Host of Fox Television’s "Shelly Palmer Digital Living" Show

Shelly Palmer

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An Employer Asks For Your Facebook Password. What Do You Do?


If you live in Illinois, you can say ‘Nope. That’s illegal.’

The state’s governor signed a bill into law two years ago this week that forbids such a request.

What about the rest of us who may not have legal protection?

Simple. Say no to the job altogether.

Password Protection

Being asked for our social media passwords is a huge red flag. More than just an invasive request, the boss may have trust issues with employees, in general.

And what exactly is an employer hoping to find? Pictures on Facebook of you passed out on a party boat in Cabo San Lucas? By now, we are aware of the photos we shouldn’t make public, and we also know how to hide the more risque ones from those who don’t need to see.

The National Law Journal reports that several other states, including California, New York and Ohio, have been looking into legislation that bans employers from using our passwords as part of the hiring process. Congress has even requested that the Department of Justice look into it.

The legal system may ultimately find that no employer in America can ask for our social media passwords, but until that day comes, here’s a practical solution.

When the boss asks for your Facebook password, kindly stand up and say, ‘I don’t think I’d be the best fit here.’ And then walk out.

What choice do you have? No job — not even one in this tough economy — is worth sacrificing your right to privacy.

Bonus question. What if an employer wants to check out your Facebook profile — publicly and not via your password – but only your Facebook friends can see your photos? Do you ‘friend’ the employer to let him/her see your pictures? Or is that also a violation of your privacy? Comment below, and tell us what you think!

(This content was originally posted at News to Live By.)

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More Stories By Shelly Palmer

Shelly Palmer is the host of Fox Television’s "Shelly Palmer Digital Living" television show about living and working in a digital world. He is Fox 5′s (WNYW-TV New York) Tech Expert and the host of United Stations Radio Network’s, MediaBytes, a daily syndicated radio report that features insightful commentary and a unique insiders take on the biggest stories in technology, media, and entertainment.