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News Story:

Are you Facebook friends with your boss?


One in three UK 18-25 year olds are Facebook friends with their boss

-Over half, 53 percent, also admit they have never vetted their own online profile -

Nearly one third of 18-25 year olds are ‘Facebook friends’ with their boss, AVG Technologies’ latest Digital Diaries study reveals. It also found that the majority of UK respondents admitted they had never audited their online profile or cleaned-up potentially career damaging content. Digital Baggage, the sixth instalment of AVG’s Digital Diaries study, features responses from 4,400 18-25 year olds in 11 countries to AVG’s questions as to how they manage their social network profiles.
AVG’s research also finds that two thirds of 18-25 year olds in the UK who are ‘Facebook friends’ with their colleagues do not restrict the content co-workers are able to access. Yet, over half did wish they could remove inappropriate photos of themselves online.
The survey highlights how this age group is likely to share personal content in an open forum that includes work colleagues, which could have long-term impact on their future career prospects. Specifically, one in ten (11 percent) did admit to posting abusive content online about their boss or company after a bad day at work.
Tony Anscombe, AVG’s Senior Security Evangelist, said: "AVG’s latest research clearly shows young people today have a comfort with using online social networks that is leading to blurring between their professional and private lives. It seems obvious that posting abusive content about a boss or workplace is not very sensible, but it’s important to understand that not only could it damage a person’s existing career, it could also negatively impact on future opportunities too. Our research findings indicate that today’s 18- 25 year old digital natives need to be more aware of their ‘online brand’ as something employers and recruiters are increasingly investigating.”
Other key findings include:
·         No social networks allowed: in the UK, 57 percent of survey recipients admitted to accessing social networks that were banned at work from mobile phones. This was also the case in a number of other countries: the USA and Australia (both 58 percent); Italy (57 percent); Japan (49 percent); Germany, France and Spain (all 46 percent).
·         Unrestricted profiles for co-workers: one third of UK workers do not restrict their Facebook profile for work colleagues, but this is actually a lower percentage when compared to their counterparts in the US (59 percent); Italy (58 percent); Spain (54 percent); Germany (51 percent); France (50 percent); Australia (38 percent); Canada (45 percent); New Zealand (33 per cent); Czech Republic (30 per cent); and Japan (27 per cent).
·         Sub-editing social profiles: young people in Britain are more likely to have audited their online profiles (47 percent) than their equivalents in Spain (20 percent); France (40 percent); German and US (42 percent); Japanese (43 percent); Canadian (46 percent) and New Zealand (48 percent).
·         Unsuitable pictures: the Spanish (80 percent) are most likely to have inappropriate images posted online, compared with young people in the Czech Republic (32 percent); Italy (29 percent); Germany and Australia (28 percent); Canada (27 percent); New Zealand (26 percent); UK (25 percent); and US (21 percent).
o        Yet, over half of young adults in UK (55 percent), Spain (57 percent) and New Zealand wish to remove online photos of themselves. In other markets, this was less of a concern: Czech Republic and Canada (48 percent); Australia (47 percent); Germany (45 percent); France (44 percent); Italy (43 percent); the US (41 percent); Japan (18 percent).