Nearly 30 percent of people have cleaned up their social networking profiles for job interviews, and the economic downturn has made them more cautious about postings on social media sites, according to a phone survey of 1,000 Americans sponsored by the Chubb Group of Insurance Companies.
Twenty seven percent of respondents said they have posted a comment on a news site or blog. One third of 18- to 34-year-olds have posted a comment on news sites or blogs. And 37 percent of those respondents making $100,000 or more have posted a comment.
The survey results show that while some people are being cautious about putting personal information online, many are unaware of the liability exposures associated with posting comments to blogs or other Internet sites.
Christie Alderman, vice president of Chubb & Son and new product and services manager with Chubb Personal Insurance warned that "A foolish post or a tweet could cost you a job or even trigger a libel lawsuit."
The survey also asked respondents about obtaining permission to share copyrighted online materials. Sixty percent of respondents said they rarely or never obtain permission to cut and paste articles, other information or artwork from copyrighted websites before emailing them or printing them out and distributing them to others. One in four respondents said they always obtain permission. Only 2 percent of respondents said they have lawyers review comments before posting them to their blogs. Forty-five percent of the respondents were members of one of the following social networking sites: Facebook (37%), MySpace (19%), LinkedIn (9%) and Twitter (6%). Nearly 60% of respondents earning $100,000 or more belonged to one of these sites.