This past week a story started circulating that managers were asking for employees or job candidates for their Facebook passwords. An employment lawyer would answer this better, but I am fairly sure this cannot be allowed (at least in Canada) – unless of course the employee is using their Facebook profile to post company information, offers etc. But why would they?
Of course the US Senate has already looked at launching in to a probe to see if it violates any laws and other countries are doing likewise. Facebook has jumped in to the fray too, although I am not sure its their domain (pardon the pun!).
More importantly what can you be doing right now, before anyone makes any decisions on this?
1. Don’t look to be logging on to the likes of Facebook on public and certainly not work computers. You may well have signed an employment contract that includes a clause about your employer having the right to access memory of anything you have accessed on a company computer. And remember the more apps and games you download the more times your password is shared, not publicy, but its shared.
2. More people I know are looking to separate their personal and work lives on their social media profiles. This can be easier said than done. But if you really want to use Facebook to showcase or highlight your work credentials consider setting up a Page for that. It’s easy and its free – it could easily become your online portfolio, especially with the new Timeline look.
3. Of course a lot can be found out without passwords. Back to the old adage – if you would be embarrassed that your grandmother heard about it or it appearing on the front page of your local newspaper then social media is not the place to put it either. Far too many cases of rejected candidates, fired employees and lost clients due the excesses or lack of online etiquette – you do not want to add to the statisitcs.
And if somebody asks, politely say no and consult a professional for guidance.
Do you think employers have a right to ask for passwords to your social media accounts?
Paul Copcutt first aligned with personal branding after reading Tom Peters ‘Brand You 50’ in 1997. Now a sought after speaker and media resource he has been featured by Forbes, Reuters, the Wall Street Journal and Elle. He works on leadership brands with executives, managers and teams for leading Fortune 500 corporations.