Wanna go to College? Know This About Your Social Media Profile

Nov 26, 2012

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college studentsTeens: it’s important to be cautious about things you post online. You never know who’s watching.

Kaplan recently posted a survey that revealed that colleges are looking at prospective applicants’ online presence, including Facebook and Twitter.  Not surprisingly, college applicants who post inappropriate things are more likely to be rejected.

Some college applicants have made the mistake of revealing that a certain university was their “safety” school. In other words, their last choice or last resort if no other school admitted them. And, predictably, admissions officers at “safety” schools don't take kindly to that treatment and generally reject such applicants very quickly.

Kaplan lists 10 ways to manage your social media footprint:

Check your digital trail and keep it clean (search for yourself on Google to see what comes up).

Limit your profile searchability (i.e., on Facebook, make yourself only viewable to friends).

Keep your profile photo appropriate. (Enough said.)

Control who can contact you on Facebook (maybe just allow “friends of friends” and not everyone in the world).

Remove your past Facebook posts from public view (a new setting allows you to limit the audience for past posts).

Take control of tagging on your profile (don’t let friends tag you ‘cause you can’t control that.)

Filter your Friends network (set up a list for friends and another for others with different settings; do you trust all of your friends 100%?).

Make your Twitter account permission-only (by default, anyone can follow you and see your Tweets).

Or, change your Twitter name to avoid direct correlation to you.

Be smart and think about everything you post online before you do it.

The basic takeaway message is to be responsible and avoid sharing too much. Think before you post.  The Internet has a very long memory.

Parents should discuss these issues with their kids. It might help avoid a headache in the future.

I work for ContentWatch and all opinions expressed here are my own.