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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Online profiles perilous

    Scott Rising, a musical theater freshman, never thought that posting his picture online would lead to identity impersonation.

    He was wrong.

    Before this semester started, a friend told Rising that another user on the social networking site www.myspace.com was using his photos in his own personal profile.

    The user, who states his name as “”Sean”” from Tennessee, created a profile using Rising’s photos by re-writing captions for them and then began conversing with others, including one girl whose profile states that she is 17.

    “”I would be flattered if it wasn’t so creepy,”” Rising said.

    In response, Rising contacted the site and requested that the imposter profile be removed. As of yesterday, however, the profile was still online.

    Rising said he has heard a lot about keeping information on the Internet private, but he never thought it was necessary to guard his pictures.

    “”I guess it kind of made me realize just how much of my information and my life is online, and I really need to be more careful as to who is able to see it,”” he said.

    Since the incident, Rising has used privacy settings to restrict his profile on

    www.facebook.com, another popular networking site, and has made his MySpace profile private. He is considering taking down the MySpace profile altogether.

    Privacy settings on both Facebook and MySpace can be used to restrict who sees what portions of your profile and can be used to restrict certain users from access your profile altogether.

    “”I don’t think there’s really any reason to have all your photos available to the 40,000 people that go to the UA,”” Rising said.

    While Rising has not heard of anyone else who has had an experience like his, MySpace has addressed the issue in the “”Frequently Asked Questions”” section of its site, instructing users to contact customer service and verify their identity to remove the imposters profile.

    To users of social networking sites, photos can be the most important part of their profiles, with photo albums documenting everything from vacations to parties to senior pictures.

    But what if your prospective employer was looking at your photos of last summer’s beach party?

    “”It’s not a specific industry [that is looking at applicants’ profiles], and it’s definitely a growing thing,”” said Susan Miller, senior coordinator of marketing and special events for UA Career Services.

    While Miller said she has not heard of specific instances of someone not being hired due to the content of their online profile, she is aware that employers do look at the sites.

    UA Career Services advises students to be mindful of what they put on their profiles and the image that those profiles portray.

    “”You have to be aware that employers oftentimes are taking the opportunity to look at that and get another facet of your personality,”” Miller said. “”So if you don’t want to convey information to a potential employer via those sites, you need to go ahead and revise them.””

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