When we started TrustedID® almost a decade ago, it was with the goal of providing our customers with the most comprehensive and proactive identity protection available in the market. Since that time, we’ve proudly served millions of individuals and led our industry with innovative ways to help protect them from the growing and diverse risks to their identity and reputation. Today, we are announcing that we’re taking the next step on our mission – joining Equifax Personal Solutions, with whom we have signed an agreement to acquire TrustedID. Learn More
You’d be surprised to find out how much of your information is out there. Your data lives in hundreds of locations online and may even be sold without your permission. Yet, a lot of people maintain trust and feel confident when searching, buying and socializing online–believing their personal information gets lost in the sheer volume of online transactions that take place on a daily basis.
Your personal information can be found through:
- Search people databases such as Spokeo or Intelius
- Major search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing
- Social networks such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn
- The deep web – the part of the web that cannot be accessed through ordinary search engines
How does your information get there in the first place?
That’s easy. You offer it up. Consider all the things you do online: emailing, shopping, social networking, banking and many more. All of these actions require us to surrender personal and, oftentimes, financial information. It is difficult to always consider carefully where your information goes before sending it into the infinite abyss of the Internet
Here are a few pointers:
3. Always opt-out when asked to if you are OK with sharing your information with third parties.
We face a serious trade-off between privacy and convenience. Short of never going online, it’s almost impossible to keep all personal information off of the Internet, but that doesn’t mean we have to give up online privacy all together. We just need to make more of an effort to be stingy and vigilant behind the keyboard.
In a recent study from Northern Illinois University, researchers found that Facebook profiles can help predict job performance and academic success. A small group of HR professionals and students were asked to review students’ Facebook profiles, grade them according to the Big Five personality traits (conscientiousness, agreeableness, extroversion, emotional stability and openness) and then rate their hirability. Six months later, researchers matched these ratings against employee evaluations from the students’ supervisors and found a strong correlation between the two.
“In five or 10 minutes, our raters could look at the tone of a subject’s wall post, note the number of friends they have, peruse their photos to see how social they were and assess their tastes in books and music. It’s a very rich source of information,” says Don Kluemper, lead researcher of the study.
Other major takeaways of the study include:
- Facebook scores were a better predictor of future academic success (based upon grade point averages) than personality and IQ scores combined.
- Facebook profiles are more authentic than personality profiles questionnaires.
- Emotional extremes displayed on Facebook can translate to “emotionally unstable.”
What can I do to make sure my profile is the best reflection of my personality?
Reppler helps you monitor your Facebook profile, and generates an “Image Score” to evaluate the tone of the language on your wall (positive, neutral or negative). Our “Common Word” widget keeps record of the words used most often by you and your connections. Like to “vent” on Facebook? Chances are your score will indicate a higher level of emotional instability (not exactly something a potential employer wants to see). When it doubt, choose something positive to post.
Interestingly enough, however, social pictures on your profile are not always a bad thing. They indicate extroversion and friendliness. Does this mean anything goes? Certainly not. Some pictures, and you know which ones, should remain for your eyes only.
Whether we like it or not, Facebook is being used as a reliable job-screening tool. It is important to ensure that your profile is consistent with how you would like to be perceived by others, personally and professionally.