Fired for Facebook Posts

October is National Cyber Safety Awareness Month, however we also should take caution to what we are posting online – and this may be the reminder we need.

You posted what?!
As we live more of our lives online, social media has become the new water cooler for employees to discuss working conditions. On one hand, employers have the fear of disgruntled employees doing some serious brand damage online. On the other, they have the risk of being sued for violating federal law.

FIRED-FOR-FACEBOOK
Source: Online Paralegal Programs

Everybody’s Online: At Least Almost Everybody

7 in 10
Adult Internet users who use social networking sites
The younger the worker, the more likely they use social media:
Percentage of social media use by age group
18-29 83%
30-49 77%
50-64 52%
65+ 32%
15½ hours
Average amount of time spent per month on Facebook
1 in 4
Facebook users who don’t manage their privacy settings
6 in 10
Workers who say they are unsatisfied with their jobs
What does all of this mean? That you probably use Facebook or other forms of social media, and you use it a lot. It also means you’ve probably got some things to gripe about once you get home from work. It’s not a leap to say it’s at least tempting to unload your job dissatisfaction on social media. But be careful …

What the Law Says

What about free speech, you ask? The First Amendment protects you from legal consequences of protected speech, but it doesn’t mean you are immune from all negative effects. You would probably expect to be fired—or at least reprimanded—if you insulted your boss to her face, so you should expect it if you do so online and the wrong person finds out.
But laws vary by state, as more lawmakers are recognizing and protecting the rights of employees in their off-the-clock communications. Generally speaking, an employer can intervene when:

  • An employee posts during work hours
  • An employee’s posts endanger the company (such as by revealing confidential information)

The National Labor Relations Board has ruled that employers cannot fire workers acting with other employees to initiate a group action against a perceived injustice by their employer.

It’s Happening Everywhere

Here’s just a sampling of the stories of workers who were fired for what they said in social media:
Where: London, Buckingham Palace
Who: Palace guard
Why: The 18-year-old guard slammed Kate Middleton in a Facebook post

Where: O’Hare Airport, Chicago
Who: TSA baggage screener
Why: The nine-year TSA veteran repeatedly went on racist and homophobic rants publicly on Facebook

Where: Rhode Island
Who: Physician
Why: A 48-year-old doctor at a hospital posted information about an emergency room patient

Where: Arkansas
Who: Police officer
Why: The office posted a warning to residents not to drink and drive; his supervisor said the post compromised a planned DUI checkpoint

Where: Michigan
Who: Community college professor
Why: The professor used the story of a failing student in a status update

Where: Massachusetts
Who: Firefighter/paramedic
Why: Posting negative things about gays, mentally challenged people, public officials and others who disagreed with him

Where: Grand Rapids, Michigan
Who: Several hospital employees
Why: A worker snapped a photo of a woman he thought was attractive and shared it on Facebook; he was fired and so were his coworkers who “liked” the photo

Where: Chicago
Who: Bartender
Why: Making racist comments that soon went viral

Not Fired — Not Even Hired
The other part of this equation is making sure your online persona is clean to begin with, because potential employers are watching.
3 in 4
Recruiters required to conduct online research on candidates
70%
Recruiters who have rejected candidates based on online investigations
What employers are looking for:
65% Does the candidate present himself or herself professionally?
51% Is the candidate a good fit for company culture?
51% Want to learn more about qualifications
35% Is the candidate well-rounded
12% Reasons not to hire the candidate

SOURCES
http://pewinternet.org
http://www.statisticbrain.com
http://blog.bufferapp.com
http://www.huffingtonpost.com
http://www.wzzm13.com
http://college.monster.com
http://thenextweb.com

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Junes is National Internet Safety Month

ATTSMart

It’s hard to believe June is already here, and many students are already out of school for the summer!

The free time during summer gives kids ample opportunities to test boundaries as they explore the Internet, on both the home computer and their mobile device, talk and text with friends on their smartphones, and scan countless viewing choices on TV.

With kids integrating technology into their daily lives, parents need to keep abreast of their kids’ activities.

There are easy-to-use, effective tools available today that allow parents to stay in the driver’s seat of their children’s TV, Internet and wireless activities.  Here’s a quick primer:

Get tech savvy. Ironically, the first step in this process is decidedly low-tech: Talk to your kids. You have to be proactive in discussing what technologies they’re using and how they’re using them. You should even experiment with the technologies, for instance, by sending an instant message to a relative. This will give you a better feel in evaluating risks and potential abuses.

Armed with this knowledge, you can easily find out what parental controls are available. AT&T Smart Controls is one example that brings together information on the privacy and protection features available to subscribers of the company’s high speed Internet, TV and wireless services. The site is a show-and-tell of how parents can safeguard their children against misuse of technology.

