I’ve been seeing news articles lately talking about how some employers are now requiring their employees to hand over their Facebook user name and passwords so they can have access to their accounts. Maybe I am overreacting here, but my first thought was, No way! If my best friends and family members don’t have access to my login info, why would I give it to a potential employer? It just seems way too invasive of them and I can’t imagine I’m the only one that would refuse such measures! Would you hand yours over?
First of all, I would like to make it very clear that there’s nothing bad or embarrassing on my Facebook that I am afraid for anyone to see. I have friended past coworkers on my Facebook and I would have no problem at all friended a boss or other coworker if I was forced to for a job. I’m not a big partier and I don’t post pictures of nudity, alcohol,drugs, etc. I don’t have any pictures on Facebook that I am tagged in that would bother me for anyone to see. I have a PUBLIC page that anyone can see, it’s not private, so an employee could look me up without me having to friend them anyways. I don’t use bad language on my Facebook a lot and I use it mostly for communicating with friends and relatives that live further away and it’s just an easier way of bringing us all together in 2012. I would be 100% comfortable in the future speaking out to any employers and letting them know all of this. My password, though? You’re NOT getting it. I’m sorry.
Why? Well, I have many reasons, actually, besides the fact that I don’t understand any clear reasons for needing it.
1) We are living in an age where bosses and coworkers are NOT always good people. I hear stories of people stealing from their own companies and backstabbing each other every day. I am not OK with giving a relative stranger access to something they could use to possibly ruin my life if they so chose to turn around and stab me in the back.
2)A friend of mine on Facebook has access to all relevant parts of my Facebook that I could ever conceive a employer would want to look at. Having my password would only provide access to my instant messages and Facebook private messages as well as possibly my phone number(if hidden), which an employer would have anyways. WHY would they need to look at my private messages? Private messages are between only the parties involved and by giving access to that, it’s not only exposing my private conversations BUT the friend or family member I had the conversation with. It then becomes an invasion of THEIR privacy. Sure, one could argue that you could tell your friends don’t private message me, only e-mail me, but can you expect every friend to remember this or even for sure see THAT message? Come on. The average Facebook person probably has over 100 friends. And why would I want to stop my private messaging when I, personally, hardly ever use my e-mail and that’s one of the main reasons I use Facebook to keep in touch with people.
3)What if one of my “friends” might happen to be an enemy of the coworker who has access to my Facebook and I am unaware of this? They could then have access to the friend’s page that they MAY have been blocked from…and who knows what they might do with that access? I mean, there ARE a lot of stalkers out there. Maybe this is over exaggerating, but you can never be too sure. Ted Bundy was a very charming guy who no one expected to be a serial killer, but that doesn’t make the fact that he was, any less true, right?
4)Nowadays, your Facebook can be connected to pretty much any other private page of yours you can think of. Ebay, Amazon,my WordPress,etc. Some of these sites, through clicking on connect to my Facebook, instantly log me on without the employer having to know my password. Some of these pages store account info. such as credit card information, if you have one. Access to Facebook can easily turn into Identity Theft. For instance, I have a couple of pages on my Facebook that offer books for my Kindle, for free and for a charge, sometimes. If I click on a book and like it, I can click again and it goes directly to Amazon where I am set up to one click buy. This means if someone had access to my account, they could very easily one click buy a bunch of things, change the address information, and who would be paying THAT bill?
5)If I kept thinking, I could probably come up with a million more reasons. The fact of the matter is, the only thing a password would be needed for is to be able to go in and pretend to be me or be able to change things on my page. To me, why not just ask for a spare house key so you can go through my apartment and snoop around? I have no issues with friending an employer, but they do NOT need my password! They are able to see everything they could possibly need to see just by being friended. This login information idea is just way too drastic.
What do YOU think? Would you be able to give up your information? Can you think of any relevant reasons why they would actually NEED this information and if so, would you go to the lengths some people have, and delete your Facebook or even CHANGE your name so you could keep your Facebook with0ut losing your privacy?