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10 Reasons Not to Give Up Your Social Networking Websites Usernames and Passwords to Get a Job

Updated on September 1, 2013
Kristine Manley profile image

Kris Manley is a blogger, author, and speaker. She's a guest on radio in the U.S., Canada, and overseas, as well as a guest on network TV.


The nerve of companies. C’mon. It’s not that deep! Companies hired employees before Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Flickr, StumbleUpon and the rest of the social media sites came to be. Some companies are claiming they want to investigate an individual on the basis of gang relations. Countries have plenty of “legalized” gangs – look at the banking industry and the pharmaceutical industry. This intrusion is to further control and monitor individual lives, and to sell individuals information – nothing more! We are already being monitored if you did not know that. Giving up usernames and passwords is not for companies to “know” what types of products and services interest you or to know your work ethic. Can you tell that a person has a good work ethic by looking at their social networking pages? I think not. Companies have in mind that they have the advantage and know that unemployed individuals are very desperate to find jobs and will give up usernames and passwords to get a job, and some unemployed individuals will do just that to land a job to feed their families. This is Corporate America and other countries corporate executives taking advantage of those who need jobs and bullying them into giving up more rights and freedoms. Do understand that if you do that your usernames and passwords will go into your file if you get hired, and company employees will get bored, log on to your social networking website accounts and sniff around; mind you, this can be done away from the job – that’s just human nature. So if you do submit your usernames and passwords don’t think that your employer will keep them safe and sound. Companies have tossed out patients’ medical records in dumpsters instead of having the records shred, so think long and hard before you comply with such a request as to giving your usernames and passwords to your social networking pages during a job interview. What companies don’t consider if they hire an employee who has given them their usernames and passwords to their social networking pages that that employee might not think twice about sharing confidential company information. That employee may think, “turnabout is fair play.” If that hired employee released their own personal confidential information they might release the company’s confidential information.

Reasons for not handing over your social networking sites usernames and passwords to a job interviewer

  1. Individuals also use these same usernames and passwords for their on-line banking access, retirement accounts, etc.
  2. Individuals don’t need to submit usernames and passwords to companies because background checks are or should be performed by companies.
  3. Refusal of individuals to submit usernames and passwords give companies an excuse to disqualify certain candidates. Why give up your usernames and passwords on the chance of being hired.
  4. You are opening yourself up to identity theft, loss of integrity, etc. (people posting untrue or detailed things about you that you don’t want people to know).
  5. Overall, submitting your usernames and passwords at a job interview will make it extremely difficult for you to implement damage control if those usernames and passwords are stolen or used inappropriately.
  6. Someone could possibly change your usernames and passwords and lock you out of your own accounts.
  7. Unscrupulous individuals with your usernames and passwords could cause you to get banned from social networking websites because they made posts on your accounts that violated that websites’ policies and standards. It is not unheard of for individuals to get permanently banned from social networking websites. This could really hurt you especially if you are bringing in income from a social networking website, like writing articles for or providing other content for sites.
  8. Companies may be so inclined NOT to hire you after they see certain groups or affiliations you are part of or support, especially if they are groups or associations that do not have the same viewpoints as the company. The company may view you as a potential employee who could “harm” the company.
  9. If you give up your usernames and passwords to your social networking sites to potential employers, members in your family could affect your getting a specific job. Suppose you have jailbirds in your family and you have them listed on your social networking sites? Companies may see you as suspect as well and choose another applicant. How would companies know you had family members who went to jail? Think about it, this is the information age.
  10. Unscrupulous individuals could use your usernames and passwords to log in to your current social networking sites, obtain birth date, birthplace, security questions etc. and open up an account, under your name, on what companies may consider inappropriate websites. This is not far-fetched for someone to do.

Would you give your social networking websites usernames and passwords to a job interviewer?