Surf smart. From social networking sites and chat rooms to online gaming and other sites, today’s kids know their way around the Net. But most Internet service providers (ISP) offer parents tools to block access to specific Web pages as well as to services such as e-mail, instant messaging, chat groups and message boards.

Since it’s virtually impossible to stay informed about all the sites kids want to visit, also check to see if your ISP offers permission slips, which allow children to request access to unauthorized Web sites. You get to be the judge. Tamper controls are another helpful feature, alerting parents if children attempt to change the settings.

Be wireless smart. As technology expands, so do the possibilities for misusing cell phones. This may take the form of your child making inappropriate calls or downloading expensive or inappropriate material.

Many carriers offer features allowing parents to block select incoming or outgoing calls to the phone and to install “sleep” functions so that calls after a certain time of night do not ring but messages go directly through to voice mail.

With most people accessing the Internet from their smartphones today, carriers such as AT&T offer parental controls to restrict mobile phone access to web sites containing content inappropriate for children, as well as to restrict purchase of premium subscriptions and downloads such as games, ringtones and graphics. For example, AT&T Smart Limits for Wireless lets you limit your child’s data usage, texting, purchases, and times of day the device is used. The parental patrols provide your child with the freedom and security of a mobile phone while allowing you to set sensible boundaries for your child.
There also are location-based services, like AT&T FamilyMap, that let users locate a family member’s cell phone on a map via Web browser on a PC or a mobile device. These types of tools give parents peace of mind while they’re away from their children.

Watch smart. The bad news is that, with hundreds of channels on the air, there are more inappropriate viewing options for kids than ever before. The good news is parents have more control than ever over what their kids are watching.

Virtually all TV service providers offer tools to filter movies based on MPAA ratings. Many even offer additional programming protection based on expanded ratings such as violence, language, nudity and sexual content.

Looking to go one step further? Some providers also enable you to prevent your children from viewing selected channels unless they enter the correct password.

In the end, a parent’s responsibilities in overseeing their child’s technology use are not much different than in other areas of daily life. Set clear boundaries on appropriate and inappropriate uses of technology. Then monitor their activity and be consistent with enforcing rules.

Above all, don’t be intimidated. Even if you’re less savvy about the technology than your children, you have the tools to make your job simpler in an ever more complicated world.

Parents can find more information on technology safety and parental controls at www.att.com/smartcontrols.com or http://www.pta.org/parent_resources.html.

Identity Theft: No One is Immune from Being a Victim of It – Learn to Secure Your Digital Footprint

IDTheftIdentity theft has become an increasing problem as our world shifts to being more online and mobile. Many people feel like there is no way to keep their information safe should someone want to steal it. Is this the case, or are there things that you can do to make your information harder to steal?

These 18 blog entries touch on what you can do to protect your identity online, at work and when you are out and about living your life. The press is doing an admirable job of bringing scams to light so that the public can be better informed and thus better able to protect sensitive information.

To learn what you need to know to keep your personal information safe, keep reading.

Online

With more and more people shopping and banking online, keeping your information safe from thieves becomes both more important and more difficult. Avoid common or easy to guess passwords, as many times you are making the thief’s job easier. For more online safety tips, take a look at these six blog posts.

At Work

While your employer likely has their own security measures in place, you still need to make sure that you are keeping your personal information safe from hackers or other co-workers. When you go to a meeting make sure that your desk and computer are locked. Don’t get your personal e-mail on your work computer, as that information can stay in that computer, even if you delete it. To learn more important safeguards, read these six blog articles.

Out and About

If you pay for your gas and other snacks with a credit card that you can tap and go, you may want to stop using it. While it’s a convenient way to pay for things, it’s also an easy way for a thief to pick up the credit card number at the same time. When you are out for dinner and you pay the bill by sending your credit card with the waiter, you may want to keep an eye on him. Specialized equipment designed to steal credit card numbers in a hurry have been found in various restaurants. Check out these six blog articles and learn more about identity theft scams going on today and how to avoid becoming a victim.

Source: Nanny Website

Internet Safety: Community Empowerment Series Session III

april poster

Saturday, April 27th.

Nease High School is the location.

Starting at 9:00am the Community Empowerment Series will have their final event with one of the hottest topics that reaches everyone with a keypad or a cell phone.

Especially those teenagers that are are heading to prom that evening. Before you snap those picture and post those questionable comments, you will benefit from this event featuring Theresa Payton. She is one of our countries leading cyber safety experts and will be discussing cyber bullying, identity theft, and cell phone safety including sexting.

Did you know?

· Over 95% of teens use social networking

· Last year over 500,000 kids had their online identity stolen

*85% of teens have been cyber bullied at least once

· Sexting: 71% of teen girls and 67% of teen boys have participated in posting/sending sexually suggestive content.

Dr. Joseph Joyner is recommending that every teacher, parent and student attends this event and takes advantage of this learning experience.

St. Johns County Sheriff Shoar will be introducing Theresa Payton and will have his team available with literature for our community regarding Internet safety and our kids.

