Do you know what’s online in your name?


One-quarter of 18-34s find surprising content published online without their permission

Millennials must get smarter about managing their digital footprint if they are to avoid the pitfalls of cybercrime and threats to their reputation, according to new research from Norton. The survey of 1,000 mobile users aged 18-34 across the UK found that, although nearly three-quarters (72 per cent) of Millennials search their names online to see how they appear to an idle searcher, many do not like what they find.  Of those who have searched their name online, close to 15 per cent were surprised by what they found, 17 percent have job-related worries due to social media posts. With almost half (48 per cent) of hiring managers indicating they found something online about an applicant that led them to not move forward with hiring, it’s time for all job seekers to take control of how their online presence is seen by others.

However, it’s not just appearances and previous mistakes job applicants have to worry about, with scammers looking to exploit hopeful candidates too. One-fifth (19 per cent) were contacted or applied for a job only to realise it was a fake opportunity or scam. The research found that men (22 per cent) were more likely to be duped than women (16 per cent).

Over a third (35 per cent) of respondents acknowledge they have fallen victim to a phishing attack, a malicious attempt from hackers to acquire information such as usernames, passwords, and financial details, or have had an online account, such as e-mail, compromised. This can have a serious impact on one’s online reputation; 45 per cent of the reported account compromises led to spamming or phishing of the victim’s online contacts, appearing to come from the victim directly. Other outcomes included impersonating the victim through e-mail messages and social media posts (16 per cent), and posting inappropriate content (7 per cent) such as private images, conversations or personal information.

“Your online reputation is an increasingly important part of modern life. As we live more of our daily lives online, more personal information is available for public consumption, including scammers who can use it against you at any time,” said Nick Shaw, General Manager of Norton EMEA. “Knowing how to manage your online footprint is key to staying safe. Ensuring content can only be viewed by the people you want to is the first step to taking control of your online reputation.”

Norton’s Top Tips: How job hopefuls can better manage their online presence

Job seekers should remember that anything posted online is there for everyone to see. Without proper management, you may run the risk of losing out on job opportunities or even becoming a victim of phishing scams.

  • What you post can last a lifetime: Before posting online think about how it might be perceived now and in the future and who might see it
  • Own your online presence: Set the privacy and security settings on web services and devices to your comfort level for information sharing. It’s ok to limit how and with whom you share information. It also helps you manage information shared by others, such as when tagged in a potentially embarrassing picture or video, before it reaches your online contacts
  • Be aware of what’s being shared: Be aware that when you share a post, picture or video online, you may also be revealing information about others. Be thoughtful when and how you share information about others
  • Post only about others as you have them post about you: This golden rule applies in life, and online too
  • Regularly review your social media privacy settings: This will ensure you have a firm handle on your eReputation on an ongoing basis
  • Think before you act: Be wary of communications that implore you to act immediately, offer something that sounds too good to be true or ask for personal information
  • Get two steps ahead: Switch on two-step verification or multi-factor authentication wherever offered to prevent unauthorised access to your online accounts
  • Use robust security software, such as Norton Security, to help protect against malicious online attacks that may affect your online reputation


About the research:

Research carried out by independent research firm, Reputation Leaders, commissioned by Norton by Symantec. An online survey was conducted among 3,038 consumers across the UK, France and Germany aged 18- 34 who own an internet-capable mobile device, such as a smartphone or tablet. Respondents were equally balanced 50/50 male and female and were nationally representative of regional populations. Data was collected August 17th – 25th, 2015.

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