Every college student knows that future job employers are going to Google you. So, some of those drunken pictures on Facebook might be a bad idea.
But now, some employers are not just seeing what turns up on the search engine, but have actually asked interviewees for extremely personal information — passwords to social media accounts.
“I’ve always known that employers will look up my Facebook profile or see what I’m tweeting about,” said Matthew Plum, a 20-year-old junior from Gainesville, Va. studying Business Management at George Mason University, “but I would never ever expect them to want or even need my password to my accounts. That’s just a complete violation of my privacy.”
“I’ve heard that a few states, like Maryland, are even taking legal action to make sure that employers cannot do this anymore” said Sarah Al-Hage, a 21-year-old senior from Woodbridge, Va. studying Communication.
And with the stress of a depressed job market on many college students’ shoulders, students are feeling as though they are given an ultimatum: to give up their personal information or give up a job.
“It’s so scary and it’s totally unfair for an employer to do that,” said Lorrin Massengill, a 20-year-old senior from Gloucester, Va. studying Mineralogy and Geology. “It’s ridiculously hard to even find an unpaid internship, let alone a job, so I think it’s completely unethical to put people in that sort of situation where they have to choose between their privacy and a job.”
Also, many students use the same password for multiple accounts. One password could give someone access to a Facebook profile, blog, e-mail and even a bank account.
“If a future employer were to ever ask me for my passwords, I would leave. Plain and simple,” Massengill continued. “I’m not going to give someone I don’t know or who holds that much power over me something like my passwords. It’s just way too risky and it shows that they don’t have any trust in their employees.”