Funny Facebook pics could lose you that dream job

Beware of that picture or status update you drunkenly posted on Facebook – it could come back to haunt you.

A third of under-25s have no concerns about the personal information they leave online, which could leave them open to identity theft or serious issues with future employers.

So claims security company Symantec, which this week warned all internet users that they needed to be aware of their digital tattoos' personal information which could be found by criminals or even future employers.

Nearly two thirds of that age group upload personal photographs, while 79 per cent reveal private details such as postcodes (79 per cent) and phone numbers (48 per cent), according to Symantec.

Most shockingly though, one in 10 under 25s actually put their bank details online outside of actually purchasing something, while one in 20 had uploaded their passport number.

Caroline Cockerill, family safety advocate for Symantec, said that in a rush to take advantage of sharing information, young people had created online databanks or tattoos' that were difficult to remove.

She said in a statement: "They don't know or forget that much of the data is searchable by anyone, and in many cases legally retained by the sites themselves, or stored in caches, even when the data appears to have been removed."

Symantec and recruitment agencies warned that compromising pics or particularly shocking status updates could be seen by potential future employers.

"When interviewing candidates I find it unbelievable that they don't realise that all their online activity is indexed and normally traceable," said Steve Mallison-Jones, managing director of Indigo Red, in a statement.

"That picture put up from the lad's night out makes me ask some extra questions, and I want to probe and prove I am getting the best candidates for my clients," he added.

IT PRO blogger Davey Winder blogs about Symantec's research in more detail here.

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