1. Represent yourself professionally
As a student at the University of Kansas Medical Center, you are considered a professional and should represent yourself as such at all times. This will help you, as students, prepare to practice and maintain professional and ethical standards after you graduate. Your online profiles should also represent you in a professional light.
2. Be aware of your online identity
Just because you are careful about what you put on your personal pages does not mean other people are. Embarrassing or compromising pictures can very easily appear on a friend’s page and get “tagged” to yours. Have conversations with your friends about what is appropriate to post and why.
3. Once it is out there, it is out there
Caching means that if you post something on a site, even just for a day or two, it will remain in cyberspace forever. Caching is a great thing when you have lost something you need on the internet. However, it can also come back to haunt you when those embarrassing pictures you took down three years ago show up in your file at a job interview.
You do have the ability to contact search engines, like Google, who cache large amounts of information and request that they remove the content. However, you should consider the growing number of search engines and that your request may take some time to process. Give careful thought to the content you are placing on your social networking page. It may be advisable not to put it out there in the first place.
4. The Internet is not a private place
The internet is a great place to market yourself, whether you intend to or not. Most social networking sites are public, meaning anyone can join, create a profile, look at your profile and even become your “friend”. But while you are out there posting pictures of last weekend’s festivities with your friends, remember that they are probably not the only ones looking at your profile.
By now we have all heard stories from around the country about men and women who have had negative consequences as a result of their Facebook or Twitter content. Do not be the next person to get fired, lose an interview, or be arrested for things that were seen or read on your social media pages.
5. Use your privacy settings
All social networking sites have privacy settings, most of which range from none to paranoid! These are put in place to protect you, your information and your online identity, so be thoughtful about your settings and use them.