In today's technologically savvy age, much of our affairs are handled online. Social networking websites such as Facebook and Twitter have taken the Internet by storm. These sites make it easier to connect with friends, family and colleagues, but there is a dark side to social networking that needs to be taken into consideration. Facebook and Twitter can act as a mouthpiece and, depending on how long your friend list is or how many followers you have, you could be speaking to a very large audience. While many people use social networking casually, it is important to take care with what you post on Facebook and other social networking websites, as it can adversely affect your employment status. Here is a look at some social media practices that can get you into hot water at work.

SEE: 4 Companies Behind The Social Media Curtain

Inappropriate Photographs
You may want to scrutinize any photographs you post to a social networking site before presenting them to the public. Racy or inappropriate photographs could cost you the job that you are applying for if the hiring manager views your social networking activity. The practice of employers checking potential employee's Facebook page for inappropriate photographs has come under major scrutiny. Employers scrutinize photographs on social networking websites because it can give them a glimpse into potential job candidates that they wouldn't see otherwise. A candidate with an unsavory social networking presence is considered a major turn-off to hiring managers.

Sharing Protected Information
One of the easiest ways to get into trouble at work due to your social networking activity is to share protected employer information with your list of friends or followers. Many people use social networking sites to vent, which often includes spouting off frustrations about their jobs. Unfortunately, if your complaint exposes protected company information, you can easily lose your job.

Inflammatory Social Networking Posts
Inflammatory posts on social networking sites that target your company, co-workers or your boss can be highly detrimental to your employment status. recently released an article that highlights cases where employees were fired for criticizing a co-worker on a social networking website. In some cases, employers discovered the information on their own. In other cases, fellow co-workers brought the issue to the attention of a supervisor. This practice is called infringement against employee harassment regulations, and it can most certainly cost you your job.

The First Amendment Won't Save You
While the first amendment of the United States Bill of Rights prevents government officials and agencies from stripping you of your right to free speech, it does not apply to private employers. Unfortunately, the things you say on social networking websites can actually be detrimental to your job if you speak of your employer in an bad light, break privacy rules or even if you offend another co-worker with a derogatory post.

SEE: Job Applicant Privacy And Social Media

The Bottom Line
Although social networking is supposed to be fun, we live in an age where we have to be conscientious of what we say at all times. This is especially true if you are friends with work colleagues on social networking websites. Although you are cordial or friendly with these individuals at work, it doesn't mean that he or she wouldn't report you to a member of upper management should one of your posts offend him or her. When it comes to job security, it is wise to consider keeping complaints about your job, company or co-workers offline and out of a public forum.

Related Articles
  1. Stock Analysis

    These are Twitter's 4 Biggest Bets for Next Year

    Looks at Twitter's plans for 2016 under CEO Jack Dorsey, who has returned to lead the company he founded seven years after he was replaced.
  2. Investing

    Playing The Decline of Traditional Broadcast Media

    Broadcast media is losing viewership as cord cutting by the younger generation triggers subscription losses at cable and satellite companies.
  3. Brokers

    The Next Industries Bound to be Uberized

    As more startups succeed with the sharing economy business model, investors seek out businesses poised to disrupt their industries like Uber.
  4. Financial Advisors

    How to Blog Your Way to More Advisory Clients

    Blogging is one of the easiest ways that financial advisors can use to attract and maintain clients. Here are some tips on how to do it effectively.
  5. Professionals

    Advisors: Do You Need to Tweak Your Marketing?

    Advisors use a variety of marketing techniques to attract clients, but they don't all work. It may be time to evaluate what is, and isn't, successful.
  6. Stock Analysis

    Yelp: Can it Regain its Losses in 2016? (YELP)

    Yelp investors have had reason to be happy recently. Will the good spirits last?
  7. Budgeting

    How Much Will it Cost to Become President In 2016?

    The 2016 race to the White House will largely be determined by who can spend the most money. Here is a look at how much it will cost to win the presidency.
  8. Stock Analysis IPO: Is it a 'Buy' or Should You Pass?

    Demand for relationships is always high. Now you will have a way to directly invest in the relationship market. But is it priced fairly?
  9. Stock Analysis

    Analyzing Porter's 5 Forces on Facebook

    Read about how you can use Porter's five forces to analyze Facebook's competition. This simple methodology looks at several different factors or forces.
  10. Stock Analysis

    These Are Facebook's 5 Biggest Bets for Next Year

    Look at Facebook's biggest bets for 2016, including virtual reality, a personal assistant, messaging, advertising and satellite connectivity.
  1. When did Facebook go public?

    Facebook, Inc. (NASDAQ: FB) went public with its initial public offering (IPO) on May 18, 2012. With a peak market capitalization ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. Why is social responsibility important to a business?

    Social responsibility is important to a business because it demonstrates to both consumers and the media that the company ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. How do you conduct effective social responsibility training?

    One way to provide employees with effective social responsibility training is to base training sessions on resources offered ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. How important are business ethics in running a profitable business?

    A number of factors play a part in making a business profitable, including expert management teams, dedicated and productive ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. What advice does Howard Schultz offer would-be business moguls?

    Starbucks CEO, billionaire and former sports tycoon Howard Schultz has several pieces of advice for would-be moguls and, ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. How does brand image and marketing affect market share?

    A company's marketing efforts have a direct impact on sales and market share, but they are not the only factors that influence ... Read Full Answer >>

You May Also Like

Hot Definitions
  1. Turkey

    Slang for an investment that yields disappointing results or turns out worse than expected. Failed business deals, securities ...
  2. Barefoot Pilgrim

    A slang term for an unsophisticated investor who loses all of his or her wealth by trading equities in the stock market. ...
  3. Quick Ratio

    The quick ratio is an indicator of a company’s short-term liquidity. The quick ratio measures a company’s ability to meet ...
  4. Black Tuesday

    October 29, 1929, when the DJIA fell 12% - one of the largest one-day drops in stock market history. More than 16 million ...
  5. Black Monday

    October 19, 1987, when the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) lost almost 22% in a single day. That event marked the beginning ...
  6. Monetary Policy

    Monetary policy is the actions of a central bank, currency board or other regulatory committee that determine the size and ...
Trading Center