Small Business Reading Room

Wednesday, October 03, 2007


Being a college student, one of the newest "tools" for social networking is Facebook.

Facebook, like MySpace, is a site where I can post a profile and 'friend' my friends, so that I have access to their online profiles, and they have access to mine.

My profile can have all kinds of information about me, my name, phone number, email address, favorite movies, favorite quotes, and even pictures. This was all great because I knew that the people seeing my information were only my friends who I 'friended' to have access to my profile.

Now many stories are coming about how non-college students are getting on Facebook and getting access to many profiles of people they are not friends with. The newest trend is using Facebook for campus police and officials to monitor student activities and find out where parties will be before they happen.

An incident that hits close to home is one that occurred at The University of Delaware, where I go to school. The assistant director in the judicial affairs department, Matt Lenno, created a fake profile on Facebook using a fake name.

Mr. Lenno took the opportunity to break Facebook policy and used it to view online student profiles and pictures to prosecute students for information he found on profiles and pictures.

The campus police also have online profiles, and are constantly using the tool to break up parties and know what is going on around campus. They are not the only ones viewing your profile. The newest employment trend is to take a look at online profiles before a new employee is hired.

Personally, I find this trend a bit disturbing that officials and even your future employer can get on and view information not intended for them. At the same time, the information may not be for a lot of people that are viewing you profile, and you do not even know it.

My advice, don't post anything, anywhere, on the internet if it is personal or something that has the potential to cause trouble for you down the line.


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Delaware Intercorp, Inc.
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