By the Echo Press Editorial Board

If you think that what you post on social media doesn’t have an impact, consider this:

About one-third of college admissions officers admit to viewing applicants’ social media profiles.

Also, about 70 percent of employers regularly use social media to screen job applicants and 34 percent of employers have reprimanded or fired a worker based on the content they found online, according to a 2018 CareerBuilders survey.

The Better Business Bureau of Minnesota and North Dakota points out that talking about privacy concerns with social media may seem like beating a dead horse but it’s important for students and parents to know what they’re getting into when they post things online.

“Because social media has the potential to have such a large impact on a student’s future, it’s crucial for them to be taught how to manage their online reputation,” the bureau noted in a press release.

The bureau offers these six simple ways to ensure your student is scrolling for success:

  • Make your own social media accounts. Parents who are more familiar with their child’s social media platforms are better able to teach what to do and what not to do. Once you make your own account, you can then send a friend request to your child. Because you are then connected to their social media, it will discourage them from posting what they are doing at their “after school hangout,” especially if they know their parents or other family members will be able to clearly see it.

  • Have them consider “what ifs.” A question that should be asked to anyone with a social media account is: “If your future employer were to do an online search of you right now, how concerned would you be with what they could find?” If the answer is “Not very,” great! If they pause and think, it may be time to start reviewing the content they share.

  • Make sure their social media accounts are private. While this cannot guarantee absolute privacy, it can help to prevent strangers from accessing your child’s photos and other information. Any public photos or videos posted online can be easily duplicated and put into any article, news report, poster, etc.

  • Encourage young adults to use LinkedIn. Social Media is not the enemy. In fact, 37 percent of employers say they have hired a candidate because their social media reflected the personality of the company, according to CareerBuilders. Platforms such as LinkedIn allow employers to see your child’s past job experiences and current employment goals.

  • Have regular conversations about social media. Making your child aware of the potential impact a post can have on their future might make them think twice about what they are posting.

  • Reach out to the Better Business Bureau for resources. If you have questions about ways you can protect yourself online, reach out to the Better Business Bureau at www.bbb.org.