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Consider these tips before you hand over your social networking websites usernames and passwords to a job interviewer

  1. Before you begin to job hunt, change ALL your financial usernames and passwords that are the same ones you use for your social networking websites.
  2. Take out as much personal information from your social networking pages.
  3. Be willing, after you land your job, to close down all of your current social networking pages and open up new ones.
  4. DO NOT give your usernames and passwords during an interview. If you can do this, bring a mobile device with you to the interview, one that can get on to the Internet so you and the interviewer may look together on your social media pages. Log in using your Smartphone. If the interviewer does not like that, then so what. Ask him or her how would they feel if you asked them to hand over their usernames and passwords to their social networking sites to you – say it politely, please, and that you are not comfortable doing that, but if you are chosen for the job you would be more than happy to.
  5. Ask if submitting usernames and passwords to social networking websites is now being done in lieu of background checks? See what kind of answer you get.
  6. Deactivate your social networking pages instead of closing them completely if that option is available to you.
  7. Read up on your social networking sites’ security options and implement them.
  8. Some social networking websites will only allow access to your accounts from a specific computer. Have you ever gotten a pop-up message when you attempted to log into one of your accounts from a computer other than yours asking if the computer you’re on is public? Depending on how you answer you will go through other security questions to log into your account. You may be able set parameters that you can only log into your social networking sites from your home computer or laptop.

Social Networking Websites Policies

Social networking websites specifically tell users not to share their usernames and passwords as not to compromise their accounts. This is reason enough to tell a job interviewer why you cannot hand over your usernames and passwords to your social networking websites.

Happy job interviewing!


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    • Kristine Manley profile image

      Donna Kristine 5 years ago from Atlanta, GA

      Yes, some employers are just that bold.

    • ktrapp profile image

      Kristin Trapp 5 years ago from Illinois

      Yikes - I can't believe would-be employers actually ask for this information. I just figured they "sniffed" around as best they could without actually requesting usernames and passwords.

    • Kristine Manley profile image

      Donna Kristine 5 years ago from Atlanta, GA

      Hi Sunshine625 - me either; they would like the passwords! Thank you.

    • Sunshine625 profile image

      Linda Bilyeu 5 years ago from Orlando, FL

      Absolutey not! I don't even give my passwords to my family members! Ha! Excellent hub!!

    • Kristine Manley profile image

      Donna Kristine 5 years ago from Atlanta, GA

      Hi cclitgirl, I agree with you on the micromanaging part - that is something to consider. Thanks

    • cclitgirl profile image

      Cynthia Calhoun 5 years ago from Western NC

      When I first heard about this, I thought, hmm, I would just go on to another company. But, I guess some people are really desperate. Then I thought I would take a mobile device and just log on. But, I have to wonder: if a company is making you give up personal information like that, what sort of micromanaging are they going to do to you in the future? Eeek.

    • Kristine Manley profile image

      Donna Kristine 5 years ago from Atlanta, GA

      Hi prairieprincess, yes, this subject is very hot at the moment. Job interviewees should resist - it's none of the employers' business to go that private.

    • prairieprincess profile image

      Sharilee Swaity 5 years ago from Canada

      Wow, I am very shocked that employers would actually ask this. It seems very intrusive, as if the employers "own" their employees, and even their potential employees. I hope more people resist this total lack of privacy and respect.

      Thanks for writing about this important issue!

    • Kristine Manley profile image

      Donna Kristine 5 years ago from Atlanta, GA

      Hi Kiwi Max, I figure if the interveiwer has the nerve to ask for the job applicant's login info, why not ask for their's - LOL!

    • Kiwi Max profile image

      Max Zvyagintsev 5 years ago from New Zealand

      I like the suggestion of letting the interviewer hand them their login information lol.

      That outta surprise them!

      A great hub, Kristine. Looking forward to reading more.

    • Kristine Manley profile image

      Donna Kristine 5 years ago from Atlanta, GA

      Thanks ChristyWrites

    • ChristyWrites profile image

      Christy Birmingham 5 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      This is quite the hot button issue right now! Kristine you outline the points well here in this hub.

    • Kristine Manley profile image

      Donna Kristine 5 years ago from Atlanta, GA

      Hi teaches12345, thanks.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      This is tops on my list in seeking employment. I love your suggestion to offer to close your accounts and open new ones. This would help. Voted up and shared!