it and who can see it. Parents should talk about digital profiles early and often.

Kids need to:

  • Use privacy settings to limit publicly available data.
  • Set up a dedicated job search email account to use as contact information on your resume
  • Create a public profile that highlights your resume, volunteer work and other positives.
  • Think about how posting information, downloading pictures, tweeting, commenting on blogs, clicking on like buttons will appear to potential employers 7 years from now.
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