Most employers are relying on social media platforms to recruit potential candidates, while some companies use the same to engage with their customers and attract more sales. For job seekers, experts say using online platform such as LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook, where one can put information and exchange of ideas, can enable one to spread his or her professional reach beyond immediate circle.
While ensuring safety against cyber-fraudsters or abusers remains a challenge owing to lack of proper surveillance to tame the vice, an ICT expert at Maseno University Dr Kenneth Kwama advises social media users to limit revealing personal information on such platforms.
“Some factors are critical especially when looking for a job but people are advised not to show affiliations like political, marital status or religious and the likes, unless its mandatory for the receiver,” he says, adding that people must be careful on what to post for public viewing.
Social media is slowly becoming the in-thing in the country – where one can advertise his or her skills and connect with others who may offer professional services or vacancies. A new study by University of Buffalo research team indicates access to routine information about you like where you grew up and your relationship status can help others manipulate you.
“Just having access to profile information increases their success rate, even when the information is not explicitly being used,” says the study’s lead researcher Michael Stefanone.
The study which sought to understand how personal information could be leveraged by individuals motivated by personal gain, demonstrates a surprising risk created by easy access to basic profile information online. When strangers meet, the study finds that, those with personal information about the other have an advantage.
“Knowing someone’s relationship status, political affiliation and entertainment preferences allows them to create perceived similarities during conversations with unsuspecting others,” notes Stefanone.
“If I know you are from this hometown, I might lie by saying that I am too. We like people we think are similar to us. But we found that people don’t explicitly use the information in conversations,” he adds.
Two groups in a controlled group participated in the study, where results showed that manipulators in this group had a nine per cent success rate getting their conversation partner to comply.