One quarter of 18-25 year olds are ‘Facebook friends’ with their boss

Almost half also admit they have never vetted their own online profile

SAN FRANCISCO and AMSTERDAM – 23rd October, 2012 – Nearly one quarter of 18-25 year olds are ‘Facebook friends’ with their boss, AVG Technologieslatest Digital Diaries study reveals. The study also found that the majority of respondents admitted they had never audited their online profile or cleaned-up potentially career damaging content. Digital Baggage, the sixth instalment of AVG’s Digital Diaries study, features responses from 4,400 18-25 year olds in 11 countries to AVG’s questions as to how they manage their social network profiles.  

AVG’s research also finds that 60 percent of 18-25 year olds who are ‘Facebook friends’ with their colleagues do not restrict the content co-workers are able to access. Yet, over half did wish they could remove inappropriate photos of themselves online.

The survey highlights how this age group is likely to share personal content in an open forum that includes work colleagues, which could have long-term impact on their future career prospects.  Specifically, 13 percent of respondents globally did admit to posting abusive content online about their boss or company after a bad day at work.

Italy’s young employees were the most likely to vent their anger (18 percent), compared to their French and New Zealand equivalents (10 percent), who were least likely to express their emotions digitally.

Tony Anscombe, AVG’s Senior Security Evangelist, said: “AVG’s latest research clearly shows young people today have a comfort with using online social networks that is leading to blurring between their professional and private lives. It seems obvious that posting abusive content about a boss or workplace is not very sensible, but it’s important to understand that not only could it damage a person’s existing career, it could also negatively impact on future opportunities too. Our research findings indicate that today’s 18- 25 year old ‘digital natives’ need to be more aware of their online brand as something employers and recruiters are increasingly investigating.”

Other key findings include:

  • No social networks allowed: in the UK, 57 percent of survey recipients admitted to accessing social networks that were banned at work from mobile phones. This was also the case in a number of other countries: the USA and Australia (both 58 percent); Italy (57 percent); Japan (49 percent); Germany, France and Spain (all 46 percent).       
  • Unrestricted profiles for co-workers: one third of UK workers do not restrict their Facebook profile for work colleagues, but this is actually a lower percentage when compared to their counterparts in the US (59 percent); Italy (58 percent); Spain (54 percent); Germany (51 percent); France (50 percent); Australia (38 percent); Canada (45 percent); New Zealand (33 per cent); Czech Republic (30 per cent); and Japan (27 per cent).
  • Sub-editing social profiles: young people in Britain (47 percent) are more likely to have audited their online profiles than their equivalents in Spain (20 percent); France (40 percent); German and US (both 42 percent); Japanese (43 percent); Canadian (46 percent) and New Zealand (48 percent).
  • Unsuitable pictures: the Spanish (80 percent) are most likely to have inappropriate images posted online, compared with young people in the Czech Republic (32 percent); Italy (29 percent); Germany and Australia (28 percent); Canada (27 percent); New Zealand (26 percent); UK (25 percent); and US (21 percent).
  • Interview techniques: over one in eight (13 percent) American young adults had been in an interview where things they posted online were mentioned, compared with Italy (15 percent); Spain (10 percent); Australia (9 percent); Canada, Germany and France (7 percent); Japan and UK (6 percent); Czech Republic and New Zealand (5 percent)

 

About AVG Digital Diaries

The first stage of AVG’s Digital Diaries campaign, Digital Birth, focused on children from birth to age two. The study, released in October 2010, found that on average, infants acquire a digital identity by the age of six months old. Nearly a quarter (23 percent) of children have had their pre-birth scans uploaded to the Internet by their parent – establishing a digital footprint even before birth. The second stage, Digital Skills, was released in January 2011 and showed that for two to five year olds, ‘tech’ skills are increasingly replacing ‘life’ skills. In fact, many toddlers could use a mouse and play a computer game, but could not ride a bike, swim or tie their shoelaces. 

Digital Playground, released in June 2011, found nearly half of six to nine year olds talk to friends online and use social networks. This was followed with Digital Maturity in November 2011, which revealed how 11 year olds had developed adult skills in technology.  Digital Coming of Age, the fifth instalment of AVG’s Digital Diaries study was released in April 2012, which interviewed parents of 14-17 year olds, found that nearly half of parents keep tabs on teens via Facebook, latest AVG Technologies’ research reveals.

Research for all stages of the Digital Diaries series was conducted by Research Now on behalf of AVG Technologies. 

More information visit: www.avgdigitaldiaries.com