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News – Protect your online reputation

January 2008

Protect your online reputation

Amid growing concern about identity theft, young people are being warned about the risks of sharing personal information online. Nearly five million young Britons, it is said, could have their reputations or career prospects damaged because of compromising personal details posted on social networking websites like Facebook, Bebo and YouTube.

The Information Commissioner has warned that young people who post details of bad behaviour and dubious exploits on the internet could find their activities coming back to haunt them in years to come. Material posted on the internet cannot simply be wiped away when circumstances change.

Quoted on the Times website, David Smith, deputy commissioner for the Information Commissioner’s Office, said: ‘Many young people are posting content online without thinking about the electronic footprint they leave behind. The cost to a person’s future can be very high if something undesirable is found by the increasing number of education institutions and employers using the internet as a tool to vet potential students or employees’.

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