Background check companies can save social media posts for 7 years
Mon, 11 Jul 2011 23:51:05 GMT —
Posting pictures and comments on social media sites can be risky if the content is deemed inappropriate especially to a potential employer.
But now, that content could still be accessible several years down the road.
The Federal Trade Commission ruled that your postings on any social media site can be saved by on-line background companies for up to seven years.
It may not sound so bad if you're a teen, but those postings could come back to haunt you in the future when you're job hunting.
Allen Ramirez hasn't seen this MySpace page in three years, but with a quick search of his name the page popped up.
"It's kind of scary to think that you're so vulnerable through the social network," said Allen Ramirez who uses social media.
The Federal Trade Commision ruled it is legal for social media sites like MySpace to save people's postings for up to seven years.
Many employers use social media background screening services in their hiring process.
"It just makes you that much more weary of what you post online," said Ramirez.
He wants to be a child development psychologist, a profession that would require an extensive background check.
"I want to work with children and if I get the opportunity and continue my education, I would like to work with autistic children," said Ramirez.
But Allen said he's not afraid of what employers could find on his social media profiles.
"I mean I have nothing to be ashamed of," said Ramirez.
Lourdes Servantes, the career services director of the University of Texas Pan American, said their department is well aware of the FTC ruling and the services available to keep tabs on what people post online.
"Just the way you freely put your information out there, someone's freely reading it through and that could potentially hurt you in the employment search," said Servantes.
Her advice to social media users is simple.
"Just really watch what you put out there," said Servantes.
Action 4 News also spoke to a social media expert who said nothing you post on the internet is ever really gone.
Websites save copies to archive.