This is a FREE event and open to the public. It is presented by the St. Johns County Education Foundation and Communities in Schools of St. Johns County and sponsored by The St. Augustine Record, First Coast News and other generous donors.

Online registration is recommended.

Learn more at www.communityempowermentseries.com.

Safe Holiday Shopping: S-A-N-T-A for Safety

SantaThe National Retail Federation estimates online purchases for the 2012 holiday season will reach $96 billion, up 12 percent from 2011. Scammers, hackers, and “phishermen” have already taken their positions, waiting for the next unwitting shopper to carelessly give out personal information.

Luckily, Santa is providing shoppers a guide to ensure online and other shopping experiences are safe and efficient. There’s already enough stress with cooking, decorating and preparing for family to arrive. Shopping can be the easiest part of the process if Santa’s advice is followed.

“S” is for Security

Everyone has received emails that look like they come from legitimate retailers, only to discover the hyperlink provided leads to a phishing website. Shoppers should always type the URL of the retailer directly into the address bar, as opposed to clicking just any links in your email. A credit card should always be used for online purchases since they provide some level of protection from fraud that debit cards don’t. A service like Lifelock would add an extra layer of protection against identity thieves and scammers for online shopping.

“A” is for Availability

Patients is a virtue, but not when the hottest toys and electronics are on the wish lists of your friends and family. From Cabbage Patch Kids in the 1980s to the release of the Playstation 2 in 2000, popular items must be purchased the first time one is available to you. Granted, the price of such items may drop following the holidays, the wait could extend into the springtime and beyond.

“N” is for Name List

Those who brag about getting holiday shopping done long before Christmas Eve likely had a gift list and checked it twice. The names of all the children should be clustered together, as many of their gifts can be purchased at the same store. The primary culprit to last-second, frantic shopping is forgetting Aunt Edna and Uncle Mike are both expected in town for dinner. A name list not only keeps you organized, but gives you a way to track your overall progress.

“T” is for Technology

Smartphones are your best friend when it comes to finding the best deals and comparing prices between different retailers. ShopSavvy is an Android app that allows shoppers to scan the barcode of any item and produce a list of retailers and online stores that carry it. This is a great app for price comparison and can give you leverage in negotiating deals. SnapTell, which is free and available for Android and iPhone, allows users to simply snap a photo of the item and it looks up prices based on an image search. Google Wallet, available for Android, allows shoppers to pay for purchases with their credit and debit cards without actually having them. A near field communicator transmits your card information to any point-of-sales terminal by simply tapping your phone somewhere near it.

“A” is for Avoid Debt

Though credit cards are the best way to shop online because of their fraud protections, debit cards and cash should be used at local retailers. The holidays are a time to enjoy family, friends, and an extended vacation. Avoidable debt will only add to the stress and anxiety already present with all the shopping and preparation.

Contributor:  Don Campbell – Donnie has been working on trucks and volunteering at the neighborhood soup kitchen for 15 years. He keeps a blog about his favorite cars and supporting his favorite charities.

How Safe Is Your PIN?

How Safe Is Your PIN?
Compiled by: BackgroundCheck.org

Protecting Your Internet Identity Book is Here!

It’s finally here!  Isn’t it time you protect you and your family’s Internet identity?

By Ted Claypoole and Theresa Payton

Who is looking at you online?

 The government, your neighbors, employers, friends – the short answer is EVERYONE.  This book is a handy guide that digs deep past the media headlines to tell you how your data is collected and used.  The author’s provide practical tips on how to regain control of your internet persona while also fending off identity thieves and other cybersnoops.
And, for those with kids in their lives, Chapter 9 is dedicated to digital natives – the generation born into our digital age that cannot imagine life without instant access to info!
Chapter 6 gives pointers on internet impersonation:
The Face of Online Impersonation
Internet image impersonation is easy to do. Anyone can open a free email account with Yahoo!, Hotmail, Google, or any other email provider and use your name. Setting up a social media account on social networking sites such as Facebook or MySpace is equally simple. With a little information about your life, your impersonator could even fool those people closest to you.
Unfortunately, it can be very difficult to remove these accounts from the Internet. Most Online companies assume that an account is opened in good faith, and you will probably have to prove the damage was done by an imposter (and prove that the imposter is not simply another person who happens to have the same name), before a site such as Yahoo! or Facebook would consider closing an active account.
We have a 6 question quiz for victims of internet defamation; here is question #1:  
Do You Have The Facts to Support a U.S. Lawsuit to Protect Your Online Image?
1)    If someone has written unflatteringly about you online, were those comments
a)    False;
b)    Intentionally malicious or made with a reckless disregard for the harm they might cause;
c)     Harmful;
d)    Not stated in a formally privileged way, such as filed legal pleadings;
e)     All of the above?
Order today on Amazon!
Follow Theresa Payton on Twitter.